Monday, June 20, 2022

Music: America W/ Matt Whipkey At The Holland Center

On Saturday the Wife and I went downtown to the Holland center to see another 50th anniversary concert which would be kind of depressing if the music wasn't so good.

The concert warmed up with a local singer, Matt Whipkey.  He came out with only a keyboardist to support his guitar and harmonica.  His stuff was ok.  Not great but not bad either.  His songs were written based on his life, friends, and family.

He was in good humor and commented that this was his first time in the larger Holland Center venue.  I could tell he felt more comfortable on smaller stages.

America took the stage and after a few songs I realized there was a lot of America's library that I'd never heard of.  My experience was with their greatest hit album, which I liked very much, but there is so much more.  Having said this, when they performed their greatest hits they really came alive on stage.  They played every song I was hoping to hear.  When they played "Ventura Highway" the screen above the stage showed scenes along the namesake highway and the Wife and I were smiling as we recognized many of the scenes from our ol' stomping grounds.

America performing "Sister Golden Hair".
One of the songs, "I Need You", was a song I played after the death of my brother.  For decades I couldn't play that song.  I avoided it.  It wasn't until I was on the Appalachian Trail, in some small hotel without air conditioning on a hot summer's day, that I listened to it again (it was an accident ... I guess Spotify decided it was time).  Time had smoothed out the hurt.  It no longer made me sad.  America playing this song on Saturday brought back some feels but they were all good.

This was their, slightly delayed, fiftieth anniversary tour and they sound just as good as they did back then.  A few photos I took can be found in my 2022-06-18 America w/ Matt Whipkey, Holland Center, Omaha, NE Google Photos album.

P.S. Both Matt Whipkey and America covered Beatles songs to honor Sir Paul McCartney's eightieth birthday.  We saw Sir Paul back in July 2017.  He was seventy-five at the time and performed non-stop.  It was amazing.

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