by Ora Brasel
The tingles that were running down my spine still haven’t subsided after a brilliant performance from Jenny Lewis and her band at Freebird Live. They are a tight group of very skilled, emotionally stirring musicians that compliment Jenny’s style in every way imaginable. From the very moment that their silhouettes crept into recognizable forms from out of the darkness, a feverish pitch of excitement built in the crowd that didn’t stop growing until the final snare drum beat snapped. It was clear that this energy and love was being transferred between both the audience and the performers. The way Ms. Lewis peered out into the crowd, scoping the entire audience when she first stepped up to the mic and offering all an ecstatic smile to go along with her twinkling eyes, seemed to both comfort and captivate. It was as if we were assured by this that we were in for a wonderful night of musical bliss to carry on in our memories far beyond this night, and in the end we received just that!
Opening with the very appropriate ‘The Next Messiah,’ it was clear to everyone that we wanted to follow this magical path laid before us. The fact that the one leading us down this path was a majestic, redheaded angel with songs that have the ability to mend broken hearts and fill empty souls with light certainly let us know that this was the correct path to be on. Along each step of this journey the crowd was rewarded for it’s jubilation with both excellent musical craftsmanship (‘Rise UP With Your Fists,’ ‘Carpetbaggers,’ ‘Jack Killed Mom’) and heartfelt emotion (‘Happy,’ ‘Handle With Care,’ ‘You Are What You Love’).
Just before ‘Pretty Bird’ was played Ms. Lewis said, “I have been looking for a spirit guide out here, and I think I might have found one right here,” referring to the emotions of the crowd. A loud roar of happiness rang through the building, perhaps providing confirmation that indeed our love and dedication to their music was just what Jenny had been searching for.
‘Acid Tongue,’ the title track off the most recent album, provided one of the most moving moments of the night. As all the band members gathered arms around one another singing together, the audience followed suit closely, singing along as loudly as they could to illuminate further the chemistry of the night. Our reward for this camaraderie was Jenny’s heart wrenching ‘Silver Lining,’ which at it’s end left her in tears, and she still seemed to be visibly choked up for a few moments afterward. It was clear at this moment that this show had transcended the feeling of regular concerts. This was a very rare moment to witness at shows- the moment where the bridge between audience and performer are actually connected by complete love and respect.
by Ora Brasel