Jenny Lewis Lays It On The Line At The Palace Theatre Friday Night


On the road supporting her fourth solo album On The Line, Jenny Lewis stopped by the Palace Theatre in St. Paul Friday night performing a career spanning set list to a near capacity crowd. This rich background of music, which includes work with The Postal Service, Rilo Kiley and The Wilson Twins proved to be fertile ground from which to grow her solo material.

Illinois rapper Serengeti opened the show with his brand of Hip Hop. Almost like a spoken word beat poet, Serengeti had a short but powerful set, accompanied by two keyboardist.

Jenny Lewis and her band came on right around 9:15 and opened with the laid back “Heads Gonna Roll”, which highlighted Jenny’s keyboard competence and spoke of making out with a narcoleptic poet from Duluth.” A little bit of hooking up is good for the soul”. Yes indeed. The band included a string section that added a layer of mystique to the opener. Lewis remained behind the keyboards for the poppy “Wasted Youth”, one of the most upbeat tunes about addiction I’ve ever heard. Kind of Carpenters meet Carly Simon with a heroin jones. The song “Party Clown” was just as addicting as the hallucinogenic apple eaten by the protagonist in the song. Highlight of the set was the funked up “Little White Dove”, complete with a shower of balloons.

Jenny has matured into a masterful story teller, and at times it’s hard not to feel a bit voyeuristic as she details messy relationships, disturbing feelings and bad decisions. And while she may have reached pretty deep into her vault of music with “Silver Lining”, “Happy” and “With Arms Outstretched”, it was the material off of On The Line that was the most captivating and really connected with the audience. “Red Bull and Hennessy” just crushed it live.(For the record I prefer Yukon Jack and Nyquil) Lewis carried herself onstage with intensity and confidence, her impressive voice resonated throughout the Palace.  There is a dark, threatening intensity that came through in ballad like “Rabbit Hole”, she may go down that rabbit hole, just not with you. The encore opener “Dogwood” started with a whisper, but with the help of a haunting drumbeat and Jenny’s sultry lyrics transported the audience to liquor and speed fueled sex that keeps the neighbors up.

The 70’s TV variety show vibe of Saturday’s performance couldn’t hide the characters created and laid bare before us. Jenny Lewis continues to evolve and shine a light into the recesses of our souls.

Setlist: Heads Gonna Roll – Wasted Youth – Party Clown – Head Underwater – Silver Lining – Happy – Voyager – Born Secular – Little White Dove – She’s Not Me – Red Bull And Hennessy – Just One Of The Guys – On The Line – Rabbit Hole – With Arms Outstreched

Encore: Dogwood – Bad News – Armando



  1. Agree! I left in the middle of the second song. Their t-shirts were pretty cool anyway…

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