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Loggins, Messina serve up classics

KENNY LOGGINS AND JIM MESSINA, David O. McKay Center, Utah Valley State College, Tuesday.

OREM — As a T-shirt given to Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina said, they're together after "Thirty years of Pooh."

The last time Loggins and Messina toured together was 1976. After big success in the early '70s, they were not much more than business partners. And when their record contract expired, each was eager to move on rather than renew.

After nearly three decades, however, Loggins and Messina decided it was time to put their differences aside and get back together for a nostalgia tour.

Entering the stage from opposite ends, Loggins and Messina greeted each other with a quick hug before grabbing their acoustic guitars and sitting down on bar stools to launch the Wayback Machine.

The duo opened with "Watching the River Run" followed by 1972's big hit "House at Pooh Corner" (which explains the T-shirt reference).

"I think this is off the 'Full Sail' album," Messina said before launching into "Travelin' Blues." "Whoever is reviewing this show can correct me tomorrow if it's not. (For the record, Messina was correct.)

A very small but enthusiastic crowd gave the duo a warm greeting as Loggins and Messina played for more than 2 1/2 hours, running through their catalog of folk and country-rock songs laced with the blues. Upbeat numbers such as "Back to Georgia," "Changes" and "Your Mama Don't Dance" were mixed in with such slower numbers as "Sailin' the Wind."

After a 20-minute break, the duo returned to the bar stools, and the stage was transformed to look like an impromptu jam session in front of a country General Store. "This is where we do whatever the hell we feel like doing," Loggins said.

Despite the appearance of randomly picking songs off the top of their heads, the two stuck pretty close to the set list they have been using the entire tour.

Although Messina picked his way through solid guitar work, it was Loggins who had the more charismatic stage presence. At times when he took center stage, such as when singing the soulful "Peace of Mind," it felt more like a show of Loggins simply with Messina rather than the two together.

"Same Old Wine" sounded as politically relevant now as it did in 1971. After an extended version of "You Need a Man," the crowd was up and dancing for the calypso beat of "Vahevala," which closed the main set.

"Angry Eyes" and "Nobody But You" filled the first encore. The crowd sang along to "Danny's Song" (also a big hit for Anne Murray) for the second encore before the duo said goodnight.