For the second time in two days I found myself way out of my comfort zone, this time at the Fitzgerald Theatre surrounded by a few hundred eager children and their parents, ready to experience a matinee with Lisa Loeb as part of “Rock the Cradle”. Since there was no photography, I did not have my camera as a safety blanket. Just little old bearded me clutching my notepad and a couple of pens desperately trying, not to come across as some creepy old guy.
How did I get myself into this pickle you ask? Well I found out about Lisa’s 11 AM show a couple of days prior (what rock’n roll guy looks at daytime performances?), and Lisa’s management graciously accommodated our request to cover. I have never been one to take a liking to the overstimulating kids’ entertainment children face today. With the exception of one torturing show of Blues Clues Live I (and my daughters) escaped the Disney Machine. I tried to share my love of music with my kids through songs I liked. My kids were subjected to classic trance, new wave, punk and most famously the “Angry Mix” a CD for my 8 year old to help her deal with frustrations. What responsible parent subjects his child to Iron Maiden, Punk and GASP…… Rammstein? This guy! Both are in their twenties now, so I guess I got away with it ?
So, there I was as unready as could be, when the lights went out and Lisa Loeb took to the stage with just her guitar and her signature glasses (concert goers got a gift bag with paper glasses). Starting her set with “The Meatball Song” she had kids and parents signing along right away. Lisa Loeb started writing children songs in 2003, summer camp songs in 2008, and also started the Camp Lisa Foundation to help underprivileged kids attend summer camp. She mixed in her original songs like “The Disappointing Pancake”, introducing them with charming stories about the songs’ inspiration and their recording, which in that case involved none other than Steve Martin on Banjo.
She kept both grownups and kids engaged with her tales and questions (amazing how you can capture an audience for several minutes asking about favorite colors) leading into Jerry Garcia’s “Jenny Jenkins” where she ad-lipped some of the rhymes. There were also requests taken from Twitter, a young audience member brought on stage, and of course she had to play the song the parents know her best for “Stay (I missed you)”. There was a merch booth, with her latest record “Feel What U Feel” released exclusively on Amazon. But no vendors hawked LED lit gadgets. The show was not designed to get the parents to open their wallets but to entertain the kids. Loeb spend some serious research finding melodies that go with old nursery rhymes. This was about sharing Loeb’s love of music.
All in all, I found Lisa Loeb’s performance to be incredibly cool. The Fitzgerald’s staff did a great job letting kids roam the isles if they needed to. This was a relaxed Sunday morning listening to some great songs. It was simple, straight forward, and fun. Zero BS, and THAT is something this reporter can appreciate.