Posted by: gdevi | January 27, 2014

Concert Review: Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt (2014)

Sunday, January 26th, 7:30pm.

Our friends, the Strattons, who own a radio station in town gave me a ticket to see the Lyle Lovett-John Hiatt concert at the Community Arts Center in Williamsport Sunday evening. I am a fan of Lyle Lovett’s music. I don’t know the songs of John Hiatt much — I have heard some songs over the years but I don’t really know his songs except one entitled Just Like Your Dad Did, which is kind of funny, because there is a line in that song “Help the starving children to get well”, and right then, you hear a sitar riff. You know in India, when you wish to remind children at dinner table to finish their food, parents use starving children in Africa as the noble cause. In America, it is India. Funny, don’t you think, the pecking order? Anyway, this was an incredibly awesome concert. Thank you, Dave and Karyn for giving me this ticket. The seat was excellent, and you are incredibly kind. I will make you a wonderful dinner one of these days.

I absolutely love Lyle Lovett’s songs and his voice. The concert was two and a half hours long, without any breaks in between. They split the performances in a dynamic manner. John Hiatt sang mostly sincere songs. Lyle Lovett sang subversive songs. It was a great combination. For instance, the concert began with John Hiatt singing a song “Real Fine Love,” a sincere song partly sardonic and with low self-esteem, which Lyle Lovett followed up with “I married Her Because She Looks Like You,” which, as you know, is an incredibly funny song, country love song in reverse. Then they had these little discussions in between about their songs, at which point, Lyle Lovett said that that song was actually based on the time that he flew somewhere and the flight attendant was a really nice woman who was very nice to him, and looked exactly like a woman he had dated once before who was just the opposite. So he said he went home and wrote that song. Lyle Lovett is very, very funny and very sharp.  John Hiatt is sort of quiet, but you can tell he is a nice guy, and that they are good friends. John Hiatt sang an anthemic song “Through Your Hands,” which Lyle Lovett followed with one of my favorite songs “The Road to Ensenada.” I remember hearing this song years ago and instantly loving it; I can conclusively say that I love songs in the D G A chord. I find the combination incredibly beautiful in my heart.

The other songs by John Hiatt were  “Crossing Muddy Waters,” with Lyle Lovett singing “She had already made up her mind,” John Hiatt singing “Icy Blue Heart,” followed by Lyle Lovett singing “Give back my heart chipkicker redneck woman,” John Hiatt singing  “Perfectly Good Guitar” — he played this extremely well — reminded me of Neil Young in places and the whistling was terrific — which Lyle Lovett followed with “The world is full of creeps like me.” The segue, you ask. Here it is: when John Hiatt finished singing his perfectly good guitar song, Lyle Lovett observed that people are very attached to material things, and that Hiatt’s song is the best ode to an inanimate object.  Then he said that he once met a woman who told him that she had just lost her grandmother and was feeling very sad about the loss, but that she had also inherited certain things from the grandmother. She then told Lyle Lovett that she had inherited this gold tooth from her grandmother. Lyle Lovett said that he started to feel that the conversation was turning weird, when the woman said, but I am going to melt this tooth down and turn this into a ring, so I can wear grandma on my finger at all times. Lyle Lovett said that the conversation went from weird to sick at that point. Anyway the net result was the song “The world is full of creeps like me.”

Then John Hiatt sang “Tennessee Plates,” followed by Lyle Lovett singing “Lights of LA County,” John Hiatt singing “Blues can’t even find me,” with Lyle Lovett singing “She’s no lady she’s my wife,” John Hiatt and Lyle Lovett singing a song together “A White Boy Lost in the Blues.” Then Lyle Lovett played a wonderful song “One Way Gal” — he is such a fine guitar player! Then John Hiatt sang “This Thing Called Love,” followed with Lyle Lovett “If I had a pony,” and John Hiatt sang “Have a Little Faith in Me,” followed by Lyle Lovett singing “Church.” I think Lyle Lovett deserves to be in the comedy hall of fame, really. He just cracks me up. There were some other songs as well–a strange song by Lyle Lovett about a One Eyed Fiona — but I forget them now. Lyle Lovett told the strangest story about the One Eyed Fiona song. Apparently when they were playing in Kansas City, there was a guy in the front row who kept talking to them the entire time. Lyle Lovett said they were trying to be polite without encouraging him. So anyway, he played the One Eyed Fiona song, and this guy came up to the stage, and said “Hey Hey Hey,” calling them. Lyle Lovett looked down. The guy had taken his eye out and it was in his hands. “I took my eye out,” the guy said. Lyle Lovett said he thought he must be dreaming. He said he looked over at John Hiatt who sat with a perfectly straight face not giving him eye contact. So anyway just as Lyle Lovett thought he had dreamed the whole thing, he heard a woman’s voice saying,” I can’t take you anywhere.” He said just at the moment, though he had been feeling annoyed with the guy earlier, his response to the guy became instantly empathetic. So many women say things like this to men, he said. John Hiatt added that One Eyed Fiona was an incredibly evocative song–you can just picture Fiona standing there on the bayou, beautiful, with her long hair flowing, and this big One Eye on her face . . .

So anyway, it was a totally awesome concert. If they come to your town, go see them, nation. Two excellent musicians with just their guitars, and some fine songs, and stories. Thanks again, Karyn and Dave.

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