BY TIM HINELY
It had been a few years since I’d last seen Jenny Lewis. She and the Watson Twins had come through Portland Oregon where they put on a terrific show at the Wonder Ballroom in 2006, touring for the terrific Rabbit Fur Coat. She then released a solo record in 2008, Acid Tongue, that I didn’t love and, now, after six years, comes the Ryan Adams-produced The Voyager. I’d heard it was real poppy and I was very skeptical.
After a few listens the songs started growing on me… slowly. Tonight, Lewis and her band (3 guys and 3 gals) took the sold out Bluebird stage. The crowd was ready, willing and able as Lewis bounded out and shouted “What up, D!” Opening with Rilo Kiley oldie “Silver Lining” she then heading into some from The Voyager, including a few of my favorites like “Head Underwater,” “Just One of the Guys,” “Slippery Slopes,” and “The Moneymaker.” Honestly, she had the crowd eating out of her hand and re: Lewis’ band, they’re tight and seem to be really into the material.
About midway through we hear the terrific “Rise Up with Fists” (off Rabbit Fur Coat”) and from 2 Acid Tongues we heard “Pretty Bird’ and “The Next Messiah.’” She didn’t forget about the crowd for encores as she pulled out an acoustic version of “Acid Tongue” (with the band , standing together and vocalizing behind her) and ended with a gorgeous version of “She’s Not Me.” She then left to get ready to open for Beck a few nights later at Red Rocks.
Not quite the magic I saw in 2006 but still a damn good set by anyone’s standards.