Emmylou Harris and country singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell had the crowd dancing in their seats Monday in TD Arena. The two-hour set gained momentum as it went along, and soon everyone seemed eager to move.
Those seated on the floor tapped their feet; some of the patrons in the upper levels danced freely.
Harris and Crowell, friends for more than 40 years, effortlessly captivate the crowd with soothing harmonies and a calming stage presence. The concert felt like an intimate gathering: fun, low-key and just loud enough to keep things interesting..
The duo just released their second duet album, “The Traveling Kind,” a nostalgic 11-song set likely to win them more fans.
The show started out on a softer note with Harris playing a few classic crowd-pleasers. The band started rocking out midway through, offering new songs such as “Le Danse de la Joie,” a spunky semi-French tune that had their lead guitar player, Jedd Hughes, grinning ear to ear.
You can sense a journey well traveled. You can see it in Harris’ relaxed attitude and hear it in her offhanded, witty commentary about their work together.
“Who cares about the radio?” Harris said after singing “Red Dirt Girl.” “We’re not on the radio but we’re still here.”
“Does satellite count?” Crowell responded.
“I just want to be on the jukebox,” she said.
You can hear their transient history in their voices and feel a sense of gratitude among the patrons and fans who have followed their music over the years.
At one point in the show someone shouted, “Emmylou for president!”
She replied, “Eh, that’s job’s too hard. Why would I give up this for doing that?”
The show delivered a peaceful vibe and satisfying musical experience. I only wish the concert could have been outside. Harris and Crowell are meant to be heard under the stars.
Sydney Franklin is a Goldring Arts Journalist from Syracuse University.