John Prine Bids Newport Farewell With Some Famous Friends
"With friends like that, who needs pizza?" John Prine asked during his star-studded Sunday evening performance, in which the singer invited up a slew of special guests to accompany him on his country-folk classics. Prine's festival-closing show was an exemplary model of old-fashioned folk songwriting, with the 70-year-old singer holding the audience in rapt attention, often merely by himself on acoustic guitar. Justin Vernon dropped in for "(Bruised Orange) Chain of Sorrow," Jim James duetted on a touching take of "All the Best” and Margo Price accompanied Prine on "In Spite of Ourselves,” all before Roger Waters stunned the crowd by appearing, unannounced, to share the stage for a tender rendition of "Hello in There." Prine, for his part, ran through highlights from his 2004 masterpiece Fair & Square, sang classics "Angel From Montgomery" and "Sam Stone" (with Nathaniel Rateliff) and even dedicated his offbeat protest anthem, "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore," to "our current Fuhrer: Donaldo Benito Trumpitini." To end 2017's festival, Prine invited out several dozen of this weekend's performers to sing along to "Paradise," ending a weekend of feel-good moments on a loving high point.