4/26/12…Al Green @ ACL Live

ACL Live

ACL Live

The day had finally arrived for me to see a legend on stage.  Al Green is the sort of icon that you sit back and enjoy in the privacy of your home and long to have been around  when he was in his prime, spreading his beautiful soul music to the world.  The fact that he decided to head out to do some live shows this year was one of the best treats I could have given myself…so I did.  I bought myself a ticket and waited for the day to come.

Al Green

I was bursting at the seams all day, just counting down the hours to his show.  I was even more excited that it was going down at ACL Live’s Moody Theater.  Since I had already experienced a wonderful show there some months ago, I knew the Reverend would shine on their stage.  I was unaware that he had an opening act, so when they introduced Dan Dyer at 8 o’clock, I was a little surprised.  Turns out, Dan is a local artist and he’s damn good.  For such a short set, with only his keyboards and guitar in tow, the man blew a ton of soul into the audience.  Man, does he have some strong & emotional vocals to share.  He really sounded great.  And later, I got to tell him so.  I’ll come back to that.  Dan only played a 30 minute set and then it was time to set the stage for the main guy.  The Reverend Al Green.  In between sets, I met up with a former classmate of mine who was also at the show.  We chatted a bit and took some photos before it was time for Al Action.

Laura, Sharon, & I at Al Green 4/26/12

Laura, Sharon, & I at Al Green 4/26/12

His band and back-up singers were the first up on stage.  He started off with 13 players…a horn section of 3 (trumpet, trombone, and sax), a keyboardist, a guitarist, a bassist, a percussionist, a drummer, 4 back-up singers, and what looked to be a DJ, but to be honest I really don’t know what this guy was doing up there.  lol  Once everyone was on stage, the band started playing, and then along came THE MAN…Al Green.  He strolled up onto the stage and the crowd went bananas.  He waved to the audience and walked over to his bucket of roses and started handing ‘em out to “tha ladiesssss”.  Ever the ladies man, even at 66.     The entire show was completely old-school Al.  He stuck to his main hits, including major covers he did back in the day like “Oh, Pretty Woman”, & “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?”.  I have to say that when he hit his first high note, the audience was on their feet going CRAZY!!!!!  The fact that he can still get up there just blows me away.  I was giggling with delight.  It was AWESOME!!  Al put on a show.  He was dancing, and kidding around with the audience, and he continued to pass out roses throughout the show until that bucket was empty!!  He was so hilarious when he refused to give a rose out to just any woman who ran up to the stage.  He said, “I’m giving this to someone who deserves it”, as he proceeded to flip it out to someone further in the back.  Gotta love it.  He’s still making ‘em work for it.  About midway thru the show, a dancer came up on stage and Al took one look at him and said, “What are you doing here, boy?”  I laughed out loud!!  Hilarious!!  He actually ended up with two male dancers on the stage with him.  That was probably the oddest addition to the show.  I thought they were ok, but really unnecessary.  One of the funniest moments of the evening was when Al decided that one woman was not only worthy of a rose, but also a kiss.  He actually knelt down and leaned over to give a kiss to one very lucky lady.  As soon as the other women in the audience saw THAT, they all kinda rushed the stage.  To no avail.  He did not give out any more kisses.  I thought for sure at that moment, I would see some panties flying up there.  But no, that didn’t happen.   The only other thing he threw to the audience was the handkerchief he used to mop his sweaty brow.  Oh yeah!  Towards the end of the show, Al dropped a strange little medley of songs honoring some of the late greats, like Otis Redding.  He only performed snippets of each song and would dramatically cut them off before starting a new one.  It was cool, but also kinda weird.  As great of a show as it was, it was TOO SHORT!!  After one hour, on the final notes of “Love & Happiness”, the Reverend left the stage with his band members following him off shortly after.  And that was it.  No encore.  No nothing.  Just 60 minutes of Al and then he was gone.  Poof!  One of the greatest things the venue did to keep the party going was set up a DJ on the terrace outside.  As you left the building, you ran directly into this set-up and this guy was blowin’ up the old-school tunes.  It made me stop and hang out for almost an hour longer.  And I wasn’t the only one.  The crowd was up & dancing.  It was fantastic.  I wish I could’ve stayed longer.  Everyone was having a blast and it almost made me forget that Al had put on such a short show.  Very smart on the venue’s part.  Big props to the Eleventh Hour Lounge.  Oh, and before I forget, it was during this dance party that Dan Dyer walked by me in the crowd, and I stopped him and told him, “Great show, man!” And he shyly thanked me and shook my hand.  Somehow I always seem to run into the artists that I’ve just seen perform.  Why didn’t Al come by????  Maybe next time…

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