April 1, 2006
In Concert – Vista Theater
Jenny Lewis With The Watson Twins
February 2nd, 2006
Anyone headed to the Jenny Lewis/Watson Twins show at the Orpheum tonight? If their record release show a couple of months ago at the Vista Theater was any indication, tonight should be magic.
For anyone unfamiliar, the Vista is actually a movie theater located in Sunset Junction, with just enough of a stage to fit a makeshift band. It was an odd place to hold a show, but it had a great vibe, with plush seating and plenty of legroom. Each audience member was handed a program with lyrics and information, like it was a high school talent show. The ladies came out dressed in long elegant gowns, color matched, of course. Each little touch reassured you that this wasn’t your average rock show, but something more like Lewis’s version of an Opry concert.
Musically, it was virtually identical to the record, sparse in production but packed with emotional power and graceful harmonies. “Run Devil Run” and “Born Secular” showed off the choir like effect of the three voices the best, while Lewis featured on lovely tracks like “Melt Your Heart” and “Happy.” Tracks like “Charging Sky” lacked a little oomph without a full band, but guitars from Johnathan Rice and Farmer Dave gave enough textural changes to keep things interesting. With a slim list of songs to choose from, the show was augmented with a wry reading of “Met Him on a Sunday” by the Shirelles and a rousing version of traditional “Cold Jordan” to close the show.
It wasn’t a perfect show though. There were some feedback issues that had to be surmounted. Also, this being Rilo Kiley home turf, it seemed some of the audience was a bit too familiar with Ms. Lewis, to the point of being a touch rude. Dude, we all know she used to be in movies, but there’s no need to yell “TROOP BEVERLY HILLS” in between songs. Lewis also told a story about watching Kill Bill in the very same theater, but it was ruined by someone yelling the punchline before she was able to even start.
On the way out, ushers handed out rabbits feet with a tag commemorating the album and the concert date. Now, how often does that happen? Anyone headed to the show tonight probably shouldn’t expect too many souvenirs, but maybe you’ll be surprised anyway.