BY DONALD MASON
Rev. Al Green brings the Gospel of Soul to the Norton Center
In a near packed house at the Norton Center at Danville’s Centre College, Rev. Al Green gave us an intimate connection to himself and his music, armed with a 16-piece band, stockpile of roses and endless bottles of orange Gatorade.
Of course, like no other performer does it, his use of roses is a trademark. So much so that his rose toss is likened to an NFL quarterback with surgical precision. Several songs in particular were rose factories, such as “Let’s Get Married,” “Let’s Stay Together” and a song off the set list, just for Kentucky, “Pretty Woman.” During a rendition of Amazing Grace, you could hear the crowd say, “Feels like church up in here”
There were moments where Al let his band showcase their skills. He introduced three of the backup vocals as his daughters, calling them “Green Power” The keyboard player got into his solo so much, his throne flew back as he swept the keys, leaving him standing and waiting for a stagehand to help him back to earth.
At one point he told the crowd, “I know when you see me sweat, you want to turn the AC on. Leave the fans off, I am going to sweat anyway, it’s my second job.” He explains that #1 is preaching, #2 is sweating and #3 is singing. He even backed off the mic on several occasions, using the amazing acoustics of the room to his advantage. Standing ovations were typical during the show, giving praise back. After 35 or more years of doing this, he humbly utters, “I have love for you all” as he reminded us throughout the show. Well, Reverend, Kentucky has love for you as well.