The Return of Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne - John Hiatt

Poplar Creek - Hoffman Estates

August 10, 1994

First Appeared in The Music Box, September / October 1994, Volume 1, #4

Written by John Metzger


On August 10, Jackson Browne returned to the Chicago area for an encore performance at Poplar Creek in support of his latest effort I'm Alive. Browne was much looser this time around than at his Spring tour show at the Vic Theater, and at times, he jovially joked with the crowd, honoring a request for Freebird by singing a few lines before diving into a beautiful version of Your Bright Baby Blues.

Unfortunately, Browne seemed bored with some of his older material like Running on Empty, For Everyman, The Pretender, and Doctor My Eyes. He sounded best and seemed much more inspired on his newer material like the reggae style Everywhere I Go and a revamped rendition of World in Motion, which, these days, carries a more blues-oriented ambience. Too Many Angels, a song from I'm Alive, featured some excellent Spanish-style guitar licks over a South African drum beat. An emotionally charged Sky Blue and Black, also from the new album, made a surprisingly late appearance in the show. Throughout the evening. Browne's voice sounded incredible strong, and it's amazing to hear someone actually be able to sing as well live as they do in the studio.

Opening the show was John Hiatt, but he delivered a very bland set of bare-bones rock 'n' roll. Browne seemed appreciative to be able to share the stage with him, but it was a truly dull and unentertaining performance.

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Copyright 1994 The Music Box