Stephen Kellogg divulged to the audience that the pandemic gave him reservations about going back on tour and being away from his family. Witnessing his performance on Friday night, Kellogg is right where he belongs.
The night began with a video featuring highlights of Kellogg’s career including playing over 2,000 concerts in over 21 countries, recording 17 albums, receiving a Grammy nomination, and writing a memoir.
When Kellogg appeared on stage, there were handwritten signs placed upon stools with categories of songs about to be performed like a four-act play. The show started with his epic Thanksgiving tune that touched on each of the upcoming subjects.
Oh Thanksgiving, the harvest draws to a close
Redemption is a bugle humility composed
Sweet forgiveness, thawing across frozen ground
Casting light eternally, carrying its sound – Thanksgiving by Stephen Kellogg
Life was the first act. Kellogg started with a medley of fan favorites:The Open Heart, Glassjaw Boxer, and Irish Goodbye. Followed by a new song I Could Forgive that will be on an album released later this month. He shared a story about catching himself lying to a bartender about having a dog for no reason. Reminding him to always be honest (besides he is a cat person).
Gonna make a difference
Gonna speak my mind
Even when my nerve fails
Even in the dark times
Gonna count the blessings
Celebrate the wins
Gonna be the last man standing – Last Man Standing by Stephen Kellogg
Love was the next chapter. There are plenty of songs to choose from regarding the subject in Kellogg’s catalog (he married his high school sweetheart after all). Kellogg joked about being jealous and insecure when the family doctor referred to his wife as the beauty and himself as the beast.
But why do you roll your eyes at my stories and jokes that you used to like?
Why do you turn away from me when I lie down beside you at night?
When my confidence is shaken why don’t you build me up from scratch?
She looked surprised and said because you never asked – You Never Asked by Stephen Kellogg
In the middle of the structured themes, a hilarious dissertation of the 1978 Foreigner song Hot Blooded commenced. While starting and stopping the tune on the house speakers, Kellogg concluded the narrator is literally sick – “I got a fever of a hundred and three” and criminally inappropriate – “Are you old enough?
Will you be ready when I call you bluff?” The acclaimed songwriter shook his head and stated, “I never had a hit, but this is okay?”
Well, I’m hot-blooded, check it and see
I got a fever of a hundred and three
Come, baby, do you do more than dance?
I’m hot-blooded, I’m hot-blooded – Hot Blooded by Michael Leslie Jones / Lou Gramm
Family was next. Kellogg has four daughters and frequently gives advise echoed in his songs such as Symphony of Joy and Song for My Daughters. Recently dealing with their boyfriends has been a challenge. Kellogg has endured teenage boys eating habits and elaborate prom proposals.
Don’t be too hard on yourselves
You don’t have to be somebody else
On the days when you most want to give up the ghost
Don’t be too hard, don’t be too hard on yourselves – Song for My Daughters by Stephen Kellogg
When Kellogg announced that he was on the last chapter entitled Legacy, the crowd expressed they wanted more. The singer hinted he might be back to record a live album at the venue (he loves the sound of the venue). Kellogg ended the set with My Favorite Place about his love for his family and his relationship with the road. This brought the evenings themes back to a full circle.
Well it’s time I was getting back home, where the sound is the song in my heart
All the places I go, I always know that home is wherever you are – My Favorite Place by Stephen Kellogg
See you at the next show. I’ll be the one hoping nobody around me has a fever of a hundred and three.