| Lists |

No. 9 Merle Haggard - Countdown of the Best Concerts of 2010

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Over the last ten weekdays of 2010 Up On The Sun will be counting down the best live shows of 2010.

Today we look at the #9 show of the year, outlaw country legend Merle Haggard at Mesa Arts Center.

Show: Merle Haggard at Mesa Arts Center
Date: Sunday, May 9, 2010
Background: Merle had to reschedule this show after a health scare -- he had lung cancer that's in remission -- but it was worth the wait. Somehow, The Hag managed to cram plenty of his old hits and a few gems from his excellent new record, I Am What I Am, into only an hour or so.
Why is stood out: There were a lot of great country shows this year -- George Strait's night at US Airways springs immediately to mind -- but this one separates from the pack because it really felt like a special, fleeting moment. Hopefully, The Hag spins around the country a bunch of times in the coming years but given that he's lived a rough 73 years and many of his contemporaries have passed on, I'm very glad I got the chance to see him perform.
Someone else said: "The documentary, Merle Haggard: Learning to Live with Myself, portrays a man trying to come to terms with a life that took him from a train-hopping delinquent to an ex-con to a country music superstar, thanks to hits like "Mama Tried" and "Okie from Muskogee." Haggard has always been a deeply personal songwriter, re-working the major events of his life -- his father's early death, his hardscrabble childhood, the years he spent in San Quentin -- again and again in his songs. And in the PBS film he's surprisingly emotional -- more tortured poet than rabble-rousing tough guy." -The Wall Street Journal on the Haggard documentary that came out around the same time as the show.

Read the full review here.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.