Last night Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twins brought the Rabbit Fur Coat Tenth Anniversary tour to Chicago Theatre. It’s hard to believe it’s been a decade since Lewis’s solo debut-it sounds as good today as it did in 2006. The night brought a lot of great music, and a few special guests, that really honored the spirit of the album.
After an opening set from the Cactus Blossoms, the lights went down and Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twins walked the aisle by candlelight singing the a capella harmony of “Run, Devil, Run.” It was a beautiful way to start the show, and their voices projected all around the theatre with no microphones. Thus began the Rabbit Fur Coat half of the show.
This particular album is one of my favorites, and about a quarter way through “Born Secular” I realized that I’d been shortchanging the importance of The Watson Twins contributions to it. They’re the backbone of the whole thing-it literally would not work without their voices. That thought reminded me that I should probably tell people to check out their albums without Lewis, specifically Talking To You, Talking To Me.
Frankie Lee came out to play with the Cactus Blossoms and the rest of the band on “Handle With Care.” We were missing Conor Oberst, M. Ward, and Ben Gibbard, but these guys made due and sounded great.
After the intermission the set changed from a backdrop of the Rabbit Fur Coat hallway cover, to The Voyager‘s rainbow of color. The second half of the show featured selections from throughout Jenny’s solo career, including a song from the Nice As Fuck album that came out this year. She hit on Acid Tongue, played “I Never” from the Rilo Kiley days, and did a few from The Voyager. She also played two new songs that seem like strong contenders to feature on her next album.
The whole evening was a great celebration of the Rabbit Fur Coat album and a nice retrospective on the career Jenny Lewis has had so far.