Jenny Lewis at Music Hall of Williamsburg

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Most artists can’t pull off wearing their band’s T-shirt while performing without seeming lame, desperate, or contrived.  But as I learned Tueday night at the Muic Hall of Williamsburg, Jenny Lewis isn’t most artists.  I had never been a huge fan, but have seen Rilo Kiley before and liked the album she did with the Watson Twins.  Seeing her live will make me pay much more attention to what she’s up to, and may have caused me to fall slightly in love with her.

Skipped out on opening bands Farmer Dave and Deer Tick in order to load up on $ 2 PBRs at Zablowski’s, and made it in the venue about fifteen minutes before Jenny’s set.  She came out solo and was looking ridiculously hot. Wearing the aforementioned Jenny Lewis Godpeed T-shirt, traditionally unflattering high-waisted jeans and a bandana around her neck, she looked like a country-fried urbanite.  I was into it.  She sang a solo version of the Rilo Kiley song “Silver Lining”  and was then joined by her band , which included Farmer Dave on a lap slide guitar and a second drummer pounding floor toms, for a mostly energetic set that drew evenly from Rabbit Fur Coat and  Acid Tongue, as well as a couple of new songs. Jenny’s voice was amazing and crystal clear.  I never really appreciated what a great singer she was until last night. She looked refreshed and happy to be where she was.  She was all smiles and charm and looked to be happy playing music with her friends.  As far as I’m concerned, Jenny can forgo Rilo Kiley and run with her country-tinged hipster rock.  It’s working for her, and for me.

Standouts were “Carpetbaggers,” “Jack Killed Mom,” and set-closer, “The Next Messiah.”

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