Freedy Johnston Setlist
Kevin Bowe Setlist
Prior to the Dakota Jazz Club show, Johnston was at the Minneapolis Uptown Goorin Brothers hat store, for an in-store signing and acoustic set. Why a hat store, you may ask? Apparently the Goorin Bros made a very limited run of "Freedy Johnston" hats ... which Johnston said was "the highest honor I've ever been given."
The first half of Bowe's set were harmonica-heavy, because he said "let's get all the harmonica songs out of the way."
New song "Whatever Help You Sleep at Night" was written on his way to or from Rochester recently and was only placed once a few weeks ago.
Favorite song on the set was the finale, "No Riders", a song that Bowe wrote for Shannon Curfman's debut album Loud Guitars, Big Suspicions (Arista Records) and later recorded his version of the song on the 2001 album Love Songs and Murder Ballads.
Freedy Johnston said that Minneapolis always had a special place in his heart, because his very first road gig ever was playing the Uptown in 1991. Wearing his proud Goorin Brothers, Johnston stated that he loved hats as a bald American.
The 2 hours and 15 minute set (yes, over two hours) had a misstep with the start of "Tearing Down This Place". As soon as Johnston looked down at the acoustic microphone and realized, "It's not a wireless microphone at all!", he stopped mid-way in the song. After plugging the mic in, Johnston restarted the song with no problems (well, that is until much later in the set, when there were problems that presented itself).
Johnston's affectingly requested a beer from his waitress/girlfriend on crutches. She would later say that a few weeks ago, she couldn't do anything at all, so she was more than happy to go fetch beer and walk around.
Like any singer/songwriter, Johnston had stories for every song he's ever written. If you look at the song lyrics, they actually tell themselves, but sometime tidbits like "Trego, Wisconsin" (a gas station stop that Johnston was accidentally left at for 90 minutes) had nothing to do with any songs... but should be written!
The show had some problems, during "TV in My Arms" there was feedback/sound problems. Johnston said it was his 9-volt battery from his guitar, the sound engineer thought it was the mic wire.
Half-way into Johnston's set, he was joined by opener Kevin Bowe on electric guitar to help play some songs and do backup vocals. The Bowe-set had some well-known songs, including "The Lucky One" and "Bad Reputation".
The third part of Johnston's set was basically a free-for-all, if that was the intention. Fans just started to shout out songs they wanted to hear and Johnston had no issue in playing them, so for a block of "Western Sky", "The Mortician's Daughter" and "We Will Shine" were played.
Johnston's girlfriend shouted out "I Can Hear The Laughs", but that was played earlier. "Where was I???" she asked (probably getting a beer for Johnston.) Instead, she asked for "Seventies Girl", which Johnston was happy to obliged. Not all requests were played, of course, some songs he's forgotten and for covers (Prince's "Little Red Corvette"), which Johnston regrettably said, "I wish I could play that."
I'll be honest, this was one of the longest show I've ever seen (the record holder is still for Badly Drawn Boy's 3 hour show and Paul McCartney's 2hr 45min show). I guess more bang for the dollar, however for the casual fans the two plus hour show may be little discouraging. Still, if you have a favorite Freedy Johnston song, just go to his show and shout it out- he will play it.
Freedy Johnston's latest album Neon Repairman is available now. Johnston is on tour now.
05/14 - Kansas City, MO Davey's Uptown
05/28 - New York, NY Rockwood Music Hall
06/25 - New York, NY Rockwood Music Hall
07/30 - New York, NY Rockwood Music Hall
08/12 - Seattle, WATractor Tavern
08/14 - San Francisco, CA Brick & Mortar
08/15 - Santa Barbara, CA Lobero Theatre
08/27 - New York, NY Rockwood Music Hall
09/09 - Sellersville, PA Sellersville Theater
09/11 - Newton, NJ Newton Theatre
09/12 - Beacon, NY The Towne Crier
Freedy Johnston (with Kevin Bowe) at Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant, Minneapolis (12 May 2015)