Jenny Lewis, QMU, Glasgow, 18th October 2008

Jenny in cyan by Lastyearsgirl, used under a creative commons licence

well. what to say

I like Jenny Lewis.

Her voice is great and the folky/country musical stylings of her solo work are good and fun. I particular I have enjoyed the Rabbit Fur Coat album. I got her latest album Acid Tongue a couple of weeks ago and had heard songs on random as the time had passed. they were good but I didn’t know them intimately yet.

This saturday evening gig was at the Queen Margaret Union of Glasgow University. in glasgows trendy west end. I had been in the QMU for various things over the years but not for a gig. after meeting with my compadre’s – Rich, Lynzy, and Aileen we headed for the venue.

First up Lynzy seemed particularly happy to be going to the gig. I have never seen anyone so excited to see a tour bus! the queue in was a sign as to how busy the concert was going to be. The small room  was absolutely rammed with people. it was suggested that we go upstairs. Up stairs is a seated space with room ofr standing behind the seating and at the sides of the venue. we sat in the back row just to the right of the centre of stage.

All this detail is important for two reasons. one where you are affects the way you experieince the show. the second reason is that I think it did affect the way I saw the show.

The show was good. Jenny sang well the band was tight, the songs sounded good. i could here very well had good sight lines of what was going on… but…something didn’t sit well. I enjoyed it, in particular ‘Carpetbaggers’, ‘Godspeed’ and ‘Fernando’ from Acid Tongue, were stand out songs…but even so I felt it lacked something.

So what was missing. I dunno. My initial reaction was that it was an element of stagecraft.The band were good and instuments filled that stage but their just seemed a reticence on behalf of the band to go with it, or to interact outwith their own parts. I thought it was that jenny didn’t really have anything beyond singing and walking around. at one peoint she stood on her piano stool, another point she kicked it over.

When I voiced these thoughts after the gig, Lynzy thought that she had been captivating and had seen the gig entirely different, loving the way she was sashaying accross the stage to get her water in time with the music. I was unconvinced, but began to wonder if it was just sitting down upstairs near the back of the venue which had led me to those  thoughts.

With a couple of days reflection I am still unsure. I contrast the show we saw with the ‘Oooh Baby, Baby’ advert from Budweiser. I think we saw a good band play good songs with a great singer but I am not sure we saw a great show.

also, Jenny Lewis is tiny, andthe gig was slightly on the short side at around 75minutes. but hey those are facts the rest of this is opinionated wonderings