It was a good show overall. From perusing setlists online so far, it seems like they are playing about 13 or 14 of the same songs every night out of 18-20 total. They mixed it up a little more at this show than what I had read previously. "A Man/Me/Then Jim" made its first appearance all tour (at least as of last week....the last time I was able to find a setlist). Also, a nice song by the Elected, guitarist Blake Sennett's side project. If they were going to play a Jenny Lewis solo song, I would have preferred "The Charging Sky", but oh well - "Rise Up With Fists!" was good.
Overall, I came away impressed with Blake Sennett's guitar playing. Nothing really wowed me early. It's kind of tough. Having just seen J Mascis play, it's tough to really appreciate a good guitar player again, after you've seen a great one. Plus, a lot of the sounds that I thought were made with synthesizers on the new album, it turns out were from Sennett's guitar. Very impressive.
The band in general seems very underrated. The drummer seemed a little weak early on during the newer songs, but he stepped it up on the older ones. He was also a dead ringer for mid 1980's era Paul Westerberg. And they had three extra musicians there, playing the trumpet, sax, and bongos, keyboards, and extra guitar when necessary.
And I was a little disappointed that they didn't play "Smoke Detector" or "The Angels Hung Around" from their new album. I was hoping to hear at least one of them in this set. Along with "Close Call", "15", and "Silver Lining" they are probably my favorite tracks on the album.
I remember during the show thinking they were playing too much from the 2004 More Adventurous release, but after tallying it up it was only 6 of the 19 songs. And 7 more from the new one - Under the Blacklight. I was holding out hope for "Science Vs. Romance" or "Plane Crash in C" from their debut album, Take Offs and Landings , especially since they had the horns, or "A Better Son/Daughter" from The Execution of All Things. But I guess they aren't going back too far in the catalog these days.
I liked the way they ended the original set. I was kind of actually thinking they shouldn't come back for an encore at first. The encore was a little bit anticlimactic basically playing 2 slow, downer songs. The first one "Give a Little Love", Jenny Lewis said was written about "her friend" Blake Sennett.
For those not aware there is a very Fleetwood Mac-ish Lindsey Buckingham-Stevie Nicks back story with these two. They were a couple, then they broke up, then the band almost broke up. And now they are together as a band again. And they ended up with a great breakup album out of it.
Jenny Lewis is definitely featured now as the star of the band. They are definitely trying to ride her sex appeal to bigger and better things, it appears. During the "disco song" - "Breakin' Up" she strutted around the stage. She did the same on "15." Funny line before they played "Rise Up With Fists!", Blake Sennett introduced his brother who was a roadie. And he said his brother told him they were doing great so far and his favorite song was coming up next, but it wasn't by this band. And of course, it was the Lewis solo song.
I was surprised by the number of teens and early twentysomethings in the audience. They didn't strike me as a band that would appeal to this age group. When the tickets went on sale, I was shocked that it wasn't a 21+ show. But it sold out and there seemed to be many underage kids there. So I guess it was a good decision. The only problem with these sold out shows at the Troc in the warmer weather is it feels like 120 degrees in there.
1. It's a Hit
2. Close Call
3. Portions For Foxes
4. Paint's Peeling
5. Breakin' Up
8. Wires and Waves
10. With Arms Outstretched
11. A Man/Me/Then Jim
12. Silver Lining
13. I Never
15. Rise Up With Fists! (Jenny Lewis solo)
16. Greetings in Braille (The Elected - Blake Sennett side project)
17. Spectacular Views
18. Give a Little Love
19. Does He Love You?