James Taylor and Carole King ~ Troubadour Reunion Tour
Review by: Jim Hornbeck
I saw James Taylor and Carole King at the Hollywood Bowl last night! It was magic under the stars. Hit after hit! Songs we grew up with! Songs that shaped our lives! We knew every word, every riff, every nuance of melody and phrasing.
This was the first time the duo teamed up since their legendary gig at the Troubadour, here in LA, 39 years ago. Carole's voice was as frayed as a tattered flag that's been flying in the wind for years; and just as moving.
When she dipped into her iconic “Tapestry” songbook, the women in the audience shocked me with their response. They were on their feet - swaying and singing with an abandonment that seemed almost tribal.
I hadn’t realized that this brilliant volume of work must have been sort of a “Holy Grail” for young women; a mantra of liberation; a celebration of youthful womanhood that delved deeper into a woman’s psyche than the men in the audience had ever realized. It was truly a beautiful sight to behold.
James Taylor still sounds the same; maybe even more soulful, if that's possible. His voice was as pure and gentle and rowdy as ever. His guitar work was flawless and indelible.
When he slid into two of his anthems - Fire & Rain and Sweet Baby James, a cloth of memories enveloped the audience. You could feel 20,000 souls opening up; the "peace & love" that our generation sought to gift upon the world came back to embrace us once again, like a warm mother’s hug. It was beyond moving. It was spiritual.
At times, people were crying; no doubt in remembrances of days and dreams and friends and events long past. But most of the time, this group of “groovy old dudes & dudettes” were rockin’ & singin’ like we did “back in the day” - way before our kids were zygotes - when our lives flowed, unencumbered, like a river.
James and Carole are touchstones: Their unforgettable songs enriched our lives and brought us needed perspective; reconnecting the essence and innocence of our past with the hope and dreams of our present and future. Last night our mirrors were broken; there were no gray hairs, no bald pates, no sagging midriffs, and no senior citizens. We were all young, carefree, and vibrant again!
When the music ended, 20,000 people stood on their feet and gave Carole and James the heartfelt thanks they deserved. But before they finally disappeared backstage, we unanimously answered the musical query they so sweetly sang of earlier in the evening - “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?”
YES, James and Carole; we will love you, not only today and tomorrow - but forever!