Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt Akron Civic Theatre 2011

I haven't seen much live music lately, so this show last night in the beautifully restored Akron Civic Theater was a treat. Just Lyle and John with acoustic guitars playing the wonderful songs they've written. Both were in fine voice, and the song selection and laid back approach was a delightful way to see a couple of the finest singer-songwriters of our day perform.

Several years ago these two played a similar gig in Cleveland with Joe Ely and Guy Clark, but this was a better performance. With the four of them, there was less focus to the evening, and it felt like you just got a sampler. With only Hiatt and Lovett, you got two, two, two shows in one.

Last night Hiatt kicked things off with his Drive South, and then the two alternated songs throughout the evening. Lovett sang a little on a few of Hiatt's songs. Hiatt sang and played some lead guitar on several of Lovett's songs. Highlights included several of Hiatt's better-known songs, including Thing Called Love, Crossing Muddy Waters, Perfectly Good Guitar, Slow Turing and Memphis In The Meantime. Lovett played old favorites If I Had A Boat, She's No Lady, Don't Touch My Hat and Fiona. But some of the lesser-known and more somber tunes were some of the hardest-hitting, like Lovett's She's Already Made Up Her Mind and Natural Forces, or Hiatt's Have A Little Faith In Me.

Lovett is hilarious with his deadpan humor, and Hiatt is the easygoing straight man. All that's good fun, but when either of them start to sing, the song and the performance becomes everything. I can't think of a better way to spend a little over two hours.


  1. Great review Jeff and an awesome blog! The show was amazing. Do you happen to know the order they played the songs? I want to recreate the concert for my wife on her iPod. Thanks!


  2. I did not actually note the set list that evening, but I wish I did. There are a number of set lists from the tour posted at , but the Akron show is not listed. I tried to reconstruct the set we saw from these, but they do different songs every night. Looking at other nights on the tour, I think we got a particularly good show in Akron. Thanks for the comment.