June 11, 2009

Jenny Lewis at the House of Blues

(image from Seattlesoundmag.com)

Somwehere around the fourth song, a dude in the audience yelled out "I love you, Jenny!" Which prompted another dude to yell-respond "Join the fucking club!," which got a laugh from the crowd around him.
And that pretty much summed up the Jenny Lewis fans in the audience, a mix of indie dudes and chicks -- and a few of older semi-geezers (me included!) -- who came to hear the singer's mix of country, gospel and rock tunes. And let it be said, Jenny Lewis is the complete package. Yes, she can rock a T-shirt and jeans like no other, and her stage presence -- with her dancing and posing onstage -- keeps all eyes focused on her, but more than all that she can flat-out sing. Her range on her albums is amazing, but that she can do it all on stage is even more impressive. Her voice commands attention whether she's standing solo singing a gospel number or surrounded by the full-on rock 'n' roll crunch of her tight and versatile band. Playing for more than two hours, Lewis played a generous portion of her new album, "Acid Tongue," a few choice morsels from "Rabbit Fur Coat," a couple of Rilo Kiley numbers ("Silver Lining," played solo) and, by my count, two new tunes (one called "The Big Wave.")
Here are a couple of highlights: She opened the show in force with "See Fernando," immediately showing off a band that is creative and powerful, and incredibly versatile. A pair of women percussionists, Danielle Haim and Barbara Gruska, also played crankin' guitar on certain tracks. The guy next to Jenny, Johnathan Rice, was playing the part of a young Neil Young on acoustic and had a great voice. And Farmer Dave Scher, who was an opening act as well, played all sorts of guitars, from lap steel to electric to some weird lap instrument. Other songs included "Rise Up With Fists!!," "The Charging Sky," and the Willbury's "Handle with Care" from the "Rabbit Fur Coat" album. She really took off on the electric tunes from "Acid Tongue." "Carpetbagger" and "Jack Killed Mom" were killer (he, he) and "The Next Messiah" was massive, with each part building and building to rock climax. Awesome. She also did beautiful renditions of "Pretty Bird," one of my favorite tunes from the new album, and the tune "Acid Tongue," which was one of three encores.
This is why you buy a ticket to a concert instead of sitting in your living room listening to the stereo.
For a professional take on the show from the Boston Globe, click HERE

See Fernando
The Charging Sky
You Are What You Love
Pretty Bird
Sing a Song for Them
Jack Killed Mom
Trying My Best to Love You
Rise Up With Fists!!
Just Like Zeus
Handle With Care
The Next Messiah

Silver Lining
Acid Tongue
The Big Wave
Born Secular

I didn't bring my camera this time because the last time I went to the HOB, to see Derek Trucks, they wouldn't allow it in. But here's a video of "Acid Tongue" posted from the show.

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