Tour Diary – Grass Valley, CA (June 20, 2014)

Jason Lent will be following us and the World Cup over the next 10 days. We'll be mixing things up by posting his diary as well as Michael's diary (whenever he can pull himself away from watching futbol).

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by Jason Lent

Winding into the valley of grass, the intensity of San Francisco and before that, Los Angeles, finally began to dissipate and we could relax. The never ending expense of parking a vehicle in San Francisco was exchanged for a historic mining town with a single stop light downtown. A warm sun and well stocked record and book stores made Grass Valley the most enjoyable day of this tour. There's not much to do in Grass Valley but I'd love to have more time here to not do much. 

The venue was the standard small town arts center, cozy with an excellent sound system and lacking a bit in personality. It feels fairly new so hopefully it will age gracefully. The town deserves it. The show sold out and those in attendance came out to hear a lot more than "Sweet Jane". The Nomad set included the first appearance of the razor sharp "Ladle' and the band was locked into the material. The band has taken quite a few requests on tour but tonight was truly epic for a long time fan. The second set opened with "Crescent Moon" and included a sinister "Floorboard Blues" and an aching "Spiral Down". The little arts center turned into a Texas roadhouse as Mike channeled Lightnin' Hopkins on "32-20 Blues" and "Shining Moon". Even "Sweet Jane" transformed itself on this evening as Mike and Jeff fell back in the final verse and Margo sang over only the bass line. It was a subtle addition of space that breathed new color into the song on this tour. 

Throughout this tour, I've been finding new meanings in a lot of the music that only time can reveal. The song that converted me into a Springsteen fan and my favorite American rock and roll song ever written is "Thunder Road". As Margo sang the opening line in Grass Valley, the song opened itself up to me in a new way. We ain't that young anymore but there's still magic in the night rang more true than ever. Nothing last forever and there's a finite amount of Cowboy Junkies left in this world. Hearing Margo sing "Thunder Road" tonight was a powerful reminder that I need to be at as many as those magic nights as possible. 

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One Response to “Tour Diary – Grass Valley, CA (June 20, 2014)”

  1. Mark Says:

    June 22nd, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    R U Kidding me?  What a lot of different songs.  It sounds like they had it together also.  This was obviously the show of the California run (tour).  I should have known…… the last time they played this venue was on October 5, 2012 and it was an amazing show then.  They must really like this place.  The town, the venue, the people, etc.  I taped that show in 2012 and not only Jared, but the staff was very helpful in accommodating my situation.

    32-20 Blues…???  Are you kidding me?  I’ve been waiting for that one for years.  Hope ya got the LONG version……actually, scratch that…..ANY length version would have been ideal! 

    It would have been great to hear Sprial Down again, after hearing it at the first show in Agorua Hills….a gem.

    Floorboard Blues?….. Ladle?…..Thunder Road?…….and the list goes on.  I’m not going to miss anymore northern California shows, that’s for sure.   Thanks for the heads up Jason….

    mark

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