concert reviews

Lisa Loeb at the Barns of Wolf Trap, Vienna, VA, Wednesday 9 March 2005

Lisa Loeb oozed a friendly vibe on Wednesday night at the Barns of Wolf Trap. She was quick to smile, and she filled her between-songs tuning time with stories that had the crowd in stitches. She compared Prince Charles to Lady Elaine from "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" ("You know, that papier-mache look!") and charmingly shared recipe tips she had learned from her culinary show on the Food Network, "Dweezil and Lisa."

Loeb's comfortably conversational tone carried into her music as well, complemented by her effortless guitar interplay with her sole accompanist, Matt Beck. The songs sounded like gossip sessions over morning coffee, whether she was telling stories to a friend ("Falling in Love") or making googly eyes at a lover ("Sandalwood").

Unfortunately, most of Loeb's songs fell into the latter category, giving the evening a lovey-dovey feel that would've been overwhelming even on Valentine's Day. She gushed ("Truthfully"), she blushed ("Probably"), and, sometimes, she was crushed when things didn't work out ("Everyday").

Loeb's most memorable songs took a pensive turn, like the melancholy "Hand-Me-Downs" and the breathy lullaby "Butterfly," which closed the night. But her music aside, Loeb's most striking trait was her humility. Her unassuming introduction and fresh rendition of her hit "Stay" showed respect for the opportunities the song and its fans have brought her.

-- Catherine P. Lewis

.: Originally published: The Washington Post, 11 March 2005
.: Selected discography: The Way It Really Is (Lisa Loeb, 2004); Catch the Moon (Lisa Loeb & Elizabeth Mitchell, 2004); Hello Lisa (Lisa Loeb, 2002); Cake & Pie (Lisa Loeb, 2002); Firecracker (Lisa Loeb, 1997); Tails (Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories, 1995).