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Amos Lee with
Lucy Wainwright Roche
Highline Ballroom
431 W 16th St
New York, NY 10011
July 14, 2008

Written by Wendy R. Williams
Photographed by
Andy Hannenberg

Opposite 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 of twenty-something-went-to-Bard-majored-in-Art-History 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!

Good job!


Lucy Wainwright Roche

Amos Lee Plays for his Adoring Fans

Amos Lee

Amos Lee

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