My wife and I braved a storm of young hipsters last night to see Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins perform at the Recher Theatre in Towson Maryland. Ambiguous cool person in jeans and a vintage shirt to the left of me, quasi hippie chick in a sun dress and old sweeter to the right of me and there I was stuck in the middle with her.
While the assembled horde seemed to enjoy the two opening acts (Wispertown 2000, and Jonathan Rice) we did not. Wispertown is fronted by Jenny's best friend Morgan who seems like a sweet girl, but may be a bit of a coat tail rider. Her speaking voice is amazingly reminiscent of Maya Rudolph's character Megan from the Wake Up Wakefield high school A/V skit, and that isn't a good thing. If you don't know it, it sounds as if a person who was already short a few brain cells did a few gravity bong hits before huffing Mr. Clean. As for Wispertown's on stage performance... well, it wasn't good. Imagine country rockers Sun Volt and indie girl harmonizers That Dog had a baby, but it was tone deaf, and then you have Wispertown 2000.
Next on the docket, was more standing around waiting and then it was time for Jonathan Rice, who doubles as a member of Jenny's band. As he took the stage in his black shirt and pants and crooned I watched as four or five girls in the crowd reached puberty while staring longingly at him. When he called those in attendance "kids" even I was offended, and I could probably be his dad, if the dog hadn't bitten me on my way up the stairs. His vagabond, rebel, smoldering vibe was a bit stale, but soon enough he walked off and sound checks were under way for the main act.
I loved the album "Rabbit Fur Coat" the first time I dialed it up on my Dell DJ. Lewis fronts Rilo Kiley, a band who have managed to put out three records with out most people knowing who the fuck they are, just like I like them. Despite the fact most people don't know Lewis, she is among the best singer songwriters out there today. With Rilo, or her side project The Postal Service, or now on her own Lewis is a force to be reckoned with through her pen, guitar and microphone.
I was happy to see that her live show more than lived up to what I have heard from her in the past. She has an amazing power to her voice, even though it has an almost angelic quality, which is odd because she seams fixated on death. One new song the band played last night was "Jack Killed Mom" a rousing tale of jack killing mom, but a great one. Add to that all of the wonderful songs from "Rabbit Fur Coat" and you get one hell of a show. I won't even bitch about the half hour we waited between Rice and the main act, oh wait. I just did.