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reports and thoughts on legal issues, music, Orthodox Christianity and/or whatever else strikes my interest

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Location: Houston, Texas, United States

My name is David Stone. I live in Houston, Texas. I am a 30-something single white male. I am an Orthodox Christian and am a member of an English-language parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR).

Monday, March 13, 2006


Two weeks ago I went to see the Alison Krauss and Union Station concert at the Verizon Theater. I've been meaning to post a review of the concert but am just now getting around to it.

First, the concert was sold out. That's pretty good for a bluegrass artist that is playing at a venue that often hosts big name rock acts. Fortunately I had bought a ticket in advance. I was amazed when I walked up to the hall and saw a huge line almost to the street. I've been to a few rock concerts at Verizon before and this was without doubt the longest line to get in that I had ever seen. By the time the show started I could only count a handful of empty seats.

Speaking of seats I used to think that there was not a bad seat at all in the Verizon Theater. It has always been one of my favorite concert venues in Houston. It still is but I did discover that there are indeed some bad seats there since I unwittingly bought a ticket for one. This seat was in a horrible location and had an obstructed view on top of that. I was worried that since the concert was a sell-out that I was just going to be stuck. I was actually getting pretty upset over the whole thing. Fortunately though just as the concert started I was able to move up to an open balcony seat that had a pretty decent view.

Overall I thought the concert was very good. I had never seen Alison Krauss before so I do not have anything to compare it with. This concert featured the full band including Jerry Douglas, the "world's greatest dobro player" and Dan Tyminski who is best known for his rendition of Man of Constant Sorrow from the film O Brother Where Art Thou.

Musically I was very impressed. I thought Alison Krauss sounded as good in live performance as she does on her well produced cds. The playing and singing of the rest of the band was also top notch. The concert featured the band together on several numbers as well as featuring the individual members of the group. Both Jerry Douglas and Dan Tyminski stood out in excellent performances. Jerry Douglas does indeed seem to stand up to the billing as "world's greatest dobro player".

Mostly though I enjoyed the songs featuring the whole group and the expert harmony singing of the guys behind Alison's voice. They made it all seem so effortless.

They performed a lot of their classic songs and most of the material from their new cd Lonely Runs Both Ways. A recording that I can highly recommend is the live concert set that gives a pretty good indication of what you can expect at one of their shows.

For an encore the group closed with a short gospel set of two songs: Down in the River to Pray and A Living Prayer written by band member Ron Block (Ron's website looks very interesting...obviously he is a very thoughtful Christian...check out his comments on A Living Prayer. This was undoubtedly the highlight of the entire concert. The group performed these two songs a cappella and the audience was completely spellbound. Alison absolutely unleashed the full expressive range of her voice on A Living Prayer. I have seldom heard singing that was so heartfelt and intense. I felt like I was pinned back in my seat by the sheer emotional power of her voice. It was a great way to end the show.

My only complaint was that the concert was over all too soon.

As an added bonus though I got to meet Dan Tyminski out by the tour buses after the show. He seemed like a really nice guy. I always appreciate the performers that take the time to visit with the audience after the show.


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