Loretta Lynn Plays the Classics at Celebrity

Categories: Concert Review

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Luke Holwerda
Loretta Lynn on the circular stage of Celebrity Theatre.

It's been five years since Loretta Lynn's Grammy-winning collaboration with Jack White but it seemed even longer at last night's Celebrity Theatre show, where the Van Lear Rose era seemed long forgotten.

Sure, a few curious hipsters made their way down to the show, but, for the most part it was a good ol' country crowd, appropriately appreciative of the chance to hear the legendary 74-year-old Kentucky native's older material and none too dissapointed when Lynn, who took requests for much of her set, said she couldn't remember the title track, "Van Lear Rose." In fact, she didn't play a single song from the record that resurrected her standing in the wider pop music conscious in her hour and 15 minute set. Not that anyone seemed to mind.

Making her way to the circular stage in a baby blue gown fit for a Disney princess, after her son Ernie, daughter Patsy, and son-in-law warmed up the crowd, Lynn and her seven-piece band put on an impressive show for the aged crowd.

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Luke Holwerda
Loretta Lynn's crowd at Celebrity Theatre.

Her backing band, The Coalminers, was tight, as you'd expect, and Lynn got plenty of help from family and friends associated with her, who helped spell her so she could sit for a few songs here and there. Her daughter and, especially, her granddaughter were impressive though I could've done without a single song from her neer-do-well son, Ernie, who told some funny jokes, but doesn't have much of a voice, even singing one of Toby Keith's less challenging songs. But, hey, as long as his momma wants him on stage, I'm not going to complain -- provided she's there too, singing whatever she cares to.

Setlist:

"I Ain't As Good As I Once Was" (Ernie)
"Troubador" (Ernie)
"Walking After Midnight" (Patsy)
"Jackson" (Patsy and son-in-law)
"Hey Loretta"
"You're Loking At Country"
"When The Tingle Becomes a Chill"
"I Wanna Be Free"
"Here I Am Again"
"The Pill"
"Honky Tonk Girl"
"Outta My Head And Back In My Bed" (Granddaughter Tayla)
"Rated X" (Tayla)
"You Aint Woman Enough To Take My Man"
"I've Got Your Picture (She's Got You)"
"Don't Go Lovin' On Nobody But Me" (guitarist)
"Feelin's" (duet with son)
"Don't Come Home A-Drinkin' (With Lovin' On Your Mind)"
"There's A Hole In The World" (backing singers)
Gospel medley (with backing singers)
"Coal Miner's Daughter"

Critic's Notebook

Last Night: Loretta Lynn at Celebrity Theatre

Better Than: Country Thunder but not Willie Nelson.

Personal Bias: The last time I saw Loretta was in Charlottesville, Va., where Sissy Spacek, who won an Oscar depicting Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter, joined Lynn onstage for at least half the show, singing her songs from the movie. I knew it was special at the time, but it seems even more special now. So, yeah, I like Loretta Lynn a lot, though that show was on the Van Lear Rose tour, meaning I heard quite a few of her more-recent greats.

Random Fact: Patsy Lynn claimed her mom's released over 100 albums. I didn't count all these to confirm it, but I believe it. Even for a 50-year career, that's mind-blowing.

Further Listening: I know this is a lame-ass hipster thing to say, but I think "Portland, Oregon" is in my five favorite LL songs. Oh, and be sure to check out our latest Sun Session, where local girl Dakota Jeane took on "Honky Tonk Girl."

By The Way: Sloe Gin Fizz is actually pretty delicious. And, if you drink it by the pitcher and not by the glass, it does work mighty fast.

One More Thing: No one knows how to hawk merch like country singers. Patsy's spiel about shirts and CDs on sale would have turned off a rock audience, but it's pretty well accepted by country crowds.

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