Words & Images by: Nancy Nutile-McMenemy
John Hiatt and Lyle Lovett :: 01.13.10 :: Wilbur Theatre :: Boston, MA
Ever wonder what it would be like to invite the legendary singer-songwriters John Hiatt and Lyle Lovett over to your house for an evening of song and good times? Well, during the pos- blizzard of 2011 in the intimate setting of the Wilbur Theatre in Boston an event very similar to such an “ever wonder” scenario took place for a sold out crowd.
|Lyle Lovett by Nancy Nutile-McMenemy|
Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt are on tour together; performing in small, intimate theaters for, at least in New England, sold out audiences. They two are so comfortable with themselves that they make you feel like you are sitting in the living room with them, getting to know them better through their songs.
They play well off each other and their banter at times can get very humorous. Hiatt arrived Tuesday before the storm but Lovett flew in Thursday morning. This discussion lead to the two thanking the crowd for coming out and also gushing over Logan Airport, with Lovett saying, “Love what you’ve done [with Logan].”
In these “together” shows, the two take turns playing songs from their huge repertoires and at times sing harmonies or play guitars on each other’s songs. A truly supportive jam session results. Hiatt opened with “Open Road,” the title cut from his most recent CD, and Lovett followed with “Farther Down the Line.”
Hiatt next took the crowd on a road trip with his classic “Tennessee Plates,” which made Lovett exclaim, “It’s really a song about a self-starter,” and “It certainly has a Zen quality to it.” Lovett continued his critique by saying the main character “finds true love,” has a “Mecca to Graceland,” and in the end “learns a trade.”
Lovett spoke about being in a restaurant the other day when Eric Clapton’s version of Hiatt’s “Riding with the King” came on the radio. Lovett whined, “Clapton’s never recorded one of my songs!”
Lovett spoke about his experience this past December when he worked with The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles. Artistic Director Ben Donenberg asked Lovett to write a few songs for a production of Much Ado About Nothing. Donenberg explained to Lovett that Shakespeare used to include songs, from the time to time, to lighten up his plays when they “weren’t going so well” said Lovett. Lovett performed a lullaby that the he said he “felt like he co-wrote with Shakespeare.”
Hiatt killed on “Drive South,” after which Lovett put away his guitar and said boldly, “I quit.” But he pulled it together and wowed the crowd with “Natural Forces,” the title cut from his most recent CD.
Hiatt jumped in with “Crossing Muddy Water” to which Lovett responded with “If I Had A Boat.” Hiatt tore through “Riding with the King” and then both Hiatt and Lovett thanked the audience again for their support over the years saying that Boston is a great music town. Lovett ended appropriately enough with “Closing Time.”
|John Hiatt by Nancy Nutile-McMenemy|
The crowd jumped to the feet, thanking them for a great evening and after a small pause, the two returned to the stage. An audience member yelled out for Hiatt to play “Icy Blue Heart” and Hiatt said, “Well, alright!” and proceeded to once again awe the crowd with his skillful lyrics and masterful guitar playing. Lovett chose to finish the night off with “My Baby Don’t Tolerate” and was joined by Hiatt on harmonies and a stinging guitar solo on his gorgeous blonde Gibson with the mother of pearl inlays.
The crowd was again on their feet and the two, like gracious guests, thanked the audience again and jogged off stage.
More photos from this show here.
Continue reading for more pics of Hiatt/Lovett in Portland, ME...