Published in The Music (WA) | 02.04.14 | Issue # 32
KRIS KRISTOFFERSON, RUBY BOOTS
RED HILL AUDITORIUM
30 March, 2014
Whether from post-Saturday partying or pre-Monday blues, Sunday morning can often be accompanied by a wave of depression – as famously noted by a certain country icon. As hordes of punters were filing into buses and hitting the road for Red Hill Auditorium, a certain aforementioned country legend was prepping to soothe those end-of-weekend blues in a manner only an iconic country singer could.
A local opener with the charisma and stage presence of an international artist, Ruby Boots, accompanied by backing band, welcomed everyone to the venue which is somewhat in the Middle Of Nowhere. The quietly attentive audience soaked up every second of Boots’ folk-country vibes as anticipation for the headliner grew, and with a healthy dose of slide guitar, upright bass, mandolin and storytelling, they had played their party perfectly.
A sprightly Kris Kristofferson emerged from the shadows with guitar and harmonica in tow, and dived solo into Shipwrecked In The Eighties, temporarily pausing to adjust the mic stand and soak up a little more praise. Followed shortly after by Me And Bobby McGee, it was clear the evening’s proceedings were to be of an intimate nature. It was almost like Kristofferson was leading a sing-along around a campfire. “Sounds like church,” he laughed. It became clear at that moment that, while his guitar playing at times was a little lacklustre, any additional instrumentation would only draw away from the connection he was securing with the audience.
A punter ran front of stage during Bad Love Story to snap a selfie, to which Kristofferson chucked. Judging by his skinny leg jeans, he’s probably all over Instagram.
His daughter, Kelly Marie Kristofferson, was then welcomed onstage with a banjo for Good Love, The Heroand a few more. “It’s better already, isn’t it?” he laughed. In some ways he was correct, but for the duration of her presence things felt forced and sloppy at times. At least the family holiday can be written off as a business expense.
Spitting out classics Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down, The Silver Tongued Devil And I and For The Good Timesthere was one final burst of energy from the audience as Kristofferson, joined by daughter returned for an encore that saw most out of their seats and drawn to the front of the stage.
At 77, the wisdom in Kristofferson’s voice is encapsulating like none other. There was no need for a spectacular light show or insane backing band – it was all about the music that night, and few have penned classics like Kristofferson.
Written by Daniel Cribb