On Friday night we went to Wolf Trap to see my first concert there of the season and thankfully not the last. It was super hot during the day, but once the sun went down it was a very pleasant evening to sit outside and enjoy some live music. I always enjoy sitting on the lawn and enjoying a picnic there. Though it was a sold out show and we wound up setting our chairs up on the concrete just behind the lawn because the lawn was jam packed full. A family even set up behind where we were. I do have to question why the mom in that family thought tater tots are a good picnic food. Seems to me they would just be cold and soggy. She was listing off all the things she brought to the kids, and I was like tater tots?
Waxahatchee was opening. Her set was really short since Jason Isbell and Sheryl Crow were co-headlining. She only had 30 minutes to play. It was an enjoyable little set though. I don’t have much to say about it.
This was a quick tour these three acts did together. I think it was something like only 6 dates. As is often the custom when artists co-headline they seemed to be trading off who went first and who went second. We had Sheryl Crow up first with Jason Isbell doing the final set. I have never been a huge Sheryl Crow fan. There are a handful of songs that I do actually really like, but most of them are just there apparently invading my brain against my will. I have never owned a Sheryl Crow album nor do I ever really seek out her music. Though I do have one of her songs, “I Shall Believe”, on my Amazing Songs Spotify Playlist. Sadly she did not play that song, though I didn’t really expect her to. My point with all this is to say that despite never really seeking her out on my own I knew pretty much every word to every song during that entire hour and fifteen minute set. I vaguely recognized a song from the Cars soundtrack that she apparently sings. I did not at all know some new song she made for the Showtime documentary about her that recently aired. But other than that I pretty much knew everything much to my surprise. I guess she had way more hit songs that were impossible to escape than I realized. She is a good performer, and I did enjoy her set. I’m still not going to go seek out her music though.
I’m always happy to be at a Jason Isbell concert. I love his music so much. It wasn’t one of the better sets of his that I’ve seen though. It felt very short. With them co-headlining and Wolf Trap having a hard out, they only had an hour and fifteen minutes each as I mentioned, which seemed very short and then he didn’t even really use it to its fullest. Sheryl just played straight through her full time. He did take the time at the end to do the whole dumb encore thing which ate up time and then they didn’t play all the way to 11. I feel like had they skipped the encore and played their full time they could have fit 2 more songs in there.
I was pleased that his wife, Amanda Shires, was there playing in the band. Literally the first thing I do every time I see him live is look to see if she’s there. She plays fiddle on all his albums, but as she has her own musical career she only sometimes tours with him. So they have all the songs re-orchestrated to play without the fiddle, but I much prefer it when she’s there. Apparently it was a special treat that she was there that night as she wasn’t supposed to be. He said she showed up and surprised him the night before in a rented Chrysler that he thought was the Uber Eats driver when she was first pulling up. I was also happy that he played “Goddamn Lonely Love”. It’s a song from back in his Drive-By-Truckers days, and although he usually throws one or two Truckers songs into his sets, he never plays this one live. During one of their Iso-lounging concerts that they did online at the beginning of the pandemic, Amanda told him that it was her favorite song that he’s ever written and he commented that he never plays it because it’s too depressing. I didn’t go too far back, but I did look up the most recent week of his setlists to see if it was something they had in regular rotation right now and doesn’t seem like it, so whether or not it’s true I’m going to believe that he added it to the set for her since she showed up to surprise him.
Overall a very enjoyable night of live music. I’m happy to be able to get to go to some concerts again that it’s still outdoor concert season. I don’t know when I’ll ever feel ready to go back to crowded indoor concerts. It’s super depressing to think about since obviously you know how much I love live music, and I’ve already sat out so much shows in the past year. I’m just going to try and enjoy the ones I can enjoy now in a much less risky environment.