Jackson Browne at the Paramount, 11/15/12

Categories: Concert Reviews

Eric Gruneisen
Jackson Browne last night at the Paramount Theatre.

While the crowd was reverent for the first four or five songs, the fever pitch ramped up to another level at the first strains of "The Pretender." The tune from the 1976 album of the same name seemed to set a more intense tone for the rest of the night -- every song after earned standing ovations from at least a small part of the crowd. Even a momentary break from Browne's catalogue for a performance of Val McCullum's original tune "Tokyo Girl" brought hoots and hollers from the audience. Browne's understated rendition of "These Days" had a similar effect.

Britt Chester
Jackson Browne last night at the Paramount Theatre.

The band's chemistry seemed to ramp up as the audience kept rising to their feet. Older songs like "The Late Show" and "I'll Do Anything" earned a sing-along chorus. A trio of backup vocals from the Watkins and McCullum at the line "I can hear the angels sing" offered a standout moment from the performance of "I'll Do Anything," which was a highlight of the evening.

By the time the band broke into an explosive version of "Running On Empty" to end the main set, no one in the front of the house bothered to sit down again. Two encores followed, short sets that included "Take It Easy," a song Browne co-wrote with Glenn Frey of the Eagles, as well as another audience request granted by Browne in the form of a piano performance of "Rock Me On the Water." A lengthy version of "Before the Deluge" served as the entire second encore, and the lines "Now let the music keep our spirits high/And let the buildings keep our children dry/Let creation reveal its secrets by and by" felt like a closing benediction of sorts.

Eric Gruneisen
Jackson Browne last night at the Paramount Theatre.

But even those final words kept an air of spontaneity. Like the rest of the show, Browne managed to say farewell to the crowd with a casual ease, a light touch that made the lofty halls of the Paramount Theatre feel more like a backyard jam session.


Personal Bias: Hearing radio favorites like "The Pretender" and "Running On Empty" in all their live glory was pretty damn amazing.

Random Note: Browne explained the justification for having fifteen guitars on stage before breaking into "In the Shape of a Heart." "Various songs live in these guitars," he said, referring to the instruments' different tunings. "(They're) not solely to strike envy into the hearts of guitar aficionados."

By The Way: Sara Watkins' vocal prowess and skill on the fiddle is jaw-dropping. It's a talent the Nickel Creek alum showed in a powerful opening set, a performance that included an original tune by Sean Watkins and a range of stylistic approaches from Sara.

Jackson Browne-6.jpg
Eric Gruneisen


Jackson Browne
Paramount Theatre - 11/15/12
Denver, CO

1. "Black and White"
2. "I'm Alive"
3. "Call It a Loan"
4. "Farther On"
5. "The Naked Ride Home"
6. "Looking East"
7. "Live Nude Cabaret"
8. "Sleep's Dark and Silent Gate"
9. "The Pretender"
10. "A Child in These Hills"
11. "Tokyo Girl"
12. "These Days"
13. "In the Shape of a Heart"
14. "The Late Show"
15. "I'll Do Anything"
16. "Running on Empty"


17. "Take It Easy"
18. "For a Dancer"
19. "Rock Me On the Water"

Second Encore
20. "Before the Deluge"

Location Info


The Paramount Theatre

1621 Glenarm Place, Denver, CO

Category: Music

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it sounds like a great concert, I wish I could have been there.  I have seen Jackson in person more times than I can count, going well back into the seventies.  However, I must to correct the reviewer on one point that he certainly should have known:  These Days is not a Nico song, although her (weak) version was on the soundtrack of a long-forgotten movie.  Jackson famously wrote the song when he was sixteen, and Tom Rush recorded it before Jackson did.

dave.herrera moderator editor

 @eneel1 Amended. Thanks for keeping us straight -- and even more for reading Backbeat!

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