07/23 Omaha NE Reverb Omaha
07/24 Ames IA Tap House
07/25 Springfield IL Donnie's Homespun
07/27 Munhall PA Carnegie Library Hall
07/28 Philadelphia PA Union Transfer
07/29 Buffalo NY
07/30 Buffalo NY Canalside
07/31 Rochester NY Abilene Bar
08/01 Stockbridge VT Tweed River Music
08/02 Fall River MD Narrows Center
08/30 Columbus OH Columbus Commons
09/10 Raleigh NC Hopscotch Music Festival
09/11 Baltimore MD Ottobar
09/12 Morgantown WV 123 Pleasant
09/17 DeKalb IL House Cafe
09/10 Green Bay WI Lyric Room
09/19 Shakopee MN Festival Palomino
09/27 Cincinnati OH MidPoint Music Festival
Trapper Schoepp and the Shades
“There’s no introduction to this sh*t,” Loveless said huskily into the mic as her band took to the stage and threw themselves into the first number, “To Love Somebody,” from her most recent album Somewhere Else. Loveless’ songs are rich with tales of yearning, love gone sour and whiskey-fueled destruction and she sings them as though the pain is still fresh. And though she has a tough exterior and is quick to dole out sharp retorts to whatever comment is thrown at her from the audience, a real vulnerability shines through in her lyrics and the quivering in her vocals. Basically you want to hug her AND get drunk with her.
After playing through “Chris Isaak” and the excellent “Wine Lips” (a song about - what else? - making out!) and announcing that a new record was not only in the works, but nearly completed, Loveless debuted two brand new songs. One of the new tracks, a cheeky number called “Midwest Guys,” resulted in one of the greatest and dirtiest exchanges between musician and audience member I’ve ever witnessed: as Lydia addressed the inspiration for “Midwest Guys,” she joked, “Have you ever gotten a blowjob to Def Leppard?” Through the crowd laughter, a lone voice responded: “No, but I got f*cked in the a** to the Moody Blues!” Loveless nearly fell over from laughing so hard, but reminded folks that “this isn’t a sketch comedy show!”
The band/audience lines continued to blur as May traded stylish button-up shirts with a fan at the front. The shirts were eventually deposited on the floor so Loveless picked both up, placed them on her head and started singing “Matchmaker Matchmaker.” After another hearty laugh, she kicked them off to the side and the band launched into a raucous “Do Right,” off of 2011’s Indestructible Machine.
While the raunchy humor added to the free-wheeling nature of the set, my favorite part of the night was when Loveless played trio of songs solo, one of which was a heart-breaking cover of Elvis Costello’s “Allison.” Eyes closed, Loveless sang in a voice clearly burdened by a heavy heart, like she was physically being held up only by the chords coming from her guitar. “I love you. Do you believe me?” Loveless asked after a fan professed his adoration. “Probably not.” She paused. “Because of my poor delivery.” For a musician as talented as Loveless, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Lydia Loveless at Turf Club, St Paul (19 July 2015)