The Upshot: The Americana rocker sells out a two-night stand at Denver’s Lost Lake Lounge.
BY TIM HINELY
It’d been about three years since Lydia Loveless had visited Denver. That last time was in that lucky year of 2014 or so when she and her band did a tuckered out set at the Hi Dive over on S. Broadway. That night the band seemed lively, but Lydia looked wiped out from too much touring. Energy-wise she made up for it tonight.
This time she played the equally a tiny Lost Lake but she was playing two nights here. We opted to catch the first night and it was sold out which had a lot of slackers who didn’t bother to get tickets early all bummed out; one middle-aged woman was freaking out, yelling and cussing.
Missed the opener but did catch a few songs by middle band Angelica Garcia and her band who are touring with Lydia and they were a mix of folky weave plus country-inflected tunes and jam band bore. Not bad but really my thing.
Lydia came out as the clock struck eleven pm with Ben Lamb on bass, Todd May on guitar plus drummer and pedal steel player. Lydia had cropped all of her hair since the last time I saw her and was a lot more lively this time. Joking with the crowd an she generally seemed in good spirits.
They opened with “Really Wanna See You Again” off of 2014’s Somewhere Else and proceeded to play a few other cuts off that record (“To Love Somebody,’ “Verlaine Shot Rinbaud” etc.) but the set was mostly from her latest album 2016’s Real (both records are on the venerable Chicago country-punk label Bloodshot). The set was solid and well-paced.
Loveless gets lumped in the with the alt country crowd and , as previously mentioned, she did have a pedal steel player and is on the Bloodshot label but she is not so easy to pin down. Loveless herself has a punk sneer while guitarist May ground out feedback like he was in Robeert Pollard’s stable and bassist Lamb could easily tour with any working metal band out there. It’s Lydia’s show though, she is the sassy one with smart-ass comebacks. Regarding our current President (“Come on people four years really isn’t that long…it’ll go by quickly…hell it’d been three years since we’d been to Denver”) or when she blurted out something about her sexual exploits (I’d write it here I’d blush).
For encores she came out and played a few songs with just she and her guitar (including “Clumps”) before her band joined her for a few numbers (including “Head’) and called it a night. The hard-to-pin-down thing is all Lydia. She probably wants it that way and who can blame her, most musicans want to keep you guessing, the good ones do, anyway and she’s one of the good ones.
Photo Credit: Ellis Abbott, via Loveless’ Facebook page.