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Where: Marksville, Louisiana (Paragon Casino Resort)
When:  August 6, 2005
Written by: Becky Ford

 Awesome but all-too-brief! Our tickets were $35 each but well worth it, especially for such a small venue. My husband and I were disappointed that we'd gotten tickets late and ended up with seats in the high bleachers left of stage, but we were thrilled to be in perfect position to see JLL's magic fingers cruise up and down the ivories!

The concert was scheduled for 9:00. The band came out at 9:15 and played 4 songs -- one featuring lead vocals of each band member -- before JLL came onstage to an uproareous crowd's delight. "My name is Jerry Lee Lewis. I'm from Ferriday, Louisiana," he said simply, before ripping right into "Roll Over Beethoven." From there he sang, "Sweet Little Sixteen," "Georgia On My Mind," and "Over the Rainbow," and some other standards that in the excitement I can't recall. Apparently delighted at the crowd's enthusiasm, he then said, "If ya liked that one, you're gonna loooooooove this one!" and kicked into "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On," with some ad-libbing of the lyrics here and there. The energy and excitement of the mostly-60s aged crowd dotted here and there with 30-somethings like us was something to experience! After "Whole Lotta Shakin'," JLL said, "Well, if ya liked that one, you're REALLY gonna love this one!" and he went into a raucous, high-energy, extended-length version of "Great Balls of Fire." Watching him bang on the piano like he did as a 20-year-old was something to see! As the band continued to play on, he stood up, kicked the piano bench backward to the floor, and walked over it as he left the stage, right at 10:15.

Whether it was our position in the audience, sound system problems, or his much-reported mumbling, it was hard to understand much of his comments between songs or much of his ad-libbed lyrics. He grumbled about the sound of his piano over his shoulder to the sound man at one point, telling him to fix it and saying, "You're messing up my concert!" He apologized after a song or two, saying something like, "I know what I like when I hear what I like and I like what I hear when I like it." It wasn't clear exactly what he said, but the crowd understood JLL had been unhappy with the sound and wanting to give us a great concert, and he got even more applause. He also made a mumbled apology about his body not being what it used to be or something similar, but no one seemed to really mind. While looking really snappy in a pin-striped suit and shiny black boots, he did seem about as fragile walking onto and off the stage as you'd expect from a 70-year-old.

JLL's band really rocked; they really got the energy level up before JLL took the stage. After GBOF finally ended, most of them packed up and got off stage pretty quickly but Buck stayed quite a while, smiling, waving, and posing for pictures from the stage. They all seemed to have a great time, with Kenny and Buck sharing happy glances throughout the evening as if to say, "He's really ON tonight!"

I wish he could have played longer, but at his age, and returning from his European tour, I'm still quite satisfied. More than satisfied. This was one of the highlights of my life. If you ever have the chance to see the Killer in concert, DO IT -- you will not be disappointed!

 Becky F. -- Louisiana



Last update: August 17, 2007
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