TVD Live: Jenny Lewis at the 9:30 Club, 6/7

Jenny Lewis is about to release Voyager, her first solo album in six years, and if her performance on Saturday night at the 9:30 Club is any indication, she’s pretty excited about its release.

From the moment she walked out on stage and began working her way through “Just One of the Guys,” the first single from her new album, to the end of the show, she seemed to be having a great time playing through a well-balanced set of songs.

She took the stage looking both classic and modern in her white suit with airbrushed stars and a rainbow of colors. There’s something about it that evokes a retro feel while still feeling a bit fresh, much like the music she plays. Lewis and her band effortlessly switched between genres like the chugging honky-tonk of “The Next Messiah” to the indie pop of Rilo Kiley’s “Silver Lining.”

Throughout the evening, Lewis was chatty and full of smiles, which added to the fun vibe of the toasty room. When not behind an instrument. she spent much of her time at the front of the stage leaning in and feeding off the energy of the audience near the front of the stage. It all came together as a compelling live package. You couldn’t really help but have fun since Jenny was up there having so much of it herself.

Lewis and her band played several songs from the forthcoming record that were well-played and well received. It was the first time most of us were hearing many of the new tracks, and they were sprinkled-in well. The sold-out audience also seemed unusually receptive to the new material, and the newer songs were met with a good deal of enthusiasm—perhaps a testament to the fans’ love for Jenny.

The set closed with the terrific and performed-to-perfection crowd pleaser “A Better Son/Daughter” from Rilo Kiley’s The Execution of All Things.

The encore brought the welcome surprise of Jonathan Rice coming out to do “Switchblade,” followed by the beautiful soul gospel of “Acid Tongue” from Jenny’s last solo effort. The night ended much like it began with a new song called “She’s Not Me,” and if she was planning to close with a new one, she picked the right one.

The song has something of rhythm reminiscent of late ’80s, early ’90s pop with personal lyrics—two of the things people love most about her work—and it sent the audience home as excited about the new music as Jenny is.

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