Lampedusa : Concerts For Refugees at the Rococo Theatre, Lincoln, Nebraska
Last night my wife and I were privileged to attend Lampedusa: Concerts For Refugees featuring Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Buddy Miller, and The Milk Carton Kids held at the Rococo Theatre in Lincoln, Nebraska. And what a great concert it was! Emmylou’s voice is just as clear and beautiful as it was 30 years ago.
According to the Lampedusa website the concerts benefit “Jesuit Refugee Service’s Global Education Initiative. The Lampedusa tour helps displaced people heal, learn, and thrive by providing educational opportunities for refugees living in camps and urban settings in 45 countries.” All proceeds from the concert and the merchandise were donated to this cause.
So, instead of watching the second presidential debate we had a much better time than the rest of America by listening to some of the best music ever along with some great banter from the singers, including quite the Smothers Brothers type back-and-forth from the Milk Carton Kids. I think it’s probably safe to say that those of us at a benefit concert for refugees have probably already made our minds up about who we are voting for.
The concert was done like a guitar circle, except that the chairs were in a straight line so the audience could see. Each singer took a turn singing some of the best songs in their repertoire with the others backing them up. Emmylou Harris sang “Sweet Old World” with no regard to the fact that I prefer not to shed tears in front of strangers. Steve Earle was just as thoughtless by singing a stellar version of “Goodbye”.
Emmylou and Buddy talked about a passion for saving dogs (and cats) and Emmylou sang “Big Black Dog”. Not to be outdone, The Milk Carton Kids talked about how they met when one sang a song about the thoughts of a dying dog and then performed said song.
Some of the standouts of the evening: Steve Earle singing “Copperhead Road”, “You’re The Best Lover That I Ever Had” and an amazing cover of Woody Guthrie’s “Deportee”, Steve and Emmylou singing “Pancho and Lefty”, Buddy Miller performing “Gasoline and Matches” and “Shelter Me”, and The Milk Carton Kids playing “Memphis” (“I’ve been there once,” deadpanned Ryan) and a beautiful cover of Emmylou’s “Michelangelo”.
One of the best concerts I’ve been able to attend with so many wonderful singers in one place and a chance to donate to a great cause.