Jackson Browne and James Taylor Warms the Xcel Energy Center


Monday evening, two Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artists Jackson Browne and James Taylor played a memorable concert for the 10,000 + fans at the Xcel Energy Arena in St Paul!  The audience was mellow and were looking forward to sitting back and listening to Jackson Browne kicking off the show.  The lights dimmed and he started the set with the classic “Somebody’s Baby”.  Browne followed the opening song with “Barricades of Heaven” and “Long Way Around”.  It was clear that Jackson Browne still has a strong voice that has made him famous since the 70’s.

The concert was laid back and one could see that Browne truly enjoyed being on the stage to play music for his fans.  He thanked everyone for coming to the concert after the long Covid delay and was happy to be playing music again!  He also connected with the crowd by announcing his mother was originally from St. Paul!

After playing his big hit “Pretender”, James Taylor came on stage to join Jackson Browne with the final set song “Running on Empty”.  It was great to see them sing in harmony before intermission of the concert.

James Taylor made his way out on the stage after the short intermission and opened with “Country Road”, “Copperline”, and “That’s why I’m Here”.  James was his usual self – connecting with the crowd with dry humor one liners and stories detailing the background to the songs.  One song, he was handed a bright blue electric guitar and with a twinkle in his eye stated this was a new technology guitar, different from the steam and gas-powered guitars!  After jamming and presenting a lot of emotion on the stage through the blues song “Steamroller”, he laid the electric guitar on the floor and acted as if it had changed him – suggesting it was much more than a horse drawn guitar! 

Many attending the concert made positive comments regarding the lighting for the concert that enhanced the atmosphere.  Adding to the video backdrop screen where teardrop lights over the stage which moved up & down – giving the vision of rolling waves of lights.  James emphasized the backdrop video screen when playing a song from his new album “Easy as Rollin’ Off a Log” that played a vintage ‘Merry Melodies’ cartoon synchronized to the song.  He mentioned that he worked hard on the new album, which lasted several years and at release time, Covid hit and was as if he dropped the baby down a well!

James finished off the set with “Sweet Baby James”, “Fire and Rain” and “Carolina in my Mind”.  The crowd stood on its feet, raised up their phone flashlights, and all joined in singing “Shower the People”.   He closed out the concert with Jackson Browne joining him back on stage with songs “Take it Easy” and “You’ve Got a Friend”.  After the final bow to the crowd, he talked to his son Henry, and they ‘squeezed’ out one final father/son duet “You Can Close Your Eyes” which closed out the concert. 

The Xcel Energy Arena is a large venue for a concert, but the performers made it feel as if you were lounging in your living room listening to LP’s playing through your home stereo.  If you missed the show, you could catch them at future tour stops including Green Bay, Milwaukee, St Louis and Kansas City!