Robert Cray Completes A Perfect Night At The MN Zoo


Wednesday night was a perfect night for an outdoor concert and the venue was perfect – the Weesner Family Amphitheater. Add Robert Cray and you can’t ask for a better night. This concert was the last night for the 2019 Music in the Zoo series. I wasn’t able to make it to as many concerts in the Zoo this year as I would have liked, but this beautiful night had me looking forward to the 2020 series.

I arrived early at the Zoo and I couldn’t believe how nice the weather was. Blue skies, a light breeze, low 70’s, it was a Midwest weather dream come true for me. People were arriving early and there were lines for food, drinks and the entrance to the amphitheater.

The opener was Paul Metsa and Sonny Earl. Paul talked about how Sue McClean was a friend of his and how she helped him start his musical career. He also talked about how he had opened for Robert Cray several times in the past and what a great talent and person he was. Metsa played guitar and sang with Earl also singing and playing various harmonicas, which were on a belt around his waist. I love harmonica music, so I really liked the duo. They made for a fantastic start.

Robert Cray and his band walked onto a dark stage to a standing, cheering crowd that cheered even louder when the lights came up. Cray is a great guitar player and singer. Despite being in his mid 60’s he still has great range and sounds as good as ever. His songs are bluesy, but not always in a classical blues way. The crowd rose and cheered after each song, including many shout outs to Cray. A couple of people asked me if I had seen Cray in concert before and remarked how many times they have seen him. They said I was in for a treat and they were right.

After the concert was over, the crowd continued to cheer and lingered after the crew started tearing down. It was such a perfect night, with such great music, they didn’t want the night to end. I think a lot of the audience was thinking ahead to the 2020 lineup and more great nights like this one.