Daytime succumbed to night and a light mist threatened rain as legendary Texas blues man Jimmie Vaughan took the stage at Levitt Pavilion.
”We’re really excited to see him and hear his music,” says Arlington resident Trace Ocanas, 32, while seated in a lawn chair beneath the clouds. “The Vaughan brothers are Texas faves.”
Among the sizable crowd was local blues man Mike Morgan. Mission Arlington’s executive director, Tillie Burgin, was also there shaking hands with fans sitting along a rock wall before the performance. The free concert was part of a North Texas Giving Day celebration. And Vaughan, 67, gave it his all.
Vaughan, who grew up in Dallas and is the older brother of Stevie Ray Vaughan, warmed things up with a mellow sound as smooth as his moves before plunging into the depths of some serious blues.
“It’s been a long time, baby, since you held me tight,” he bawled with an outstretched arm. “I miss you every morning. But I miss you more at night.”
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Dressed in a black, rockabilly-style shirt, Vaughan performed as if he and his guitar were one. At times, background saxophones and lyrics about crying and crossroads prevailed. Other times, Vaughan would veer from slow and steady and begin to boogie. Fans heard a few Howlin’ Wolf, Lazy Lester and Webb Pierce tunes during the concert, with band member Mike Flanigan, who hails from Denton, helping out on vocals.
Although Vaughan paused a few times to wipe his brow, he never slowed down and seemed to gain momentum onstage. A late summer breeze floated in as Vaughan put his hands together to rally the crowd. Later, he played blues guitar behind his back and finished the concert with the instrument raised high above his head.
Levitt spokesperson Cathy O’Neal says Vaughan’s concert also celebrated the venue’s 10th anniversary.
“He’s like a local legend,” she says. “I mean, an international legend, really, on blues guitar. He brings all of that and his tremendous talent, and he brings people. The last time we had him [in 2014], he was our most attended concert.”