Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Concert review: Lyle Lovett at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth (December 20)
Bass Hall is like a second home for Lovett.
Is there a performer out there more suited for a venue and vice versa than Lyle Lovett and Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth? Truly, there mustn’t be. Last night Lyle Lovett and His Acoustic Band were at home on the Bass Hall stage, filling its elegant surroundings with a fresh take on his massive canon of material. It’s truly a musician’s musician who can envision his songs in any form, and the stripped down six-piece acoustic band took no exception.
For more than 2 ½ hours, Lovett regaled the audience at Bass Hall with favorites, deep cuts, and covers. As I had only seen him with His Large Band, this was different, yet not lacking in any way. “She’s No Lady,” “If I Had A Boat,” “That’s Right (You’re Not From Texas),” and “I Will Rise Up” came through without missing anything at all. Lovett’s near-comedic performances seamlessly meld awkward, self-deprecating comedic timing with his often humorous, quirky lyrics. With songs about his truck, or comparing food to love, or even sticking it to his wife because she’s not a lady, it’s when Lovett digs in and gets serious that he’s at his best. Pulling two of my favorites from Joshua Judges Ruth, “She’s Already Made Up Her Mind” and “North Dakota,” Lovett and his band created atmospheric delights with their sparse arrangements being toyed with and spruced up. The new Christmas song, “The Girl With The Holiday Smile” was possibly the warmest song one has ever heard about a hooker around Christmastime.
Whether all six were locking in, or when cellist John Hagen and drummer Russ Kunkel exited the stage for an old timey bluegrass jamboree, it is evident these players love what they do. Gathered around Lovett’s center microphone, fiddler Luke Bulla, bassist Viktor Krauss, and multi-instrumentalist-from-Duncanville Keith Sewell treated the audience with harmonies, picking, and sheer bluegrass joy, presenting another dimension of their incomparable musical prowess, further stripping down this already bare bones act.
This was only the fifth time in 18 years I’ve gotten to see Lyle Lovett. And with the frequency he plays Fort Worth, it’s a shame. If you ever see Lyle Lovett, do yourself a favor and see him in this atmosphere. Not even the screeching distractions of Ms. Superfan behind me -- making sure to laugh louder and longer than everyone else in the crowd to prove SHE definitely got the jokes -- could dampen the evening. Even with her husband shushing her and allowing her cell phone to ring during the quietest part of “North Dakota” (yes ma’am, you were very annoying for 2 ½ hours) they could not deter the magnificence of Mr. Lovett.
Thank you Lyle for a wonderful evening. Bass Hall is honestly your home.
Babes In The Woods (Walter Hyatt Cover)
The Girl With The Holiday Smile
The Truck Song
She’s No Lady She’s My Wife
Well Alright (Buddy Holly Cover)
I Will Rise Up
Cute As A Bug
My Baby Don’t Tolerate
This Old Porch
She’s Already Made Up Her Mind
If I Were The man You Wanted
If I Needed You (Townes Van Zandt Cover)
Nothing But A Good Ride
Give Me Back My Heart
More Pretty Girls Than One (Ricky Skaggs Cover)
I’ll Come Knocking (Walter Hyatt Cover)
Keep It in Your Pantry
Up In Indiana
If I Had A Boat
That’s Right (You’re Not From Texas)
You Can’t Resist It
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