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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Glen Campbell LIVE at Pala Casino, Feb 17, 2012, Review

A few years back I bought a Glen Campbell DVD on a whim.  I've always liked Glen's music from the first time I heard "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" on my tiny transistor radio as a kid.  That DVD opened the doors for me. Forget all the drama in Glen's life, the music and his guitar playing cut through.  From his work as part of the LA session musicians crew, playing on everything from Elvis to The Beach Boys to Phil Spector records, his claim to fame is having performed on more Top 10 records than any other musician.

So Glen made my bucket list of performers I wanted to see.  Last year Glen was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease.  What should have stopped the show only spurred him on to create his final album, the superb Ghost on the Canvas, and to do one last tour.

“I don’t pay any attention to it,” Glen said in a recent interview for Fox. “It’s like when the devil comes knocking on your door. Don’t pay any attention to it.”

Opening with "Gentle on my Mind", the playing and singing were spot on.  The audience, mainly old timers who came to see him one last time, were supportive and appreciative, even when Glen occasionally lost his way and had to check the teleprompters for the lyrics.

His band featured three of his children, including his highly talented and beautiful daughter Ashley, who played the banjo and keyboards.  There was some real love and caring on the stage, especially when Glen couldn't remember the key a song was in and asked the band.  "It's in 'G'", Ashley said as she walked over to her Dad's guitar and removed the capo to put it in the right key.  "G? Gee, I like you too" was Glen's response.  Corny?  Well, maybe, but a touching moment.

Gentle on my Mind
By the Time I Get to Phoenix
You've Got to Try a Little Kindness
Where's the Playground, Susie?
Didn't We?
I Can't Stop Loving You
True Grit
Lonesome Blues
Dueling Banjos (with Ashley)
Hey Little One (Ashley and brother Shannon, while Glen took a short break offstage)
Any Trouble
It's Your Amazing Grace
Country Boy
The Moon's a Harsh Mistress (solo, with piano)
Ghosts on the Canvas
Whichita Lineman
Rhinestone Cowboy

Southern Nights
A Better Place

Thank you Glen, for all the music and joy you've brought to your fans.  It was a great show, a great night, and to quote Glen, I was happy to be there.

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