This was a homecoming show for indie goddess Jenny Lewis. And even though she reminded the audience of that fact several times, it didn’t feel like a homecoming show. At least not in the same way it felt to watch Imagine Dragons play to thousands after rooting for them when they couldn’t pack the Beauty Bar. This Las Vegas native has lived in L.A. too long and doesn’t visit often enough for locals to share any special connection beyond that which all Lewis fans feel through her music.
So how was the music then? First of all there wasn’t a whole ton of it because she went on nearly 20 minutes late, and a festival schedule waits for no band.
But once she started, she came out strong with “Silver Lining” from her former band Rilo Kiley. Then came a three-song interlude from her emotional new album, The Voyager, during which a middle-age couple left in disgust, exclaiming, “This sounds like Kenny G.”
They should’ve stayed because Lewis next switched from Kenny G to g-force with the rollicking “The Moneymaker” and “The Next Messiah.” She was moving about the stage and preaching her music gospel like a tent revival preacher with a secret Led Zeppelin collection. Unfortunately, time was almost up.
For the final song, the folky “Acid Tongue,” Lewis called her sister, Leslie, onstage, proclaiming, “We’re both Vegas girls.” Leslie and the rest of the band circled up behind Lewis as she played an acoustic guitar and sang in the way—with those soul-piercing high notes—that made everybody fall in love with her in the first place. ★★★✩✩
Silver Lining (from Rilo Kiley)
Just One of the Guys (The Voyager)
You Can’t Outrun ‘Em (The Voyager)
Slippery Slopes (The Voyager)
Moneymaker (from Rilo Kiley)
The Next Messiah (Acid Tongue)
Pretty Bird (Acid Tongue)
Acid Tongue (Acid Tongue)