@the Aladdin 9-10-02
by Carol Michaud
The Blues Internet
Las Vegas Jazz n' Blues
Las Vegas Blues Site
The first time I saw Bonnie Raitt in concert was at a small club in Atlanta called the Moonshadow. It was Nov. 8, 1984, a Sunday night, Bonnie's 35th birthday, and every musician in town was there. This was back in Bonnie's hard partying days, and she was in rare form. Musician after musician were invited onstage to jam with her, and about two in the morning, I noticed there were more people onstage than left in the audience. After all, it was a "school night", and she'd already been wearing us out for over four hours. I, of course, was still there, moving in closer and closer as space became available. Her show ended around 3:30, and my ears rang for two days. It was one of the best nights of my life.
Bonnie Raitt gave a remarkably different performance when I saw her eighteen years later at the Aladdin on her SILVER LINING tour. She packed the first part of her show with songs from the new CD, including "I CAN'T HELP YOU NOW", "SILVER LINING", the gospelesque "VALLEY OF PAIN" which she dedicated to Lowell George, and the reggae/island flavored "HEAR ME LORD". The rollicking "GNAWIN' ON IT", a song she co-wrote with the venerable Roy Rogers (the slide player, not the cowboy) showed off her own slide capabilities, and "NO GITTIN' OVER YOU" was dedicated to Ruth Brown, who was in the audience.
Raitt had a few tricks for us when she performed her older numbers. She payed piano on "NICK OF TIME", and invited opener Lyle Lovett to duet on "DO RIGHT WOMAN." Francine Reed, from Lovett's Large Band, was brought out to sing with Bonnie on "NEVER MAKE YOUR MOVE TOO SOON".
She made sure to include other crowd favorites, such as "REAL MAN", "HAVE A HEART", "SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT", "I CAN'T MAKE YOU LOVE ME" and, long time concert staple, John Prine's "ANGEL FROM MONTGOMERY". She finished up with "THING CALLED LOVE", John Hiatt's song that was part of her huge Grammy win in 1989.
Even though the show I saw at the Moonshadow was completely different from the show at the Aladdin, they were both very special and showcased her range as an artist. Let's hope that Bonnie continues to grow and play live shows for everyone to enjoy.
Photography by Carol Michaud copyright © 2002-3 Brown Ink
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