Thursday, October 8, 2009

Lucinda at Lupo’s

I saw Lucinda Williams for the third time in about 20 years last night. This time it was at Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel in Providence. It was a frustratingly inconsistent show. The band seemed in disarray and slow to get going. Lucinda can certainly sing the lights out (and that was the undoubtedly the high point throughout), but she was overly reliant on cheat sheets for lyrics (on nearly every song). She and her backing band, Buick 6, didn’t really get cooking until well into the set when someone in the audience did something to piss her off (not sure what, but I think the spectator was put off by the fact that she wasn't doing a purely folk/country show – a very unrealistic expectation, I must say). Lucinda played both acoustic and electric guitars on various tunes, but the best songs were those on which she just sang.

Billed as an overview of her 30 year career, the show drew upon the breadth of her formidable catalog, I just wish she and her bandmates had delivered on the promise of more of those songs. Unlike the other times I’ve seen her in concert, this time I couldn't help but think that maybe it would have been better to just listen to her many fine records.

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