Concert Review: Brendan Benson, June 28th, Lincoln hall

If you read Halley’s and my post “top ten lyrics that make a hipster’s heart flutter” then you know that I’m a big Brendan Benson fan. Man’s a lyrical genius. His show Thursday evening at Chicago’s Lincoln Hall didn’t lack for lyrical gems, from him or from his opening act, Young Hines, a hometown sweetheart who was lured away to Tennessee by Benson. Some of the highlights were:

“Some folks are up the creek without a paddle/you’re up the creek without a boat” (Hines)

“What self-respecting woman would have me and not stab me?” (Benson)

“Enough about you/let’s talk about stamps.” (Stage Crew’s shirt)

The first opening act, Howling Brothers, a bluegrass trio consisting of an upright bass, a fiddle and a guitar, might not have had the lyrical gems apparent in Hines’ and Benson’s songs, but they excelled in other ways, putting on the most delightful hoedown complete with a semi-mountain dance on a sound system I’d ever seen.

Young Hines’ set didn’t disappoint either, and dipped in and out of different genres nicely, starting out slow and sweet with Rainy Day, and ending on a more rock n’ roll note with Can’t Explode. Hines’ signature instrument was a megaphone taped to a tripod. I have to admit I was a little nervous when he busted that thing out, but it’s a testament to his talent that I was sorry when, at the end, it was tucked away at the back of the stage.

And Brendan Benson was just straight up great – I never doubted he would be. He’s an artist with such solid starting material in his lyrics and his sound that it would take some pretty major sabotage to make his show anything less than worth going to see. I haven’t kept up on his newer material, so I was pleased that he played mostly from Lapalco and Alternative to Love. What I love most about Benson’s lyrics is not only that they often make me laugh out loud, but that
they are so often universal. Listen to the lyrics for “What I’m looking for” and tell me there aren’t at least three sentences that you could’ve written about your own life.

Posted on by Celeste in Concerts

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