The University’s Pollak Theatre was home to singer, songwriter and guitarist Roger McGuinn, Friday, April 19. The lights dimmed and the crowd that filled the lower section of the theatre.
The crowd disappeared as McGuinn walked on stage. He was accompanied by his acoustic guitar, two electric guitars and a banjo. McGuinn’s stage was accented by a few trees that had the audience in a musical trance for the two hour period.
The crowd received their money’s worth as McGuinn paired his musical talent with his comedic talent. One of his comedic stories came when McGuinn stopped the show to share his thoughts on why the banjo is hated so much in the family of musical instruments. “The banjo gets a bad rap sometimes,” McGuinn stated.
He also gave the audience a few jokes he had heard about the banjo. “What’s the difference between an onion and a banjo?…No one wants to cry when you peel an onion.” That received a few laughs and also a few jeers from the audience, but McGuinn took it in stride.
All of McGuinn’s songs came with an interesting story behind them. “I was looking out the window of my house and I wondered ‘What if I was just taken from my window?’” McGuinn was talking about his song “Outer Space,” which was the second song that he played during that night.
Following that song, McGuinn played his ever-popular love song entitled “You Ain’t Going Nowhere.” The crowd clapped and sang along as McGuinn effortlessly played his acoustic guitar. McGuinn entertained the audience as he spoke on his experience with Bob Dylan and that song.
McGuinn told the audience, “I got the words wrong on the album. It’s supposed to be ‘pack on your money and pick up your tent,’ but on the album I said ‘pick up your money and pack up your tent.’” He went on to say that Bob Dylan did his rendition of that song on his own album and showed him how it was done.
He went on to talk about getting the inspiration for his next song, “Drug Store Truck Driving Man,” from a radio DJ in Nashville Tennessee.
McGuinn said, “Couple months later, we were in a hotel room in London and we were thinking of songs to write and I said, ‘Wait a minute, remember that DJ in Nashville that wouldn’t play our record? Let’s write a song about him.’”
The audience laughed and began to sing along when McGuinn started to sing “He’s a drug store truck driving man/He’s a head of the Ku Klux Klan/When summer rolls around, he’ll be lucky if he’s not in town.”
McGuinn and his famous black cowboy hat tried to involve the audience a little more during the previously stated banjo song. The audience at Pollak Theatre tried so desperately to stay on beat as McGuinn asked for “one clap” and “two claps” at particular points in the song.
Cyrus Siganporia, junior, said, “McGuinn is different, and his musical ability has to be up at the top.” Siganporia was commenting on McGuinn and his ability to pay the 12 string guitar so fluently.
McGuinn played “St. James infirmary Blues” followed by “5D.” “I’m not checking my email,” McGuinn said when he pulled out his phone to play the Sci-Fi music clip to introduce “5D.”
“Parade of Lost Dreams” and “I Know Where I’m Goin’” rounded out the first half of the concert. McGuinn then took the audience home happy as he played his most famous songs, “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Turn Turn Turn.”
Rebecca Leiit, a student who worked at the concert stated, “Watching this performance was great. He had my attention from the first song.”
McGuinn’s performance was brilliant. The audience showed their love throughout the show and I can probably guess that they left feeling better than when they arrived.
IMAGE TAKEN from ibiblio.org