Ok, that post title probably sounds like a blatant plug, but we don’t apologize. Really, go see Paul Thorn!
We’ve been Paul Thorn fans for years and, several years ago, were lucky enough to have him stop in to the WGN studios and hang out with us.
Johnnie & Steve with Paul Thorn at WGN radio
Over the years, Paul’s recording of “Lovers Vacation” seemed to always find its way into our CD player as we made the drive from Chicago to Panama City Beach. In fact, we were headed to Panama City Beach when we found out about Paul’s June 11th appearance in the Chicago area at one of our favorite venues, SPACE, in Evanston. Since, other than his in-studio performance with us, we’d never had the chance to see Paul and his band perform live, we decided to rectify that and reservations were quickly made.
It wouldn’t be overstating the fact to say that seeing Paul Thorn and his band live is a “religious” experience. Paul approaches his sets with the zeal of a preacher and has the showmanship and timing to quickly make all of his “converts” members of the choir. The intimacy of a club like SPACE only added to the church like atmosphere (That is, assuming you’re used to having alcohol served to the faithful!:-) Very quickly into his set, he had the crowd in the palm of his hand and singing along. His crack band’s ability to turn on a dime and Paul’s ability to use his in-between song stories weave a humorous, but often meaningful narrative into the “service” easily stoked the smiles and applause meters.
Paul Thorn performing at SPACE
For those of you who have never been to SPACE, the point should be made that, unlike too many venues today where you can hardly hear the performer over the crowd noise, SPACE is a listening room. That’s one of the many reasons it’s a favorite of ours. Also, the sound is not turned up to Madison Square Garden levels. It’s loud enough for the performer to fill the room, but the people living a few blocks away are not going to be privy to the good time you’re having.
The crowd this evening at SPACE came to listen, sing along and, for those like the couple we were sitting with who had never heard Paul Thorn, be converted. And convert them he did. By the evening’s last number, Paul was in the crowd bestowing his blessings and good vibes on anyone who wanted to sing and dance with him.
Paul Thorn in the crowd for a “healin'” encore
By the show’s end the house lights were up and we could see smiles all around. After the show we got the chance to say hello to Paul, get a copy of his latest album and, thanks to our new friend, Susan, get a new picture taken with him.
Johnnie & Steve with Paul Thorn at SPACE
At the end of the evening, along with feeling energized from the show, we both felt that, while we will, hopefully, see more great shows, we know we will not see a better show than the one Paul Thorn put on at SPACE.
So, we end this post with the way we started out, if he’s ever in your area … Go See Paul Thorn!