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Friday, June 28, 2019

A Different Slow Song

Here's a question for everyone, except for my dear friend Jimmy and my neighbor Drew (because I already know how they'll both answer): Which musician or group have you seen in person the most?

Both my wife and I have lost count how many times we've seen Joe Jackson. We know we began loving his music soon after his debut album - Look Sharp - was released in 1979, the year after we met. I'm pretty sure we first saw him on the tour that supported either his second (I'm The Man) or third (Beat Crazy) album. From there it gets harder to separate the consistently first rate albums from the even more consistently excellent - and always surprising - live shows.

Despite those surprising shows, my wife and I were confident he would close his show with A Slow Song when we invited friends to join us a few months back to see Jackson at the State Theatre. Our smug prediction seemed a sure thing. That soaring ballad - which Jackson has re-imagined each time we've seen him since he first began playing it during the Night and Day tour - is a near-perfect closing song, given its lyrical theme. And, the last four or five times we've seen him, A Slow Song sent us home on a high.  

But as the show ended - a musical triumph in every sense - our ostensible Joe Jackson "expertise" collapsed. Were we disappointed not hearing A Slow Song? We were not. His closing song this time? I'll keep that to myself because I want you to go see Joe in person. Then, tell me what song he closes with. That way, I can vicariously experience the joy you'll get listening to this man do his magic. No matter what his last song is, both my wife and I will know it and you'll enjoy it. That I can guarantee.

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