Amos Lee with
Lucy Wainwright Roche
431 W 16th St
New York, NY 10011
July 14, 2008
Wendy R. Williams
Photo: Amos Lee
Who says nerdy guys
don't get girls? World class nerd musician Amos
Lee played New York City's Highline Ballroom on
Monday, July 14, 2008 to a standing-room-only audience
women who hung on the edge of the stage and gazed
adoringly into his eyes. It was as if five hundred
Joan Baez look-alikes had first seen Bob Dylan.
But before we could be treated to this throw-back-to-the-soulful-troubadours-of-the-coffee-houses-of-the-sixties,
Lucy Wainwright Roche opened the show.
Just in case you are not up on your alternative
music, Lucy is the daughter of musician Loudon Wainwright
III and the sister of musician-and-gay-icon Rufus
Wainwright. Lucy is a folk singer with a soulful
and lyrical delivery. Lucy writes most of her own
music and is pretty good at it. She is also funny
as hell with a dry, laid-back delivery. Lucy told
a little ditty about her travels to Australia and
how she tried to explain to Australians what a marching
band is. I can't tell you the punch line; I have
tried repeating it several times only to receive
blank stares from my friends. But when Lucy gave
her explanation, the audience exploded.
Now back to Amos. When Amos Lee came to the stage,
the band opened with a juke joint rhythm that promised
a rollicking night. Well, that quickly went away
and the rest of the night was dedicated to jazzy
folksy songs. His music is on the softer, easy listening
style favored by musicians such as David
Grey and Norah
Jones (who actually discovered Lee when he was
a second grade teacher in Philadelphia).
Lee played crowd favorites such as: Bottom
of the Barrel; Colors (featured on
Grey's Anatomy); Soul Suckers;
Black River; Sweet Pea; and Street
Corner Preacher. The crowd LOVED him. Lee obviously
has a huge following to be able to fill the Highline
Ballroom on a Monday night. After about an hour
and a half, the band made a half hearted attempt
to end the show. After much expected clapping Lee
returned to the stage alone with an encore that
included crowd favorite Better Days.
Now I have already told you the crowd loved Lee
(even the minority contingency of guys). But the
word love actually downplays the emotion in the
audience. There was a contingency of school teachers
(they are always the wildest ones) on a banquet
on the side who were actually flinging their hair
and go-go dancing to the Lee's soft rock ballads.
And there was screaming! Lots of screaming! And
I may have seen some panties flying.
So there is hope for every talented nerd who wondered,
what would life be like if I learned to play the
guitar? What would be my rewards? Well, I have an
answer from the world of Amos Lee. There is fulfillment,
music, a mammoth tour bus and a huge contingent
of junior-editor-at-The-Atlantic groupies!
Lucy Wainwright Roche
Amos Lee Plays for his Adoring