Bonnie Raitt with Lucinda Williams at Pier Six Pavilion

Saturday night we saw Bonnie Raitt with Lucinda Williams at Pier Six Pavilion. The show still indicated that we needed to have vaccine verification. They also said that when we were there a few weeks ago to see the War on Drugs, but no one asked to see our card so I kind of figured that it was just outdated information from before everywhere dropped all their restrictions. Luckily we brought them just in case because they did in fact check this time, though it was completely pointless because they didn’t check IDs along with them, so you literally could have shown them anybody’s vaccine card. As COVID cautious as I am, even I think having a vaccine requirement at an outdoor venue is silly at this point.

We grabbed the same exact spot at the front of the lawn that we had for The War on Drugs concert, which is a great spot. Great sight lines to the stage, no one in front of you, and cause of the positioning of a pillar no one wants to sit right next to you either because then they wouldn’t be able to see. Some guy did sit down next to me on the opposite on the small retaining wall that holds the lawn in and talked to me the whole time. He wasn’t a bad guy to talk to, but also I really didn’t need him chatting me up the entire concert.

Lucinda Williams was opening. I was a little bummed because half of this tour Bonnie Raitt had Mavis Staples opening for her and the other half was Lucinda Williams. I wish we had gotten Mavis, but oh well. I did not realize that Lucinda Williams had a stroke back in November of 2020. She can sing fine, but she still has a lot of problems with movement. She had to have someone walk her on and off the stage and needless to say she can’t play guitar anymore. I appreciate that she’s still out there trying to do her thing as best she can. Her band was great definitely filled in for her that respect. I don’t really know Lucinda Williams music very well. I mostly just know the song “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road”. I just don’t think I like her voice that much even though her music is generally in my wheelhouse, and obviously she’s not much of a stage presence these days. So not a terrible set, but definitely not my favorite opening act ever.

Bonnie Raitt was great. She started off with a couple of songs off of her new album, which I happen to like. She’s still out there making good music. I was surprised she only played two songs from it, but I’m sure it pleased the crowd who were probably all there for the old stuff given that we were pretty much the youngest people I saw there save for one or two other groups of people. She played a good mix of songs from across her career. She of course played “Angel from Montgomery” and dedicated it to John Prine. She said she wasn’t sure she was going to be able to sing it on this tour, but instead it was cathartic. Speaking of people no longer in their performance prime, she definitely had to adjust “I Can’t Make You Love Me”. She can’t hit those high notes anymore, so she started much lower and at some points when the original song goes up she went down instead. It’s inevitable with older performers. Just a reminder that we’re all getting old and no longer in our hey days, but it’s not to say that the performance was bad at all. It was a really good set though that flew right by. I was shocked when she was done and I realized that she had in fact been playing for 90 minutes. It went by in the blink of an eye. I definitely wish she could have played longer, but noise ordinances yada, yada. I was happy to see her again, and we had another perfect night for an outdoor concert. I hope that trend continues.

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