Last Friday in the late afternoon, I headed up north to St. Paul to see Vince Gill live in concert. On the way up, I listened to 90's dance music and was in a good mood. The sun began to set as I approached the Twin Cities. Vince was playing at the College of Saint Catherine's in the capital city.
It was a typical fall evening as I drove through the streets of the 2nd biggest city in Minnesota (the wind was blowing leaves across the road, the temperature was in the 40's). I found the venue and parked my car. It was just under an hour from showtime. There were quite a few people as I walked to the O'Shaugnessy, mostly people in their 40s and 50s though there were some younger folks, even some pre-pubescent ones.
Entering the building, there was a dude selling Gill T-shirts and keychains and such. T-shirts were $25. Needless to say, I passed on those (Who's gonna wear a T-shirt this time of year, anyway?) I had actually printed our tickets out at home which was pretty cool. I headed for the balcony to find my seat. My seat was about 9 rows up into the balcony, on the aisle. Quite a few people at the show were wearing cowboy boots. This is common for country shows. The place started filling up. Shortly before showtime, I headed downstairs to hit the head and get some water. There was an announcement at 7:55pm that the show would be starting in 5 minutes and, indeed, the show did begin at 8. It would compose of 4 distinct segments corresponding to the 4 CD box set he had released a little over a week prior.
Mr. Gill came out to much applause. The seats were pretty decent, but I had brought binoculars as well. Thanks to them, I was able to see everything on stage up close. The first song he sang was "One More Last Chance". There were about 15 people on stage (VG, 2 backup singers, 3 guitar players, pedal steel boy, a horn section, piano player, keyboard player, drums, and even someone on the bongos! Take that, Matt McConaughey!) Next was "Don't Let Our Love Start Slipppin' Away". The horn section really jazzed these familiar songs up. The place was almost completely full except for a few rows in the upper nosebleed section of the balcony.
After the first few songs, Vince launched into some of the new stuff from his Country & Western record (He noted that he hates to say that he has a new CD out. He prefers to call them records). Before each song, he would usually tell a little story about how a particular song came to be. He did an impression of John Anderson whom he had done a duet with on the song, "Take This Country Back".
After about 45 minutes of traditional country, the big guy moved on the next part of his show, ballads from his Groovy record. In this portion, he performed his new single, "The Reason Why" as well as a real jazzy number that he had recorded with Diana Krall called, "Faint of Heart". He said he wrote the track, "These Days" for his wife, Amy Grant. He made many references to Amy throughout the show. The crowd seemed to enjoy this. He said Amy is basically the kindest person he has ever known.
He also mentioned their five-year old daughter, Corinna (Vince performed a song written for her, "Sweet Little Corinna"). At about 9:30, Vince said that he would be back to perform some more after an intermission.