After a guzzling down a pitcher of ice cold beer at Spring Street Bar & Grill, I made my way down to Headliners arriving just in time to watch New York indie poppers EZTV. Before the show I made sure to check out their most recent effort Calling Out, an album that I quickly grew an affection for. It kind of reminds me of what Real Estate might sound like if they decided to write grittier up-tempo rock songs. Their set was full of energy, and only more so when Jenny Lewis joined them on stage for a song.
When EZTV were finished with their set, I quickly noticed that Headliners had become fucking packed with anxious spectators ready to get their fill of Jenny Lewis. At this moment, my girlfriend and I had a pretty good spot relatively close to the stage, so we decided to stay put in order to maintain our optimal vantage point. After waiting about 30 minutes for the sound guys to get everything ready to go, the lights faded and Jenny finally made her way out. Before the first song, a tall, rotund man and his obviously drunk girlfriend rudely squeezed ahead of me and my significant other, completely blocking our previously mentioned prime location that we ever-so-patiently managed to maintain despite the increasing size of the crowd.
As soon as this pair of drunken apes stood in our way, I calmly said “are you really going to stand right in front of us right before she starts playing?” The bologna-skinned man, who happened to be sweating profusely despite standing completely still said something to the effect of “That’s how it goes at shows like this.” Although he wasn’t happy that I called him out, he begrudgingly decided to squeeze his way behind us, effectively standing directly in front of another couple of people that had spent the time waiting for the show to start. Eh. Part of me wanted to turn around and say something like “dude, now you’re standing in front of those people.” I ultimately decided to ignore them for the remainder of the evening. As the Polish say, “Not my circus, not my monkeys.”
Now, on to the wonderful performance from Jenny Lewis and her band. Before I talk about the songs she played, I have to describe what exactly she was wearing. She confidently walked out in what looked like one of those old Evel Knievel jump suits, only instead of white stars over blue and red stripes, her garb was covered in multicolored marijuana leaves. Apparently she knew it was a bit ridiculous as she made a few jokes about her outfit.
She opened up her set on the keys playing “Head Under Water”, the first track from her most excellent Voyager record. Immediately I noticed how glowingly full her voice was in person that to me sounded even better than on her records. She’d go on to alternate from playing keyboard to guitar while exhibiting a few others from that album, as well as a few from Acid Tongue and even a few Riley Kiley songs. Also sprinkled in where a few new ones that I really enjoyed, although I’m not sure if they will be on an upcoming record or EP.
For lack of a better word, the show that Jenny Lewis put on was simply “fun”. Her infectious positive energy kept me 100% into every second of her performance. I’d seen her once before a few years ago at Forecastle, but obviously that go-around was much less intimate than the experience I had last night at Headliners. I should also mention that everything seemed to run precisely on schedule and the music itself sounded pretty damned good, making last night a successful evening of smiles and fun-having.