On one of Red Rocks’ first heavily-hoodied nights of the summer season, Norah Jones performed to a dense, seated crowd. Indeed, Thursday night at the amphitheater — with the queen of serene blues melody — was breezy and fluid from the 8:30 p.m. start to the all too soon 10:00 p.m. finish.
Early on, Jones unapologetically told the crowd: “I’m going to play some new songs off the new album, play the old songs later.” Much of the new stuff lost ground and came out fuzzy. And only the well-toned “She’s 22” and the drastically reverberated “Miriam” hit home with the audience.
That said, the crowd of 9,500 remained glued to the vixen with the cherry red Gibson SG strapped around her blue denim jacket. Nearly all in earshot of Morrison would agree that Jones has about as warm and inviting a voice as any that has made its way up the rocks this year. Sigh.
Continuing with covers of Tom Waits’ “Long Way Home” and the Grateful Dead’s “Must Have Been the Roses,” Jones picked the crowd up only to settle it back down with a long awaited sit at the piano bench for a solo take on “Cold Cold Heart” off of the crowd favorite and global night time album, “Come Away With Me.”
Later, the sold-out venue erupted with applause when Jones said, “Thank you for getting me back here … I love playing here.” But, after just one measure of the coming song, the rows went silent. “Don’t Know Why” — Jones’ flagship missed connection jam — left the area devoid of movement; a pin might have dropped had it not feared the wrath of all in its vicinity.
With an abrupt close to the set, Jones and her backing band members quickly re-took center stage, at which point an all-acoustic three song encore ensued around a single microphone. “Sunrise,” “Creepin’ In,” and “Come Away With Me” sent the crowd homeward bound — surely content and no doubt sleepy.
Brendan Magee is a Denver-based writer and regular contributor to Reverb. When not writing, Brendan is working on his own music as a singer-songwriter in Capitol Hill.
Karson Brown is a Denver photographer and a regular contributor to Reverb.