Shows I'll Never Forget: Norah Jones, June 29, 2003

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In Boston

OK, lemme get this part out of the way: I was really, really excited to see the name “Gillian Welch” on the FleetBoston Pavilion marquee.

Apparently, lots of folks didn’t share in my excitement … ’cause about 75 percent of those in attendance kept up a constant drone of blabbing during the performance by Welch and Rawlings. Rawlings even asked the crowd for just a little bit of quiet … joking about needing it for just one song. He got it for about fifteen seconds, then the buzzing returned.

Idiots.

Anyway … I was a little worried that this would continue into Norah Jones’ set, ruining the entire night. Luckily, the full-band Norah Jones experience was just loud enough to drown out the concert-as-social-event crowd (which drew from a surprisingly wide set of age groups: from pre-teens all the way up to those in their 50s).

Norah and her very talented band started off with Hank Williams’ “Cold Cold Heart.” I had wondered how this material would sound live … and was happy to discover that her band put a nice twist on everything. Tunes became a little more bluesy, a little more country, a little more jazzy. Nice. The bulk of the material came from Come Away With Me with the addition of several new songs and some nice covers.

What surprised me the most was how unaffected and genuine Norah seemed considering her “insta-fame.” She handled crowd “requests” and “we love you’s” with grace and humor — and my wife had to admit that, yes dammit, she’s kinda cute.

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Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Mark Saleski
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