Ron Pope – Fine Line – Minneapolis MN – January 24th 2020

Ron Pope – Fine Line – Minneapolis MN – January 24th 2020

Review and photos by Patrick Dunn

If you have heard Ron Pope’s music and are a fan, it’s likely because of the work he’s put in behind the scenes promoting himself. Although not the easiest path, Pope has flourished as an independent artist utilizing online platforms (Youtube, Pandora, Spotify), television placements and extensive touring to grow a fanbase. After newly becoming a father in 2018, he spent some time away from the road and worked on his upcoming release “Bone Structure” due out in March.

Now back on tour, Pope brought his live show to the Fine Line in Minneapolis on January 22nd. The good-sized stage was packed full of instruments for his 7-piece band and a giant moon image tapestry was hung as a backdrop. The best prop was a Ron Pope signature blue neon sign that lit up the front corner of the stage.

The crowd noise was abruptly silenced as the band appeared and opened with a beautiful multi-part harmony intro to “San Miguel”. They did not hesitate to get right down to rockin’ with “Hell or High Water”, which has some phrasing similarities to the Rolling Stones “Brown Sugar”. Pope, now with long braids and a thick beard was full of energy and appeared to be having fun interacting with fellow bandmates. They demonstrated great skill and range when cranking out a few bars of “What’d I Say” (Ray Charles) as a lead-in to “Practice What I Preach” and tackling some rarely touched cover tunes, “Tiny Dancer” (Elton John) and “Landslide” (Fleetwood Mac). Pope, also a multi-instrumentalist, switched over to piano for several songs including “One Shot of Whiskey” and his breakout hit “A Drop in the Ocean”.

At one point, the band left Pope on-stage alone to share how wanting to have something for his daughter to get to know him in case he wasn’t there was the inspiration behind the material. He proceeded to perform the first song he wrote after she was born, “My Wildest Dreams”, which was one of the nights best moments.

Supporting artist Caroline Spence was a good fit to open the show. Her quirky humor was charming and her songwriting and vocal ability was impressive.

Set List:
San Miguel (intro)
Hell or High Water
Practice What I Preach
Bad For Your Health
Come to California
Southern Cross
Let’s Get Stoned
One Shot of Whiskey
In My Bones
Tiny Dancer (Elton John)
My Wildest Dreams
Our Song
Wait and See
Landslide (Fleetwood Mac)
Perfect for Me
One Grain of Sand
A Drop in the Ocean