THE LIVE REVIEW: Jenny Lewis at George’s Majestic Lounge THE LIVE REVIEW: Jenny Lewis at George’s Majestic Lounge
As recently predicted right here on Shindigmusic, Jenny Lewis’s performance at George’s on Wednesday, July 11, 2018, was nothing short of incredible! If her improvised lyrics during... THE LIVE REVIEW: Jenny Lewis at George’s Majestic Lounge

As recently predicted right here on Shindigmusic, Jenny Lewis’s performance at George’s on Wednesday, July 11, 2018, was nothing short of incredible! If her improvised lyrics during set closer “Acid Tongue” are to be believed, she’s “been down to Fayetteville and dropped acid on her tongue.” Lewis’s performance was certainly powerful enough to possibly have been a shared/mass psychoactive experience. We got a great mix of Rilo Kiley classics, her existing solo material, and new songs (more on those in a minute). The band was tight and seamless and effortlessly tore through the set. Her lighting was very simple, but also highly effective in accentuating the psychedelic aesthetic of an understated, but large amount of Lewis’s catalog. The whole show was a trip.

And although the most important thing about Jenny Lewis is absolutely her undeniable talent as a writer and performer, she’s also a fashion icon in the indie world. So, it’s worth noting that, per usual, she looked stunning. She was wearing a belt buckle that said “FUCK” and according to her stage banter, she’s “playing in heels for the first time.” The old Ginger Rogers quote about doing everything “backwards and in heels” is still quite relevant.

Also, as we expected, Jenny previewed many songs from her forthcoming new record, which she pointed out during the set. George’s attendees were treated to “Heads Gonna Roll,” “Party Clown,” “Wasted Youth,” “Do See Doh,” and “Dogwood.” All of these songs seemed very familiar, but they were also new and exciting, which is exactly what you want from an artist as esteemed as Jenny Lewis. “Dogwood” in particular was a standout. It was a downbeat piano ballad loaded with some of Lewis’s trademark references to a seedy life of sex and drugs, very reminiscent of the ‘70s coke rock of Under the Blacklight-era Rilo Kiley. Speaking of which, former Rilo Kiley drummer Jason Boesel is currently killing it in Lewis’s backing band, so that’s cool.

Lewis also name-checked her openers The Cactus Blossoms between songs. We here at Shindigmusic agree with her assessment that they were great and that you should check them out. Apparently, they have also played Fayetteville before, Maxine’s back in 2014 to be exact, as they themselves mentioned during their classic country tinged set. If you missed this particular show, but usually hit the Fayetteville Roots Festival or similar shows, trust us, you’ll like The Cactus Blossoms a lot.

And no, that’s not a mistake on the setlist listed below. She really did play “Silver Lining” two times with absolutely no explanation as to why. Both performances were excellent; however, each time they started the song, especially the last time, there was a very slight sense of hesitation like “wait what are we doing?” but, they just went with it and it was cool. According to her setlist (which we did get a picture of but aren’t going to share because it’s a bad, blurry picture taken on the author’s phone), the extra performance of it during the encore was unplanned.

Jenny Lewis will spend the rest of July on the road and hopefully we’ll get that new album sometime before 2019. She said something on stage about it coming out this fall and she recently tweeted “mixing my new record RN with shawn everett” so we are cautiously optimistic. We also really, really hope it’s not another nine years before she returns to play NWA. Anyway, her George’s set was as follows:

Jenny Lewis at George’s Majestic Lounge, Fayetteville, AR, Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Heads Gonna Roll

The Big Guns

Silver Lining

You Are What You Love

Rise Up With Fists!

Just One of the Guys

Slippery Slopes

Happy?

Head Underwater

Party Clown

Wasted Youth

The Moneymaker

Do See Doh

Portions For Foxes

Pretty Bird

See Fernando

She’s Not Me

(encore)

Dogwood

Silver Lining

The Next Messiah

Acid Tongue

Dave Morris

Dave Morris is the Features Editor of Shindigmusic. He has written for the Arkansas Times, the Fayetteville Flyer, the Idle Class, and Fayettesound. His academic writing is featured in the book “First Amendment Studies in Arkansas”. He holds an M.A. in Rhetoric from the University of Arkansas and is a recipient of the Richard S. Arnold Prize in First Amendment Studies. He also attended Marquette University Law School. He currently performs with post-punk band The Inner Party when he is not dealing with his foolish cats or engaging in a shameful array of other geeky pursuits.