Live: Lucinda Williams at Memorial Auditorium | Live Review | Indy Week
Pin It

Live: Lucinda Williams at Memorial Auditorium 

Previewing songs from her new album and taking on some blues greats, Williams sounded mostly stellar in Raleigh

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF LOST HIGHWAY RECORDS
  • Photo courtesy of Lost Highway Records

Lucinda Williams
Tuesday, Sept. 30
Memorial Auditorium, Raleigh

Last night at Raleigh's Memorial Auditorium, Lucinda Williams was in a good mood: She danced with the band, marveled at how good her voice sounded from the old Raleigh stage, and urged the audience to vote in November.

"I detest apathy," she said near the end of her set. "I think apathy is the kiss of death."

Williams dedicated her last song, "Get Right with God," one of several she lifted from 2001's Essence for the night, to bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley. He recently endorsed Barack Obama for president. Drawing laughter and applause from the crowd, Williams said she wished Stanley had been at the table with her when a dinner guest told her he didn't like Obama or John McCain but loved Sarah Palin.

"He's not even concerned about the issues; he just thinks she's cool—and he's not even going to vote," she said, sounding genuinely exasperated.

Not even an anniversary-song request threw off Williams last night, though. After reading a slip of bright-green paper at her feet, she gave the plea some thought, and said, "This next one probably wouldn't be good" before playing "Jailhouse Tears," a song she sang as a duet with Elvis Costello on her upcoming record, Little Honey. Although the song hasn't been released, the lyrics of mischief and heartbreak drew instant recognition.

"I just went to the corner to get a six-pack," sang guitarist Doug Pettibone, playing Costello's part for the night. "You're a drunk, you're a stoner. You're never coming back," Williams answered, to the crowd's delight.

Williams eventually atoned, dedicating two new songs to the anniversary couple: the rollicking "Honey Bee" (a song for when you first met, she explained) and "Knowing," a quiet ballad. She saved the latter for the encore, saying, "This is the song I've been putting off to do."

"Come On" was another crowd-pleaser, but the song's echoing chorus didn't translate well to the stage, where William's voice often favored the guttural over the serene, a line she so deftly walks in the studio. She gave several older songs—"Joy" and "Changed the Locks"—the Bob Dylan treatment, altering the pacing and voicing at whim. For "Joy," which became a fast-paced rap and incorporated Led Zeppelin's "Heartbreaker" riff, the revisions worked. "Changed the Locks," a pretty song about vindication, lost its juxtaposition and became flat and angry.

Williams dedicated most of her encore to covers, reworking other's songs in remarkable ways: She tackled Fats Domino ("I Live My Life"), Skip James ("Hard Times Killing Floor Blues") and, finally, in a glorious moment of unabashed, downbeat-heavy rock 'n roll, AC/DC's "It's a Long Way to the Top." Indeed, she was most comfortable with a guitar in her hand. After starting her set without one, she switched from an acoustic to a silver-glitter Telecaster for the heavier songs. Even though ballads like "Steal Your Love," and a slowed-down "Concrete and Barbed Wire" sounded better, up-tempo versions of songs like "Essence" and "Out of Touch" were more fun.

"We're going to rock out a little now," Williams said before "Essence." Swaying, clapping and even doing a bit of duck-walking, that's exactly what she did.

Set list

1. Real Love
2. Steal Your Love
3. Tears of Joy
4. Concrete and Barbed Wire
5. Jailhouse Tears
6. People Talkin'
7. Out of Touch
8. Little Rock Star
9. Essence
10. Come On
11. Changed the Locks
12. Real Live Bleeding Fingers and Broken Guitar Strings
13. Honey Bee
14. Joy
15. Get Right with God

ENCORE

1. Knowing
2. I Live My Life (Fats Domino cover)
3. Hard Time Killing Floor Blues (Skip James cover)
4. It's a Long Way to the Top (AC/DC cover)

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Live Review



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

Love it! Thanks for sharing your talents!!

by Aaron J. Courtney on Calmly, confidently and in Cary, kids join the state's symphony (Live Review)

Miranda Lambert is a pop artist and just a poser with respect to country outlaws. She is a mainstream Taylor …

by jamesbh999 on Miranda Lambert's song selections confirm her status as modern country's best outlaw (Live Review)

First of all the word SCAB isn't associated with someone that has been fired from their job. It is used …

by Dave Jet Black Smith on What do you do when one of your favorite bands becomes an utter embarrassment? (Live Review)

Learn him a thing or 2 Joe....

by Chris Rosenberry on What do you do when one of your favorite bands becomes an utter embarrassment? (Live Review)

Clearly you haven't had the time to listen to any of the shows the original members with LaTorre have been …

by Joe Helm on What do you do when one of your favorite bands becomes an utter embarrassment? (Live Review)

Comments

Love it! Thanks for sharing your talents!!

by Aaron J. Courtney on Calmly, confidently and in Cary, kids join the state's symphony (Live Review)

Miranda Lambert is a pop artist and just a poser with respect to country outlaws. She is a mainstream Taylor …

by jamesbh999 on Miranda Lambert's song selections confirm her status as modern country's best outlaw (Live Review)

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation