I first saw him in concert in 2000, and again in 2003 for a Christmas show. He rolled through town last weekend promoting his new album, “Every Man Should Know.” Lucky us!
If I remember correctly, he didn’t play that long in his other shows. Ninety minutes maybe? This time he played for over two hours with no break. He always puts on a great show, but this one was extra good. After singing a couple songs he began his audience banter and said we were the best crowd he’s had so far. (Yeah, they say that to all the crowds.) He then compared a concert to a date. “You know when you’re on a date and it just clicks? The person sitting across from you is really hot and you know it’s going to be a great date. You’re my hot date tonight.”
He had a show in Nashville the night before but had to cancel due to a technical issue with the stage. It was an outdoor theater. He said they never cancel shows and he felt sick about it but wanted to be safe so felt it was best to cancel. He then stressed that he is a stickler for being on time. When the clock hits 7:30 he is ready to go. He hates to be late. Unlike other performers you hear about lately who are 30 minutes or more late in coming out. He said he knows how much the tickets are and that we work hard for our money (most of us) and he wants to give us the best show he can. And he did.
He sang, he danced (man, can he move), he talked and told funny stories about his grandmother calling him a jackass when he was a boy. He brought his oldest daughter Georgia out on stage. (“My Georgia peach!”) He has a great interaction with his band and a few of them had solo parts. Lucien Barbarin plays trombone and Jonathan DuBose, Jr. plays the “gospel guitar.” Jonathan started playing and wow, was he good. Then he played “The Old Rugged Cross.” A woman in the front kept raising her arm up like she was in church. Check out this YouTube performance from earlier this year.
A bit of trivia – Harry’s stage production crew is local - Jonas Productions. And it just so happens that one of my friends is a relative of the head Jonas. Back in 2003 I was lucky enough to meet Harry and get a picture with him. It’s a little blurry (I didn’t have a digital camera back then) but still good. When I met him I said, “I am literally your biggest fan.” He didn’t really say anything back. Oh well.
Music has a way of inspiring me, especially at a live concert. I start thinking of things I want to do, places I want to go. Before Harry played his “When Harry Met Sally” medley he said that Liza Minnelli once told Georgia about the importance of luck. You practice and prepare yourself for when luck comes calling. That movie was his luck. I’ve had plenty of luck in my days and feel that I have more yet to come. Although I like to think of it as being blessed and being ready when God puts something in my path.
Thanks for a great show Harry!