Williams Rocks Seattle
Beginning her two-night run at the tight downtown Seattle venue Showbox at the Market, Lucinda Williams was pert, poignant, and a powerhouse of rock 'n' roll.
And a picture of contentment all evening long.
Though dressed demurely in plain brown slacks, light blouse, and dark vest, Williams quickly showed she was revved and ready: "It's a refreshing treat to be playing a rock club!" The audience yelped their approval.
Williams started off the night strong, sober, and full of gentle sway as she belted out the dreamy but definitive tune "Rescue" from her "West" album. "He can't save you from the plain and simple truth; the waning winters of your youth," she sang at her raspy best.
The concert was dominated by scintillating rock, interspaced with her traditionally satisfying alt-country palette. With "Ventura," a country-folk ballad from "World Without Tears," Williams displayed her trademark soul searching.
She prefaced "Circles and X's" — from her latest album "Little Honey" — saying, "This song sat around for 20 years. ... It still survives."
The first singalong commenced when Williams sang the familiar "I Lost It," a tune of hopeful discovery, from the grammy-winning "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road."
Like many singer-songwriters, Williams' compositions begin with autobiography, and her Showbox set list was filled with ballads and alt-country turns like "Tears of Joy," "Right In Time" and "Real Love."
But the most persistent audience cry of the concert was "Let's rock 'n' roll!," and "Out of Touch," a seminal jewel of a rocker, found Williams quite primed to rock out. "Out of Touch" transformed the performance, inducing an avalanche of overhead clapping, whooping and vigorous head bobbing.
From here to the end of the nearly two-hour set, Williams let go with a vengeance, as she and her four-member backup band, Buick 6, produced some qualitatively feverish, sizzling and hall-shaking rock.
She satisfied the audience with an electric encore of "For What It's Worth," the Buffalo Springfield '60s anthem, which became yet another singalong, and a fitting end to the lovefest between Williams and her Showbox crowd.