Beforehand, when I visualized Jian at his first headlining show, I saw him on stage with a guitar and maybe some percussion instruments; so I was surprised to find that he’d actually assembled a band to back him up. He never touched a drum during his entire set, but alternated between electric keyboard and guitar. So now I can easily imagine Jian out on the road as a solo performer with his band – two guitarists and a drummer; they are all good instrumentalists, but contributed minimal (if any – I can’t really remember) accompanying vocals.
The nervousness mentioned by others attending previous solo shows seemed non-existent (or at least totally under control). Jian seemed totally comfortable up there “by himself” and was pleased to find a full house waiting for him when he appeared on stage around 11:00 p.m. Sounding confident and in good voice, he delivered a well-crafted 1-1/2 hour set, mixing just a few Früvous tunes in with his own new songs. Here’s the set list:
Baby Don’t Lie Lousy Boy Song for a Father Sad Girl Fly Follow the Road Natalia We Left It (duet with opener Anne McCue; a song Jian co-wrote with Dar Williams) Persian Cowboy (this was Jian's first time performing it in public) Encore: Somethin’ Stupid (duet with Martina Sorbara; a Frank & Nancy Sinatra number) I Will Hold On
My hands-down favorite of the new songs – “Persian Cowboy”. Upbeat and fun with great lyrics - and I hate to use this hackneyed expression but - This Song Rocks! I believe “Persian Cowboy” would make a great title and maybe a single for Jian’s debut solo effort.
Some other tidbits from the performance include: