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Re-Viewed: Mason Jennings at Park West

By Julene McCoy in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 23, 2006 3:01PM

2006_06_mason.jpgLast evening at the Park West, Chicagoist attended the Mason Jennings show. Mason Jennings has stated that he is interested in the experience of life and his songs relate those experiences in an extremely personal way. In fact, it’s a little shocking at just how vulnerable he allows himself to be in his songwriting.

Before heading to the show, we anticipated a bunch of lovebird hippies sitting around arms around each other in a kumbaya love fest swaying to the music. Now, there was a bit of that, but mainly it seemed to be young professionals listening in awe and swaying to the music. Mason opened the set with “Be Here Now” from his latest release Boneclouds and then went into “Bullet” from the Century Spring album.

2006_06_jennings.jpgPlaying twenty-five songs in total, the feeling was more plugged in acoustical than full rocking band until over the halfway mark when “Killer’s Creek” stepped it up a notch. Next came the fuller sound of “Some Say I’m Not” and “The Mountain” which carried a deep bass line throughout. We were then treated to “Jesus Are You Real”, which according to an interview on NPR Monday, Mason had never played live. Rounding out the evening were “Butterfly”, “Godless” which had quite the indie-Pixies guitar jam going on, and “California”.

There were so many songs from the evening that highlight Mason’s honest lyricism, but these are just a few that tugged at our heart: “The Light, Pt. 2”, “If You Need a Reason”, and “If You Ain’t Got Love”. It’s too bad that Valentine’s Day is a ways off, because if our special someone wrote down any of these lyrics in a note, it would be a night that they’d never forget – kinda like “Summer Dress”.

A very big thanks to Grace, who told us the name of every song by the 3rd or 4th note and allowed us to actually sit back and enjoy!

Set List:
Be Here Now
If You Need a Reason
Sorry Signs on Cash Machines
If You Ain't Got Love
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Jackson Square
Ballad for My One True Love
Summer Dress
Which Way Your Heart Will Go
Moon Sailing on the Water
Killer's Creek
Some Say I'm Not
Where the Sun Had Been or Stolen Land?
The Mountain
Jesus Are You Real