Nick Lowe performed a solo session at the Sheldon Concert Hall this past week and put on a whale of a good show, mining his catalog for a collection of material both old and new. Though perhaps lumped unfairly in with the New Wave acts back in the late 70's and early 80's, Lowe actually practices a form of rock and roll that owes more to the great songwriters of the 50's and 60's than any synth-driven band from that era. He and his band Rockpile were part of a wave, but it was more of a throwback to simpler times when music was all about the relationship between young boys and girls, and not overly concerned with the latest technology or latest fashion.
Armed only with a beautiful Gibson acoustic guitar and a boatload of terrifically entertaining tunes, Lowe charmed the throng with his clever wordsmith and catchy chord progressions. Beginning the 90 minute set with “Stoplight Roses”, Lowe set the tone for the night, mixing old favorites with similarly themed new ones from his latest release The Old Magic. With his shock of white hair and thick black spectacles, he's an unassuming presence, but a hugely talented individual.
New tunes like “House for Sale” and “I Read a Lot” sat comfortably next to songs like, my personal favorite, “Cruel to Be Kind” and “What's So Funny 'Bout Peace Love and Understanding (an encore selection), as well as selections from the Rockpile albums like “When I Write the Book”, and that old chestnut, “I Knew the Bride When She Used to Rock and Roll”.
The Sheldon is the perfect setting for acoustic sessions like this and, on this evening, Nick Lowe did not disappoint, presenting a thoroughly enjoyable evening of excellent musicianship and songwriting flair.