Kansas City Concert Review – James Taylor/Jackson Browne

  • December 5, 2021
  • T-mobile Center – Kansas City, Missouri


James Taylor and Jackson Browne have been major parts of the soundtrack of my life.  I played Taylor’s “JT” album repeatedly in my youth and, after saying “I do” to each other my wife Juanita and I walked back up the aisle while my best friend Matt played Taylor’s “How Sweet It Is (To be Loved by You).”


As for Mr. Browne, I’m dating myself here by saying that “Running on Empty” was the first album I owned on cassette, vinyl, 8-track and compact disc.  In that order.  And yes, I had an 8-track player in my sweet 1969 GTO.  You know you love something when you make sure you have it with you ALWAYS.  When I play along with the Facebook post that asks, “If you were going to be stranded on a desert island, what 10 albums would you take with you?” “Running on Empty” is always near the top of the list.


Loving these two amazing artist’s music as much as I do, I was overjoyed when I heard they were coming to Kansas City in one amazing show.  And amazing it was.

Mr. Browne took the stage first, opening with his hit “Somebody’s Baby,” which was featured in the film “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”  He was in great voice and his band was tight. 


For the remainder of his set he mixed in some popular classic songs (“Late for the Sky,” “Doctor My Eyes”) with a selection of songs from his new album – which I heartedly recommend – “Downhill From Everywhere.”  During one song from the album, “The Dreamer,” he was joined on stage by singers Tiffanie Cross and Alethea Mills.  Together the trio had the crowd in the palms of their hands with their harmonies.  Taylor surprised the audience by coming on stage on joining Browne in a fine rendition of “The Pretender” and the set ended with a lively singalong to “Running on Empty.”

The second half of the show began with a short video highlighting the music of James Taylor.  He took the stage to a loud round of applause and he and his band kicked off the set with a country-tinged medley of “Fiddle and Drum/Country Road.”

Like Browne, the set was a well divided combination of newer material and classic songs.  As he notes in “That’s Why I’m Here” – one of my favorite JT tunes, sadly inspired in part by the tragic death of John Belushi (a neighbor of Taylor’s on Martha’s Vineyard), people “Pay good money to hear Fire and Rain again and again and again.”  Before the break Taylor and his band did a rousing “How Sweet It Is” causing my wife and I – and a lot of others – to slow-dance in the aisles.

When everyone returned to the stage, Jackson Brown came with them and the two combined for a mellow version of “Take it Easy,” a song Browne co-wrote with Glenn Frey and was a hit – gulp – nearly 50 years ago for the Eagles.


As the show concluded, Taylor led the audience in a moving rendition of “You’ve Got a Friend,” which inspired the crowd to hold their lit cellphones high above their heads (where have you gone, Bic disposable lighter?).

To sum it all up, it was a great night of great music – one I highly recommend you take in when they come to your town. 






Somebody’s Baby, Barricades of Heaven, Long Way Around, Fountain, Downhill from Everywhere, TheDreamer (with Tiffanie Cross and Alethea Mills), Until Justice is Real, Doctor My Eyes, Late for the Sky, The Pretender (with James Taylor), Running on Empty.




Fiddle and Drum/Country Road, Copperline, That’s Why I’m Here, Mexico, You Make it Easy, Line ‘em Up, Steamroller, Rolling Off, Sweet Baby James, Fire and Rain, Carolina, Shower the People, How Sweet it Is (To Be Loved by You), Shed a Little Light, Take it Easy (with Jackson Browne), You’ve Got a Friend, Close Your Eyes

Interview with Tara Browne

Tara Browne is the writer/producer and director of the short documentary called “I Met a Man From Burma”. The film is an intimate portrait of struggle and the importance of home, as told through the eyes of Ler Wah Lo Bo. Ler Wah is a Burmese refugee, who tells his life story and that of his country. The film is premiering at this year’s Reel Causes in affiliation with VIFF at the Vancouver International Film Centre in Vancouver. Tara took some time to chat with Movie Mikes about her inspiration for the film.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you meet Ler Wah Lobo and what inspired you to create the short film “I Met a Man from Burma”?
Tara Browne: I met Ler Wah Lo Bo at my friend´s place who happens to be one of the organizers from “The Canadian Campaign for Free Burma” here in Toronto.

MG: How it directing, writing and producing your first project?
TB: I enjoyed it because you in way have more creative control. But alot of work and role switching. I´ve been lucky to have solid people around me that support and help me define that.

MG: I love the music and the editing, tell us about that?
TB: The editor is Oren Harad, he is originally from Mexico and based here in Toronto. He specializes in documentaries and commercials. He is one of the best editors I have ever worked with, I hope to work with Oren again…if he´s not too busy…(laughs). As for the music, the composer is from New York, his name is Darren Morze. I was actually sending him the film via my FTP site and we went back and forth for a couple months. It was an online relationship…(laughs) but easy because he naturally got the concept. It just all perfectly fit into place for this piece. I´m fortunate to have such talented people to work with.

MG: You are running an online petition to help Ler Wah to get permanent residence in Canada, tell us about that?
TB: The Canadian government has labelled Ler Wah Lo Bo as a “refugee” because he fought for freedom in his country. They have not granted him permanent residency for 8 years. I think he is a prisioner in a way… because he can´t really leave Canada. He just wants to have the freedom to see his grandchildren and visit wife´s grave in the US. It is a shame because he is a huge activist for his country and has given back so much to the Burmese community here in Toronto as a translater and advocate. If people want to sign the petition or read more about it, you can go to www.divfacefilms.com.  Each signature gets us closer to helping Ler Wah get his permanent residence.

MG: Tell us about your approach as director?
TB: Its a bit hard to explain the artistic process but what I can say is that I didn´t want him to appear as a “Burmese Refugee” but rather a person, a man and individual that we can all relate to… outside of his country.

MG: Tell us about Diversity Face Films?
TB: Its mission is to promote diverse faces on screen, diverse or “unique stories”, and diverse crews from around the world. I feel the world is diverse and I hope our films can be more reflective of that.

MG: What do you have planned next?
TB: I just finished co-writing a TV pilot for “The Poacher” a 1890?s Western drama, a feature film based on the life of a Canadian international folk singer and short documentary Diversity Face series. Too much work ahead of me!