Lauderdale Live 2013, Day Two: Lyle Lovett, Indigo Girls, and Jason Isbell
OK, maybe you had to be there.
The Indigo Girls have their own rabid devotees, of course, and given their affinity and fondness for their fans, their enthusiasm is hardly surprising. "My, this is intimate," Indigo Girl Amy Ray remarked, checking out the up-close confines. It made the interaction between band and audience all the more assured, with the rapturous reaction prompting a "Thanks, y'all," after every number. A folk duo at heart, they turn songs such as "Closer to Free" and "Galileo" into veritable anthems, given the ringing refrains and sing-along soundbites. Notably, they were the first act of the day allowed back for an encore, and their rousing rendition of "Devil Went Down to Georgia," featuring a frenzied workout from violinist Lyris Hung and an obviously enthusiastic roadie, ended the set on an exhilaratingly upbeat note (or plethora of notes, as that particular song allows).
See also: Indigo Girls' Emily Saliers Talks Fracking and Miley Cyrus
Alisa B. Cherry
By the time Lyle Lovett and His Acoustic Band took the stage, many of the Indigo fans had departed, only to be replaced by a loyal contingent of Lovett lovers. Fronting an all-star outfit -- fiddler Luke Bulla, bassist Viktor Krauss, cellist John Hagen, guitarist/mandolin player Keith Sewell and legendary drummer Russ Kunkel (a man whose credits encompass everyone from the Beach Boys to James Taylor and Carole King) -- Lovett showed a humility and respect for his players that was truly impressive.
Being the humble Texan that he is, he offered ample spotlight time to the other musicians, and yet when he sang in his lonesome, plaintive and slightly frayed vocal, he rightfully turned the attention on himself. His better known ballads, "If I Had a Boat" and a cover of the old chestnut "Please Release Me," segued nicely into the rousing road song "White Freightliner Blues" and the decidedly tongue-in-cheek repast of "White Boy Lost in the Blues" and "She's No Lady, She's My Wife," not to mention the stirring gospel revelry of "I Will Rise Up," Bulla's yet-to-be recorded co-write with Guy Clark, "The Temperance Reel," and Sewell's moving "Let Me Fall," which also happens to be the title track of his latest solo album.
Sadly, all good things must come to an end, but it's even sadder when that end is unexpectedly abrupt. Forcing a mandate that the music had to be silenced by 9 p.m., the Fort Lauderdale city minions opted to suddenly and unexpectedly cut the power, leaving Lovett and his band to finish their final selection sans amplitude.
Too bad. The first Lauderdale Live showed incredible promise, and one can only hope that the organizers opt to continue to build on it next year in hopes of a better turnout. And that the city managers will show a little more respect and latitude in allowing the festival to come to a fitting end by leaving the electricity on long enough for the headliners to bid a graceful goodbye.
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