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Lori McKenna at Club Passim 7/22/10

We were pretty stoked to see Lori McKenna at Passim, despite the pricey ticket. We had seen her once before, but only for a few songs and way before we even knew who she was. So, we’re counting this as our first Lori show. Opener John Gerard was a nice listen, but not something we would write home about. Perfectly fine for six songs, though!

Now to Lori. Honestly? We really, really love Lori, but the show wasn’t exactly what we had hoped for. We’re pretty sure we would’ve enjoyed the show so much more if she was solo; just Lori and her guitar. It’s the way she writes the songs, and if you ask us, it’s how they should played. With her, she had a keyboardist whose name we didn’t catch and Mark Erelli on guitar. We’ve seen Mark play backup for a few people, and while we do respect him and his craft, his electric guitar was one of the biggest complaints we had about the show. It was far louder than Lori’s voice and guitar, and we’ve never heard that at Passim before. We get why Lori has the band, but the best parts of the show were when the band left the stage and it was just Lori.

The other complaint we had was that Lori played mostly unrecorded songs. Now, we’re all for trying out new material for an audience, but TEN songs in a set of fifteen we thought was a bit much. We enjoyed what we heard, for the most part, but a want for the oldies and the goodies was palpable in the audience. Lori delivered a few (“Fireflies”, “Stealing Kisses”) but mostly focused on songs that A) we did not know and B) we could not listen to again. Seemed a bit strange to us. Her setlist, with the unrecorded song titles being pure guesses:

  • If He Tried
  • First Time You Hear Yourself Cry
  • Lorraine
  • The Luxury Of Knowing
  • Stealing Kisses
  • Witness To Your Life
  • If It’s All I Ever Do
  • How I Love That Man
  • How Romantic Is That?
  • Some Men Shatter
  • Your Next Lover
  • Sweet Disposition
  • Fireflies
  • Make Every Word Hurt

Like we said, not many songs you recognize, huh? We definitely don’t regret going—”Stealing Kisses” was probably worth the $30—but we probably wouldn’t shell out as much to see Lori unless she were solo. She’s a folk staple for a reason, but we’re holding out for a better first impression.

(This is what we wanted, Lori!)