Unfortunately, a laid-back attitude sometimes overwhelmed all, as the singer approached the first half hour or so appearing mildly bored with it all. Whether it was the interplay with his crack band or the repeated calls from some of the yahoos in the crowd to “wake up,” Prine eventually turned it up a notch, smoothly sailing through his impressive catalog.
Despite that muscular band — particularly lead guitarist David Steele, always smart and tasteful with the solos — the full-bore rock approach to tunes such as “Picture Show” and “Everything Is Cool” seemed a bit heavy-handed.
A long midsection featuring Prine alone with his guitar was much more enjoyable, ranging from the touching reminiscence “Souvenirs” and the cleverly amusing “It’s a Big Old Goofy World” to the still-devastating tale of a drug-addicted Vietnam vet, “Sam Stone.”
Prine’s latest album on his own Oh Boy label, “Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings, ” clearly is trying to capitalize on the late-blooming success of its immediate (and superior) predecessor, the Grammy-winning “The Missing Years.” Nevertheless , this show was split fairly evenly between those two works and older tunes.