Which is precisely what the audience did, last night - enrapt by the rare treat of Jackson Browne's presence, on stage, in the UK. He opened the annual summer stunner, that is the Hampton Court Palace Festival, held in the regally splendid setting of the Historic Royal Palace's grounds.
In his genial, super-laid-back style, Jackson commented "Quite a spot...!" before launching into the opening lyric from Off of Wonderland: "It was so easy for me, Up so high in my tree..."
Browne went on to comment "What an inspiring place... he found the Palace ...to marry a lot(!)"; peppering his whole set with good-humoured anecdotes about his (love) life and the inspiration behind each song. Self-deprecatingly - when an audience member yelled-out a request for one of his best known tracks - he riposted "you just have to trust me" before enthralling us with an exquisite rendition of the evocatively moving "In the Shape of a Heart".
Throughout, his happy demeanour shone-out, as he congratulated the locals in having "the good sense to live in such a great area" and to enjoy concerts in such a special setting...so different, (as he explained), from many of the other so-called 'palaces/palais', he had played previously! The performance, showcased in Hampton Court Palace's beauteous Base Court, was bathed in gloriously changing light.
The 2010 Hampton Court Festival continues until Saturday, 19th June; featuring The Gipsy Kings, Michael Bolton, Simply Red, Jools Holland, Van Morrison and Michael Ball. Catch it if you can!
Photo credits: Stephen Frak