While Stephen Kellogg has done solo shows in the past, I was never able to catch one. However, Thursday night I was able to catch his Alone For the Holidays tour at my favorite venue – Fairfield Theater Stage One.
Opening was Native Run. I had never heard of them before, but the moment they stepped on stage I knew that I was in for something special. Rachel came out and asked us all to check out her shoes because she’d be taking them off in a second. After their second song, Bryan said that they were done and he was exhausted! Of course, that wasn’t their last song but they were hilarious and so entertaining. They sounded great in harmony together and Rachel has a wonderful voice on her own as well. AND they even did an infomercial for the Water Sack Stephen was selling (or free with a shirt purchase) that evening. I definitely give them two thumbs up!
Stephen is working on a new solo album, so a handful of the songs were new and he didn’t tell us what the name of the songs were. So I made some names up for my setlist and we’ll see what happens there. Usually the setlists get posted at SK6ers.com, so I’ll keep an eye there to see how close I was to being correct and will then update the post accordingly.
He started off with a new song. I am calling it Heart of a Man. But I don’t know. Then he said that he would do some older stuff for us too and did Roots and Wings. During Fourth of July, you could hear a lot of giggling coming from backstage. Stephen has 4 daughters and no doubt they were all playing back there. At one point he turned to look at the back and just laughed himself. For the next song – he called the gigglers out on stage to be his special guest. His 2 oldest daughters came out an danced while he sang Gravity. So adorable. They got a standing ovation. Then he did 2 new songs – one I am calling Lost and Found. The other he had us echo back “It’s Arlight” so I’m calling it that. He also said that it was him singing a song he might get in trouble with and it was him being Andy Rooney. It’s a very political song about his beliefs and how It’s Alright because it’s just what is in his brain and his opinion.
Then he went back to some older songs – 1993 is the song he wrote after his record label told him to stop being so specific with dates and events. They thought if he was less specific, they could find more people to listen to him. Personally, I like that his songs are all specific and personal and tell his life story. Although I can see why the record label might not be too into that if they think that is what is hindering him from gaining fans. Then he went into the drinking song, Start the Day Early.
Next up Native Run joined him back on stage for a Christmas song. He said it was after Christmas but they always do a Christmas song on the winter tours so it was a tradition. Rachel noted that some people celebrate 12 days of Christmas so we were good. Stephen also teased that it was either the most racist of the Christmas songs or it was talking about how global warming would be coming. They did White Christmas. Native Run hung around to join Stephen for another new song – but he told us the title is Forgive You, Forgive Me.
Then he talked a bit about how on December 15th when he woke up he didn’t think any of his songs were good enough after the tragedy that happened. He went through his catalog and found one that he thought would work and dedicated it to those affected by everything that had happened. He was also wearing a green ribbon on his jacket which I can only assume was to honor those killed at SHES. He then sang In Front of the World and next up was Satisfied Man and Milwaukee.
Everyone gave him a standing ovation and soon after he returned to the stage with Bryan from Native Run to do The Bear. The last song… was interesting. I wish I had recorded it. I’m calling it Thanksgiving because that seemed to be what it was about. It started off soft but as the song went on, he seemed to be getting angrier and angrier. The song got louder and louder and it just had more and more emotion pouring in to it. It was quite the way to end the night!
Or well, I thought that would be how my night ended. Except that on the way home, I spotted up ahead a tractor trailer that was SPARKING. Everyone moved over to the far (fast) lane to avoid it, as it sparked its way to the shoulder. The air smelled really bad and when I went by it, the driver’s side front tire was completely GONE. I don’t know where it went, I must have missed it blowing off. But that was definitely very scary and I am glad it appeared no one was hurt and all of us on the road were able to get out of the way. Several cars pulled over right after it I’m assuming to call 911.
(setlist from SK6ers.com)
Men & Women
Roots and Wings
4th of July
Lost and Found
The Brain Is A Beautiful Thing
Howl at the Moon
Start the Day Early
** White Christmas
** Forgive You, Forgive Me
In Front of the World
E: **The Bear
*with Sophia and Adeline Kellogg
**with Native Run