Tuesday night the stars were out, and the crowd that swarmed Pioneertown were blessed with the musical bliss of Jenny Lewis at Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneer Palace. Coming down from the Coachella craze, Lewis managed to throw an intimate show for her fans that didn’t make it out for the festival, but came for the long haul to see her and her band perform.
First time ever being in Pioneertown, and the surprise of this quaint gem that is tucked away in California astonished me, not only for the atmosphere that embodied its visitors, but for the breathtaking view of the sky dazzling in stars away from the city lights. Not only was it a first time for myself and some fellow fans, but Lewis herself mentioned that being in Pioneertown, and Pappy &Harriet’s, was a first for herself, only hearing crazy stories about the venue.
When Lewis first came on stage after her band trickled in, there was a sense of sexy confidence that Lewis exuded within a couple of seconds, as her left hand was in her white pant pocket, noting the subtle splash of rainbows that matched her blazer. Lewis simply smiled and fed off of the crowd’s energy and returned it with beauty, as she opened her set up with “Head UnderWater.” By the chorus, she went to each side of the audience and “sprinkled magic” on nearby fans, not being shy for anyone’s camera.
Lewis took to the piano as she belted out the Rilo Kiley track, “Silver Lining,” and proceeded with another track from that same album, “Money Maker.” Joining Lewis on stage was beau Johnathan Rice, for “The Next Messiah.” This was one of my favorite performances, which included every member of her band chiming in on vocals, and contributing to a massive amount of energy. Towards the end of the song, Lewis climbed on her rainbow voyager box, giving her fans everything she had as she held on to the last note of the song for a climatic end.
The interaction between Lewis, her band, and fans, contains a sense of comfort, and down to earth feel that Lewis manages to touch within every person. Some artists get nervous and lose that interaction on the stage, which is understandable, and from the times I’ve witnessed Lewis perform, she carries herself with a light that is bright enough to be humble. The crowd knew every song and went crazy when Lewis sang an old Rilo Kiley track, “With Arms Outstretched,” as Lewis reminisced that this was a “true story,” to a specific line in the song: “But this day by the lake went too fast.”
Throughout the night, Lewis performed more tracks from Rilo Kiley, her new album, The Voyager, a track from her solo work with The Watson Twins, and her album Acid Tongue. The set started with a climatic rush of energy and ended with the Rilo Kiley song, “A Better Son/Daughter.” During the night, Lewis mentioned a 10-year anniversary for the Rilo Kiley album, More Adventurous, and talked back and forth trying to remember how long her current guitar player was in the band. “You were in it for a year right?” Lewis asked as she playfully tried to remember. “No, I was in the band for 10 years,” laughed Lewis, “they call me a goldfish because I remember shit.” Noting her days in the band, and paying homage to the album, Lewis began to play “Portions for Foxes.”
Returning back for the encore, Lewis emerged drinking, smiling, and noting how many stars were in the sky. “Let’s see if we can conjure up some cosmic shit with this next song,” Lewis said as she began to sing “The Voyager.” Lewis then played a new song that she premiered at the Troubadour, and at weekend one for Coachella, entitled “Girl On Girl.” Immediately getting the crowd’s attention from the start of the song, the track was a catchy indie-folk song about a doggy dog-eat world involving females. Noting some lyrics about how Lewis seems to have a “fascination with girls in her field,” and is waiting for the “next sensation” with “low-cuts and hi-heels.” An honesty trait that Lewis contains in all her tracks that brings her fans closer.
As Lewis thanked everyone for making it out, and her band, whom she introduced one by one, she began to close the evening with “Acid Tongue.” The spotlight was on Lewis, her guitar, and matching guitar strap with the name “Lewis” eloquently stitched between the rainbows that matched her outfit and set. She bid us “adieu” with her first pluck of the guitar, as her band stood behind her and swarmed one microphone, as they assisted Lewis in harmonizing vocals. Setlist: “Head UnderWater,” “Silver Lining,” “Money Maker,” “The Next Messiah,” “With Arms Outstretched,” “Just One of the Guys,” “Slippery Slopes,” “You Are What You Love,” “Close Call,” “The New You,” “She’s Not Me,” “Portions for Foxes,” “Love U Forever,” “A Better Son/Daughter.” Encore: “The Voyager,” “Girl On Girl,” “Acid Tongue.”