So heavy was the heart that Dan Fogelberg wore on his sleeve at the Capital Centre last night, that it's a wonder he didn't occasionally limp across the stage. The importance of being earnest never seemed so important, at least during the first half of his lengthy performance.
With nary a smile and a few admonitions to the more boisterous members of the crowd of 15,000 fans, Fogelberg stoically went about his business, recalling one reflective ditty after another. Some were familiar ("Longer," "Same Auld Lang Syne"), others were new ("The Innocent Age") and virtually all of them, save the rockers, were cut from the same somber cloth.
To an outsider, all of this quickly becomes tiresome. But Fogelberg moved gracefully from the piano to 6- and 12-string guitars, and his fans clearly thrived on it. Happily, his band had a much wider appeal.
The sextet, a stellar collection of studio musicians -- Russ Kunkel, Joe Vitale and Kenny Passarelli among them -- played some ingratiating rock 'n' roll during the second half. Barry Burton, formerly of The Amazing Rhythm Aces, was particularly impressive, providing the country rockers with some welcome momentum on pedal steel guitar. Joe Vitale also filled in nicely for Tim Weisberg on flute on Fogelberg's more recent hits.