Freedy Johnston at City Winery, Washington, DC October 6, 2022
“….I might play some happy songs,” mused Freedy Johnston from the stage. Then he picked up his setlist, glanced over it carefully, looked back at the audience and said something like “…welp, …none of those on HERE.”
And so it was – the happy moments could be found in the covers he played (“Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)” and “Bennie and the Jets”), but the rest of the show was devoted to enjoying Freedy’s very catchy – but often very dark – songs. Know what? The audience was incredibly happy to do so.
So was Freedy. I’ve seen him many, many times since that first gig of his I attended back in early 1995 at Club Café in Pittsburgh where The Clarks opened and Freedy’s first song was “I Can Hear The Laughs.” He’s always been genial, pleasant and funny, but there was something special about this show in DC; he was practically euphoric. Perhaps partially it’s because of the release of his new album Back on the Road to You and partially because he’s back in front of audiences after a pandemic induced road hiatus, but whatever the cause, the joy was contagious. Thankfully, there is no vaccine for that. Yet.
Freedy’s setlist included many of the usual suspects, touching on at least one song from each of his albums except for “Blue Days, Black Nights” and “Rain on the City.” As you would imagine, there was a reasonable selection of tunes from the new album, but the set was not really slanted obviously in any direction, except for the direction that pleased his audience – immensely.
I can’t emphasize how much I enjoy Freedy’s music, nor can I overstate my recommendation to all of you readers to catch him performing live as soon as you can. No one is getting any younger.
Enjoy our earlier coverage here: Interview: Freedy Johnston “Back on the Road to You”
Check for Freedy’s tour dates and more info here: http://www.freedyjohnston.com