Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Concert Review: Nick Lowe at the Dakota Jazz Club

Nick Lowe at the Dakota Jazz Club, October 11, 2016. (Photo taken by my wife.)
Nick Lowe with his trusty guitar.

Last night Nick Lowe performed at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis. Lowe has appeared at the Dakota before-I reviewed his 2008 concert here. Last night’s concert was the 6th time I’ve seen Nick Lowe live, and he always puts on an excellent show. Lowe forgot a couple of lyrics last night, which he apologized for, and his British charm ensured that his fans quickly forgave him. Lowe was witty, as always, as he said after playing “Cruel to be Kind,” “That was a medley of my hit.” 

Lowe performed solo, which is my favorite way to hear him. Lowe is a performing who can keep the audience spellbound with just his voice and guitar. His guitar playing is very rhythmic, and it keeps the songs rolling along. Lowe’s voice is superbly expressive, and when he sings sad songs the ache is his voice is very moving. The set list was an excellent collection of Nick Lowe’s greatest songs, and as usual, focused mainly on his songs over the last twenty years, and not his early songs from the 1970’s and 1980’s-although some of those songs made appearances as well. 

Nick was in a good mood, and he shared some interesting stories about songwriter and guitarist Henry McCullough, an acquaintance of Lowe’s who recently passed away. (McCullough was in Wings, and played the great guitar solo on “My Love.”) Lowe sang a moving version of McCullough’s song “Failed Christian,” which appeared on Lowe’s 1998 album “Dig My Mood.” Other highlights of the evening included “What’s Shakin’ on the Hill,” “House for Sale,” which positively ached with loneliness, “People Change,” and the encores of “When I Write the Book” and “Alison.” 

Lowe said that there were some new songs mixed in with the other songs, he said he hoped they didn’t stick out too much. One is probably called “Crying Inside,” and it was a lovely song, hopefully Lowe will record it soon. Lowe’s songs might sound simple and straight forward, but you can tell that the words have been carefully chosen. His songs of the last twenty years don’t have any fat on them-there’s nothing extraneous there. Every word serves a purpose. 

Here’s the set list from last night:

People Change
Stoplight Roses
Long Limbed Girl
Raging Eyes
Has She Got a Friend?
What’s Shakin’ on the Hill
Crying Inside (new song)
Until the Real Thing Comes Along
The Shoes I Used to Wear (new song)
I Trained Her to Love Me
I Live on a Battlefield
Failed Christian
Cruel to be Kind
Sensitive Man
Somebody Cares for Me
House for Sale
Only Make You Lonely (new song)
Peace, Love, and Understanding
I Knew the Bride When She Used to Rock and Roll

When I Write the Book
Rin Tin Tin

1 comment:

M-----l said...

I saw Nick Lowe last night and found your write-up this morning while digging around trying to find proper titles for his new songs. Your setlist was helpful in identifying "Crying Inside" and "The Shoes I Used to Wear" as being new (instead of being songs from his Yep Roc albums, some of which I don't own). Thanks for that.

I suspect that the song you called "Only Make You Lonely" is probably the old Arthur Alexander song "Lonely Just Like Me" which Nick released on his The Doings box set in the late 90s. He played it at my show right after "House For Sale." There's audio of it on YouTube if you'd like to confirm.