LIVE: Glen Campbell @ the Turning Stone Resort & Casino, 4/20/12

Glen Campbell @ the Turning Stone Resort & Casino, 4/20/12 (photo by Gary Goldberg)

Review by Alan Goldberg
Photographs by Gary Goldberg

Glen Campbell brought his Farewell Tour to the intimate Showroom of the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona on Friday, April 20, for a set that covered most of his hits, a cover or two, and a few songs from his most recent release.

The backing/supporting band Instant People, which includes three of Campbell’s own children, started the show with a half-hour set of Americana-tinged country. When the main attraction stepped out to rousing applause, he was quick to get down to business, opening with “Gentle On My Mind.” More crowd-pleasing numbers followed, including “Galveston,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” and “Try a Little Kindness.” Giving many nods to the man who wrote several of his ’60s hit singles, Jimmy Webb, he continued on with “Where’s the Playground Susie” and “Didn’t We.” The 75-year-old country music star appeared fit and relaxed, joking about how much his head itched or that his wife was off gambling in the casino somewhere.

An energetic version of “I Can’t Stop Loving You” seemed to get the mostly middle-aged audience swaying in their seats. Campbell’s voice was clear and strong. Yes, there were a few flubs along the way, such as when he checked with longtime keyboardist T.J. Kuenster about a line during “The Moon’s a Harsh Mistress,” but all in all, nothing that significant, really. Frankly, had I not known about his Alzheimer’s condition, I would probably have thought nothing of it. After all, here is a septuagenarian, just two days shy of his 76th birthday, on a cross-country tour and with a 50+ year career under his belt – I’d say he’s entitled.

The show got more interesting when daughter Ashley Campbell grabbed her banjo and, side-by-side with her dad on his acoustic, performed a rousing version of “Dueling Banjos.” Ol’ Glen’s guitar playing was crisp and on cue, demonstrating that he can still belt out a mean solo. There are some things you just never forget.

Then, it was time for him to take a short break. After band member introductions, the group sans Glen performed “Hey Little One,” from his 1968 album of the same title. The Rhinestone Cowboy re-emerged, as they then kicked into the Paul Westerberg-penned “Any Trouble.” Personally, I would’ve loved to have heard more from the latest and last endeavor “Ghost On the Canvas” – such as the title track and/or “A Thousand Lifetimes,” which were not played. But the warm and flowing “It’s Your Amazing Grace” made up for that somewhat.

The much anticipated smash singles “Wichita Lineman” and “Rhinestone Cowboy” closed the show. Coming back for the traditional encore, the close-knit ensemble churned out another ’70s nugget, “Southern Nights,” before calling it a night with “A Better Place,” a spiritual song about the ups and downs of life, being close to the ones you love, and what awaits you in the end. A fitting close for Mr. Campbell as he rides off into the sunset.

Glen Campbell will bring his farewell tour to The Egg in Albany at 7:30pm on Thursday, May 24. Instant People will open the show, as well as performing as Campbell’s band. Tix are $49.50 & $54.50.

Gentle On My Mind
By the Time I Get to Phoenix
Try a Little Kindness
Where’s the Playground Susie
Didn’t We
I Can’t Stop Loving You (Ray Charles)
True Grit
Lovesick Blues
Dueling Banjos
(Glen takes short break, daughter Ashley does band introductions)
Hey Little One (band only)
Any Trouble
It’s Your Amazing Grace
The Moon’s a Harsh Mistress
Country Boy (You Got Your Feet in L.A.)
Wichita Lineman
Rhinestone Cowboy
Southern Nights
A Better Place

Glen Campbell @ the Turning Stone Resort & Casino, 4/20/12 (photo by Gary Goldberg)
  1. tommy b says

    A great show, Campbell seemed to be having a very good time.

    Sad to see the last of a great crooner (yes he is far more than country). And I agree strongly, his last two albums, especially his last (recorded post Alzheimer diagnosis as a farewell to his fans) were absolutely terrific, among the best of his long career. Check them out and check out 1974’s “Reunion”, one of the best “thinking persons” album ever.

  2. Andrew Gregory says

    “Ghost On The Canvas” looks forward while it looks back, and is a fine final (?) disc. Looking forward to seeing hime at The Egg.

  3. Desi Gold says

    Al, thanks for a descriptive article of what I could have expected had I seen Glen’s show at the Florida Theater here in Jacksonville, FL (see link: Cool photos from you too Gary… glad you both enjoyed the show!

  4. Alan G. says

    See Dez… you shoulda caught Glen down there when you had the chance. Magoo took the shots because my camera wasn’t allowed in… the lens was too long. They were nice folks though. It was a cool place to see a show, and throw back a few beforehand.

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