Sunday, May 6, 2012 , Updated 5:24 p.m., May 6, 2012
Concert review and photos: Alison Krauss & Union Station at Verizon Theatre (May 5)
The band baptized the audience in southern backwater hymns.
GRAND PRAIRIE Although it has been more than a year since bluegrass quintet Alison Krauss & Union Station have released new music, fans filled Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie to the brim on Saturday night. The masterful musicians have quite the devoted following, which comes from staying together and making music for more than 20 years. The band wasn’t created in a studio, and their music is true authentic Americana – a testament to this country’s musical roots.
As the theater began to darken, all eyes and ears were focused on the musicians washed in hues of blues and purples. There was an ethereal stillness as each member of the band willed their instruments to make bluegrass melodies that harken back to a time when life was much more simple. Alison Krauss & Union Station has a tendency to play tunes full of sadness, which isn’t uncommon for the bluegrass genre, but in between songs they more than made up for it with their playful stage banter – something they have developed over years of performing together.
Union Station’s musical timing was impeccable; it was clear that each musician is a master of his or her perspective instruments. The sweet cherry on top of their unforgettable performance were their harmonies, many executed during tricky fingerpicking. Often, the band would break out from their dreary bluegrass songs and play down-home, foot tapping country music. Fans went wild as each musician on stage did solos, baptizing the theater in southern backwater hymns.
They did play a few hits from over the years, though Krauss only sang snippets from “When You Say Nothing At All” and “Whiskey Lullaby.” The band more than made up for the brief disappointment when the band performed their most recognized tune to date, “I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow” from the soundtrack of the film O’ Brother Where Art Thou?
Over the course of the evening, it was easy to see why Alison Krauss & Union Station have such dedicated fans. Their music is authentic, seemingly made for the art and not for the fame. It was refreshing to see and hear true Americana, despite their shelves of Grammy awards.
The band surely earned each of the three standing ovations they received at the end of their set Saturday night.
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