Two guys with guitars, sitting in chairs, chatting and taking turns playing songs. Doesn’t sound like much, but when the two guys are Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt, it makes for a throroughly enjoyable evening. Both artists have a significant body of work, I’m not all that familiar with the entirity of either’s, but it seemed that there was a mix of older up through brand new pieces. There didn’t seem to be a pre-determined set list, and at some points they took requests shouted out from the audience. Or, as Lyle Lovett pointed out, John Hiatt played songs that had been requested (but not played) at a previous show. And that he had done that more than once.
So in addition to the music, which was great, there was the banter between the two. They played to and off one another in a way that was entertaining but didn’t seem like they were putting on a show for us. It felt like they truly enjoy one another’s company and music and almost as if they were just sitting around on someone’s porch, pickin’ and shootin’ the s**t. And then we were lucky enough to happen by and get to listen in. Road stories, getting into the music business, John Hiatt’s recurring dream about a dead body in his car trunk.
Both seemed quite comfortable with the spare presentation and playing songs just guitar and voice, no band or accompaniment. Lovett tended to the deapan, wry and introspective, with Hiatt more to brash and bluster, but they mixed well. They played straight through with no intermission and were still going strong at 2 hours when I had to call it a night.