What an amazing concert.  First of all, the new auditorium is beautiful, and very sound-a-licious.  The way they've arranged the seating is really wonderful -- the boxes look like they're floating in air (like at Benaroya).  Our seats were SO good that I couldn't keep a grin off my face as we were waiting for the concert to start.  We sat in the first row of the red 4 on the left, which was wonderful because it was the first elevated row, giving us an perfect, unobstructed view of the stage, which was no more than 30-40 feet away, maybe less.

They came out together and sat very simply in a semi-circle of 4 chairs, each with a small table next to and slightly behind the chairs.  They all left their guitars in stands when they weren't playing except for mary chapin carpenter, who didn't seem to be able to hold herself back from playing and singing along. They did something like five rounds of each playing a song, with shared harmonies and some shared guitar work, especially MCC and Shawn Colvin.  MCC started out with an old Johnny Cash song "I still miss someone" that was a beautiful opening and offered opportunities for harmonizing -- it seems to be what they've started with at most of the concerts on the tour. 

Every song was good.  Stand outs for me were a group rendition of the Beatles cover "I'll be back", the songs "Mercy of the Fallen" and "When I was a boy" by Dar Williams, the two new songs from an upcoming album by MCC, and everything by Patty Griffin.  Really, Patty has an amazing voice and range, and she's a total crack-up, too.  I came home and immediately bought two Dar Williams albums and two by Patty Griffin.  I was really taken by Patty's "Tomorrow Night," it reminded me of an old Patsy Cline song, only better.  I also liked a song that she did called "Little God" but it didn't seem to be as well received as some of the others.  Shawn Colvin had on the funniest, um, costume.  She said that Patty put her up to it, but it seems to me like you don't wear a git-up like that unless you want to.  She shared a song that she said she's only played 3 or 4 times in public, about the crash of flight 800, or starting from there.  It was moving and intense.  She played "Shotgun down the Avalanche", with MCC accompanying and all the girls harmonizing -- it was all really something.

The encore, like elsewhere, was the backstreet boys song "I want it that way" -- it was totally hot, and better than the boys *ever* did it.  The last song was "Mary" by Patty Griffin, with everyone singing harmony, it doesn't get any better than this.

If you live in Portland, you *must* make plans to see this concert there Monday night (11/17) if it's not sold out.  It's the last show of the tour, and if you don't see it and could have, you are really missing out!

[Now Playing: Jann Arden - Another Human Being (05:40)]