Jenny Lewis at First Avenue, 8/3/14

Photo by Youa Vang
Jenny Lewis
with Apache Relay
First Avenue, Minneapolis
Sunday, August 3, 2014

Jenny Lewis has provided the sound to so many projects over the past 15 years in many other bands. On Sunday night she was back in Minneapolis to show that she has enough charm to carry a night heavy with anticipation on her tiny shoulders -- weird bathrobe and all.

Opening with her newest single "Just One of the Guys," Lewis showcased her songwriting skills. Her writing is subtle, yet very declarative in how she sees herself now that's she's older and more mature. The line from the opening track "I'm just another lady without a baby" keys into the essence of her newest album. When she wails it out, it doesn't come off as remorseful or self-pitying; she sings it more as a matter of fact, and she sings it with a smile.

In an industry that is very much about looks, concerns about growing older are out there. But in typical Jenny Lewis fashion, she brushed them aside. Perhaps that's why she has such a huge following of young women who connect to what she is saying.

Photo by Youa Vang
Longtime fans were in for a treat when she pulled out old tracks like Rilo Kiley's "Silver Lining," and screams began when the first guitar notes were drawn out. The piece is pure indie-rock fun with its bright guitars under Jenny's sexy drawl. As she commanded the stage with her flowing robe and dancing, Lewis seemed to having more fun than she did in her Rilo Kiley days.

"Head Under Water" is the most hook-laden track off her new album, housing a sanguine refrain: "There's a little bit of magic, everybody has it/ There's a little bit of sand left in the hourglass." The track was something that Jenny said she really gravitated towards when writing and was her opener until this tour. Another track off The Voyager, "Late Bloomer," was a highlight. The song is pulled along by Jenny's voice, and it's fantastic narrative songwriting.

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