Glen Campbell & Instant People – Music Hall – 22/11/11
This is another gig I’d looked forward to for a while, a rare chance to see the legend that is Glen Campbell on this, The Final Farewell Tour with two sold out nights at the Music Hall in Aberdeen. I’m sure many of you who are reading this know that Glen now has Alzheimer’s disease and it affects his performances on stage but I’d looked forward to it like any other gig, possibly more so in fact.
First up though we have his backing band, or should I say support band on the night under the name of Instant People featuring three of his family. They have an easy listening yet musically sublime sound and maybe one day his son Shannon or daughter Ashley will step up and become another singer known world-wide with the surname of Campbell. For what its worth I felt it was great that his wife and children were with him on the final lap of the concert halls of the UK.
When Glen Campbell stepped onto the stage you could feel the atmosphere in the Music Hall and you knew it was going to be a special evening. Starting off with Gentile on my Mind and the legendary Galveston gets the audience into the swing of things. He seems relaxed and acknowledges the audience with that warm and friendly smile of his. Everyday Housewife, By the Time I Get to Phoenix and Lovesick Blues take us up to Duelin’ Banjos where he duels with his daughter Ashley. Glen then takes a short break while Ashley and son Shannon entertain us with a rendition of Hey Little One. You cant help but wonder about all the jamming sessions that must have taken place in the Campbell household over the years.
When Glen returns to the stage we get three songs from his latest (and possibly last) album starting with the self titled Ghost on the Canvas, Its Your Amazing Grace and Any Trouble. These are kinda sad songs but its a tribute to GC that he can say goodbye to his fans in song but also recognises the support and love he has had from his family of late. It’s an emotional moment for some of the people sitting around me. During the second half of this performance Glen has to rely more and more on the on stage monitors to help him with the words which is also sad to see but it takes a strong person to do that in front of hundreds of people. I’m sure it wasn’t absolutely perfect but his guitar playing throughout is just superb, launching into a number of solos with his concentrated look hypnotising the audience.
Indeed, for the next song his 12 string guitar is brought out as Southern Nights takes us into another nice moment as TJ (his long time keyboard player) and Glen treat the Music Hall to Moons a Harsh Mistress. We’re now getting close to the end and the big guns Wichita Lineman and the song he has played live most of all, Rhinestone Cowboy finish the main set as Glen leaves to a standing ovation.
The two song encore again came from his latest album and In my Arms and A Better Place are the two songs that end this truly unforgettable event. I’m sure it was a good as anyone could have expected it to be. For the few people who thought it was a shame that he did such a tour in his condition, well I thought it was just perfect that a real music man could say goodbye to his fans on stage playing his guitar and singing his own songs with so many messages in them and surrounded by his family.
Words and pics by Still Burning.
Words and pics by Still Burning.
Glen Campbell Website
Instant People Website
A recent interview with Glen Campbell in The Guardian
Gentle on my Mind, Galveston, Kindness, Its Only Make Believe, Playground Susie, Everyday Housewife, By the Time I Get to Phoenix, Lovesick Blues, Duelin Banjos, Hey Little One, Ghost on the Canvas, It’s Your Amazing Grace, Any Trouble, Southern Nights, Moons a Harsh Mistress, Wichita Lineman, Rhinestone Cowboy. Encore: In My Arms & A Better Place.