Jenny Lewis has transformed as a performer during the multiple times I have seen her. During her 2008
Acid Tongue Tour, Lewis had a casual persona. She wore overalls with a minimalistic stage setup. Throughout the 2014 Voyager Tour, Lewis sported a white pantsuit accented with a rainbow. The stage had the similar multicolored motif. Lewis’ current On The Line Tour is a tribute to her recently deceased mother (Lewis’ mother and father had a Las Vegas lounge act). Lewis dressed in a sparkling tight dress with fur cuffs. There were several glowing rotary telephones placed on her piano (it’s the On the Line Tour after all). This version was by far my favorite Jenny Lewis incarnation.
The house speakers started playing the perfectly fitting Tommy Tutone’s 8675306/Jenny – “Jenny I’ve got your number/I need to make you mine/Jenny don’t change your number/8675309.” Lewis sat down at the intricately decorated piano and played the first track on her new album Heads are Going to Roll accompanied by two violinists and a cellist. After playing a few more songs from her solo albums, Lewis grabbed her guitar and stepped in front of the stage to perform Rise Up with Fists. Several women in the audience held up their fists in solidarity when the song’s title was sung.
When Red Bull & Hennessy was played, large bouncing pink and blue balloons were released into the audience. It added to the joyful atmosphere Lewis created during the night. The problem was the massive amount of latex globes kept bouncing around the audience after the lighthearted songs were finished. When Born Secular about Lewis’ struggles with religion was being passionately sung, one of the blow-up orbs bounced off the top of my head.
Lewis ended with the Abba like dance friendly See Fernando that had her dancing with her band with choreographed leg kicks. When she left the stage, the house speakers played New Edition’s Mr. Telephone Man.
Karl Blau opened up the night’s music accompanied by keyboardists Andrew Dorsett and Arron Otheim. Blau was dressed in a t-shirt with a Furby like image on the front with his keyboard players in denim suits (blue jeans and blue jean jackets). The Anacortes, Washington musician set a somber mood by playing a song written by his friend that died a few weeks ago. He ended with Nina Simone’s To Love Somebody. The night got less depressing when Jenny Lewis in her glittery gown adorned the stage.
See you at the next show. I’ll be the one wearing a Furby shirt dodging pink and blue bouncing balloons.