Alt-country at Wolf Trap

Last night we went to Wolf Trap for the first of only two shows there this summer. We’d actually planned on just one, the Pat McGee Band/Carbon Leaf show July 6th, but I bought the VIP package, so that meant we couldn’t take advantage of the one of the perks of my Wolf Trap membership, two passes to the Encore Circle. So I just sent in my preferred list of three shows, putting at the the top Jill’s pick: Lyle Lovett & k.d. lang. She had no idea when I ordered tickets in March what her schedule would be like – it was only when the passes arrived two weeks ago that she knew her midterms would be over yesterday so she could go. I found someone in Reston offering sweet box seats slightly less than face on Craigslist, so I snagged those.

I know there are those who would argue with me about Lyle Lovett & k.d. lang being alt-country, but see – even Wikipedia agrees with me. And I think they do fit the definition – their sound is rooted in country, but neither has a traditional twang. I’d seen them both before briefly, so this was my first time seeing their full sets (Jill had seen Lyle before with her mom). Although last night’s show wandered all over the place: we heard some swing, jazz, rock and blues at various points.

We got to Wolf Trap with plenty of time to enjoy the spread at the Encore Circle. I wasn’t a big fan of the tofu on a stick, but the Thai peanut chili sauce they served with it was awesome – I didn’t think there was anything out there to make me eat tofu. We headed in to see k.d. lang right on time. We were both really impressed – she really has an amazing voice. She did a number of good covers, most notably Jane Siberry’s “The Valley” and an amazing one of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” (best known by the Jeff Buckley version). Her own “Constant Craving” got the biggest response of the night, but she got lots of applause throughout her set, and was brought back by a standing o.

We headed back to the lounge for a bit before coming back to catch Lyle Lovett. He started off strong with the big band, but slowed down soon, not very good when your wife is very short of sleep and still has to get up early the next day, so we left about halfway through his set. Not too important, Jill was much more taken with k.d. lang.

2 thoughts on “Alt-country at Wolf Trap”

  1. That show was in Charlottesville last week at our downtown pavilion. You don’t need to be inside to hear it, so I listened from a restaurant patio for most of k.d. lang’s set. Not really my favorite stuff, but a pretty decent sound.

    Are you guys going to be at the Girlyman/IG show in August?

  2. Not sure – it’s on the possible list, but Jill doesn’t have her schedule yet (and may not until after FRFF).

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