|Lyle Lovett and his Large Band|
Tuesday night was Lyle Lovett’s 21st time performing at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. In recognition of this monumental achievement, the legendary venue inducted him into their Hall of Fame. They also presented Lovett a custom Vortic watch made in Fort Collins, Colorado. I have seen him 15 out of those 21 times (I did not receive a custom watch). With world-class musicians playing a combination of heart felt country, dirty blues, and swinging jazz, Lyle Lovett and his Large Band will always be my favorite show of the summer.
|Francine Reed and Lyle Lovett|
After an audience member shouted out a request for The Grateful Dead’s A Friend of the Devil, Lovett obliged. Instead of the original light happy version, Lovett’s interpretation is dark and haunting. I first heard him perform the song at Red Rocks on August 9th 1995 the day Jerry Garcia died. A chill ran through me as soon as the first chord was strummed.
Nat King Cole’s jazz standards Gee, Baby Ain’t I Good to You and Straighten Up and Fly Right were sung as duets with his sensational long time vocalist Francine Reed. The two danced together as different members of the band took solos. Lovett’s own classic What Do You Do/Glory of Love delivered clever lines to the delight of the audience – “What do you think you /See I’m not that kind of /Affair is fair/And right is/Right around the corner/Just a block or/So you know come morning/You’ll have to leave/Everything to me.”
Lyle Lovett – All photos by
The Rock and Roll Princess
Crowd favorites Cowboy Man, She Makes me Feel Good, and If I Had a Boat were applauded as loudly as the slightly older than me crowd could muster. The way Lovett delivers his witty lyrics draws your attention. I smile ever time he says, “Lord I can’t believe what I see/How could you be alone/When you could sit right here beside me girl/And make yourself at home” from the song I’ve Been to Memphis. The only new song was Twelfth of June. It sounded amazing and makes me hopeful for a new album that Lovett has promised to record soon. Opener Margo Price joined him on stage to perform Walk Through the Bottomland originally recorded with Emmylou Harris on Lovett’s 1989 Pontiac album. He stated he liked watching Price perform and hoped to sing with her again soon. Fingers crossed it will happen again next summer when he comes back to Red Rocks for the 22nd time.
Playing Red Rocks was a bucket list gig for country artist Margo Price. She pulled out all the stops for the occasion. Price got the crowd’s attention immediately when she stepped on stage in a metallic David Bowie inspired jumpsuit by costume designer Elizabeth NeSmith. During Cocaine Cowboys, Price played the drums and sang while the band went into an Allman Brothers like jam. Price played the piano alone to perform American Made – “I wonder if the president gets much sleep at night/And if the folks on welfare are making it all right/I’m dreaming of that highway that stretches out of sight/That’s all American made.” She closed with Hurtin'(On The Bottle) with Willie Nelson’s Whiskey River slipped in the middle. Price held notes just a little longer treasuring the amphitheatre’s impressive national acoustics.
See you at the next show. I’ll be the one dancing to Nat King Cole songs wearing a metallic jumpsuit.