Blitzen Trapper/Jenny Lewis/Ray LaMontagne w/ The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
Hollywood Bowl: Los Angeles, CA 07/12/09
Words/Photos/Videos by Reverend Justito/concertconfessions.com
There are a million things I could write about the KCRW World Music Festival at the Hollywood Bowl (featuring Blitzen Trapper/Jenny Lewis & headliner Ray LaMontagne w/ The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra). I could write all about how it will be the last show I be able to walk to at the historic venue (as we are about to move across town from Hollywood closer to the great Pacific Ocean). I could be a pig, and discuss at length the hordes of beautiful women in loose fitting sun dresses and opened toed shoes. It would be easy for me to go into length yet again about how the Hollywood Bowl is more about being scene (and heard) than hearing the bands you paid to see. But not today, that’s not how we are going to roll. Honestly, there is only one thing you need to know.
Now, I know I should tell you about the night’s first act – the perennial next big thing known as Blitzen Trapper. In support of their new record Furr they came and played a 30 minute set of songs that sound like Bob Dylan backed by Modest Mouse covering Wilco. This was my second time seeing this Portland Oregon buzz band, but first time actually seeing them perform in front of people. However, that’s not what I want to tell you, nor do I want to tell you about how they miss-pronounced the last name of the headliner.
Clearly, you want to hear about the headliner. The shy crooner from Maine named Ray who made 98% of the panties in the crowd moist on a hot summer night. With minimum stage lighting (thus no photos), LaMontagne performed a solid mix of songs from all three of his albums. His voice sent shivers up the spines of many. I thought it was rather solid, but I am no more/no less a fan of his than I was two months ago when I loaded his music (legally purchased on compact disc by my wife) onto my Ipod. So yeah, Ray was good, I have seen worse, I have seen better, but that’s not what I want to tell you about.
Nope, I want to talk to you about everyones favorite child actress turned hipster songstress not named Deschanel. That’s right, I want to talk to you about Jenny Lewis. You know, the cute gal with not-so-cute bangs with the daytime gig (LA based band Rilo Kiley) who write songs for fast food commercials where barely dressed Hills stars munch down on a burger that contains at least more calories than brain cells inside the head that’s eating it. Before the show, I had heard a few ditties by Miss Lewis (also legally purchased by my wife, who as luck has it also purchased my ticket), and kinda felt ho-hum on them. Truthfully, I was looking forward to her set so I could rip it to shreds here.
For 50 minutes, the girl from over the hill in Van Nuys owned the stage. There were only 1-2 songs I didn’t instantly connect with. The music went up and down, peaks and valleys and the highlight perhaps of the entire bowl season was a song called “Acid Tongue”. With the musicians who make up her backup band standing behind her and serving as a choir, Lewis somehow managed to silent the entire crowd. You could hear a pin drop inside the bowl as the near capacity crowd put down their plastic cups of wine and basket dinners and just listened. It was so amazing, it made my back hair stand. That is what I wanted to tell you about my final trip to the Bowl as a resident of the 90046.