Jenny Lewis at Lollapalooza (Chicago, Ill – Aug 2, 2014)
Lollapalooza 2014 is a showcase of female artistry. Friday’s line-up allowed a fest-goer to be spellbound from start to finish and never once encounter more than a boy or two on stage. Lucius, L.A.’s Warpaint, Scotland’s Lauren Mayberry and Chvrches, 17-year-old Lorde (who was just selected to write and record the next soundtrack single for the forthcoming Hunger Games episode), and you could end the day tripping out with the electronica Sarah Barthel and Phantogram creates.
Saturday wasn’t quite as treasure filled, until Jenny Lewis took the Grove stage at dusk, aglow with fresh songs from her new Voyager project. “Lollapalooza!” she groaned halfway through the set. “Man I’ve wanted to play you forever. Since 1994! When I plowed my way down front to see the Beastie Boys.”
The Grove was a perfect setting. Framed by old growth trees, Lewis’ music was a sonic oasis on a day filled with music of the more leaden variety. “Just One of the Guys,” from Voyager, opened the set which, at eleven songs, flew by in a breath. Over the course of those songs, Lewis’ voice ran the gamut from Delta blues to swamp boogie, from Muscle Shoals groove to Blasters- style rock, with traces of old school country and greasy funk on the side.
Mike Bloom’s fuzz-filled guitar break during “Slippery Slopes” added to Lewis’ worry in a song filled with it. Lewis put down the guitar and pushed away the keys to sing nearly a quarter of her show. This only amplified her power and fearlessness at the mic. She stepped up onto a high riser to belt the Rilo Kiley number, “The Moneymaker,” her voice a whip crack as each phrase expired.