JT, Skunk, and Rosewood

[l1]M[/l1]usically, it was the best weekend of my life.

Months ago, before moving from San Diego to the Sacramento area, we’d bought tickets to see James Taylor at Coors Amphitheatre. I’d never been there, but had heard consistent good reports about the venue, and I was excited about seeing a lifelong favorite perform there. The next day was going to be spent at the Museum of Making Music in San Diego’s north county, with the evening after free for general San Diego-specific sightseeing.

James Taylor Live in San Diego

Coors is a wonderful venue—the open starry sky above, miles from the real city; the comfortable, almost pastoral surroundings seemed to have a calming effect on the crowd. People seemed cheerful, relaxed, friendly; characteristics you won’t always find in a concert crowd in San Diego.

James Taylor's 'October Road'I won’t attempt to describe the evening musically. If you’ve heard James Taylor all your life, as I have, you have your favorites, you’ve heard his popular tunes, you know what was played. It was, essentially, greatest hits plus “October Road“; not a bad mix.

What I will describe is the emotional impact of seeing a performer whose music and lyrics have become a part of your psyche.

The traffic was bad, as expected, but we were on vacation and not in a hurry, so we arrived a bit late. Walking in from the parking lot, we heard the crowd’s opening cheer, and a track from “October Road.” It’s a long walk, so as we finally got close to our seats, James started “James Taylor's eponymous debutSomething in the Way She Moves.” We both stopped dead in our tracks and turned to smile at each other. It’s become a special song around here, and having him start it just as we walked in was amazing.

Taylor knows what an audience wants: the old stuff. He mentioned more than once that he was going to play ‘the old stuff’, then smiled wryly as the audience went wild. He threatened, though, to play ‘some new stuff’ too, and included nearly every track from “October RoaO

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