Photo by Terri See
NICK LOWE AND LOS STRAITJACKETS
Swyer Theater, The Egg
December 19, 2014
This review originally appeared in the 12.24.14 issue of Metroland
When this show was announced it took my breath away.
It looked so good on paper.
But that was nothing compared to how it played
out on stage. Oh my god...
started alone, with his charming, erudite demeanor and his buttery voice
gliding through gems like “Heart,” “Long-Limbed Girl,” and the indelible new
Christmas tune “Dollar Short of Happy.” He gave a perfectly lovely eulogy for
the late Ian McGlagan, who was supposed to have opened the show.
Then Los Straitjackets joined him for the
last half of “Seven Nights To Rock” and the air in the room went from sweet to
Maybe it was the Mexican
wrestling masks, or the matching suits, or the matching crazy guitars, but the
tension built and resolved and built and resolved like teenagers in heat in a
sea of vibrato, reverb, and whammy bar goodness for the next hour and a half.
It was exhilarating, exhausting, and pretty
And it hit
me: Nick hasn’t had a band this dazzling since Rockpile.
Sure he’s had great players from Bill Kirchen
to Paul Carrack to Ry Cooder, but a real band?
A band band?
This was it.
And if there’s one band that simultaneously celebrates and subverts pop
formula more than Nick Lowe does, it’s these guys...
Whoever’s responsible for this pairing
deserves the Nobel friggin’ Peace Prize.
It was a
love-fest up there, with the band digging deeply into Lowe’s tunes, and Nick
digging the hell out of being pushed like he hasn’t been pushed in
While our pal and Rensselaer
native Eddie Angel was soloing furiously during “I Knew The Bride (When She
Used To Rock And Roll”, Nick kept yelling joyfully “Go Eddie! Go Eddie”, which
just might be my favorite concert moment in years.
Straitjackets took over for a bunch of songs mid-set, with a few of their own
brilliant Christmas arrangements, including “Walk, Don’t Sleigh Ride” (my title for it), a torrid
“Linus and Lucy,” and then “Outta Gear” featuring Eddie Angel running the table
with his signature absurdist guitar moves.
Then the Bo
Diddley beated “(I Love The Sound Of) Breaking Glass” with the former Jesus of
Cool joining in for the very last line.
Be Kind” ear candy, three encores, a delicious instrumental “Itchykoo Park” ode
to Ian McGlagan, and “What’s So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding.”
It was rapturous. Show of the year by a
big-ass margin, bubba.
little hunch we’ll be seeing these guys working together again.