Steve Earle,Aerial Theater at Bayou Place, Houston, March 23, 1998

After my hectic week at South By Southwest, I wasn't exactlyin the concert going mood, but I was dying to see this new Theater at Bayou Place. Afriend got tickets to Steve Earle, so I thought it would be a good time to check out thedowntown scene.

First the venue: Parking not a problem, we pulled right up front. The theater is a verynice, almost too nice, place to see a show. It's new and nicely decorated, giving me thefeeling that I was going to an art museum rather than a concert. The fact that the floorwas not sticky with years of beer buildup also detracted from what is my normal concertgoing experience. We sat at our tables on the floor, which was also bizarre, since I standat most shows, and we even had a waitress bringing the over priced drinks around. If youare looking for a trouble free concert experience, this is your venue. For this artist,Steve Earle, I found the set up to be just fine, but for other shows in which the crowdplays as much part as the artist, I think it might be a bit too watered down for me.

On to Steve Earle: He is a folk rock songster that has some great tunes, but has neverreally seemed to pierce mainstream popularity. His style can best be described as a crossbetween Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, and Tom Petty. His band is very talented with theadditions of mandolin and harmonica on certain songs, giving him his own unique sound.Very sensitive and meaningful lyrics were the highlight in tunes like "My Best FriendThe Blues", "Let the Wind Blow Your Troubles Away", and "CopperheadRoad", the only one I had heard before that night. Starting off with littlediscussion, later in the show, Steve opened up to the crowd with comments about ex-wivesand ex-drummers, giving a bit of advice here and there ("In affairs of the heart,trust no one") and yelling back at the folks in the audience that were requesting thestandard "Freebird". This was a very good show, no hype, all music, and someinsight into this tough yet sensitive man. It was the perfect comedown after my week ofpower pop/punk acts at SXSW.

On That Note, I'm outta here......


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