High heels slide out a long black limousine as the neon glowing from the marquee shines down a path into the entrance of the Orpheum theater this Friday evening. A quick glance past the beautiful people of Los Angeles reveals Jack Johnson’s concert is sold out. The intimate 2,000 seat venue filled up with anticipation of hearing songs of older days and new, soon to be classics, off of newly released “From Here To Now To You”. Johnson’s new release has been his fourth number one album on Billboard charts, which considering he has only released five to date, is a major accomplishment.
It seems that Jack Johnson has the Midas touch and he likes to share that good fortune with his family and friends. While enjoying the view from the pit, just before the show began, I met a kindly lady photographer. After speaking awhile about nature photography, this sweet lady mentioned how she was shooting three shows of Johnson’s. Wondering if she was a super fan, it turned out it was Johnson’s Step Mother. Some of her images are used for his promotional materials. Talent lies in every aspect of the Johnson realm.
The murmured anticipation of the crowd settled as Johnson took stage with his acoustic guitar, solo for the first three songs. His charms and gentle, genuine nature radiated throughout the evening. “I’m glad all the good people are in the first few rows” jokingly said to the audience while acknowledging that many of his friends and family were at this show. “Not that the rest of you aren’t good too” he coyly added so that everyone felt included in his acknowledgements.
Happy fans didn’t notice much beyond music as they were bouncing in their stilettos and flip flops to old classics like “Bubble Toes” which incorporated the chorus from Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker”, and “Sitting, Waiting, Wishing” with another insert of The Cars “Just What I Needed”. Johnson entertained everyone with a rendition of his former outgoing voicemail recording and a “Get out of the dog house song” he wrote for his woman “That’s all right (3 times)/I’ll see you in the morning if that’s alright”/What would you do if I wrote you this song/Would you give me some lovin/When I get home/Or would you get mad at me/If I have a hard time getting a hold of you/Baby I try all the time/Oh, Baby/You don’t know anybody that could be so bad/If you did you’d be wondering where I’m at/I’ll be home when tomorrow morning comes”.
Wishing tomorrow would not come and the set would go on forever, that just wasn’t the case as Johnson played an early set from eight-thirty to ten-thirty. After a few new tunes off the new album, the night seemed to be over faster that Johnson could take off his flip flop. During the encore, Johnson surprised fans with an appearance by Hawaiian singer Paula Fuga, to perform on several songs, including "Turn Your Love" and "Better Together." The beautiful, hopeful, song with a message "Country Road" ended with the duo whistling away into the night.
As the wine and beer soaked crowd filed out into the night with their shoes sticking to the floor, one thing was certain, a good time was had by all. Once again, Jack Johnson has the Midas touch.
Do You Remember
As I Was Saying
Bubble Toes/The Joker
At or With Me/Crosstown Traffic
If I Had Eyes
Don't Believe a Thing I Say (with Bahamas)
Breakdown (with Bahamas)
Shot Reverse Shot
Sitting, Waiting, Wishing/Just What I Needed
Staple It Together
I Got You
Country Road (with Paula Fuga)
Turn Your Love (with Paula Fuga)
Better Together (with Paula Fuga)
Home (with Paula Fuga and Bahamas)