Indie songstress Jenny Lewis took the House of Blues San Diego on a journey through her extensive catalog.

Jenny Lewis at House of Blues by Delfina Glover for ListenSD

Jenny Lewis

Band Supermoon opened the sold-out Sunday night show. Comprised of a man and woman duo, Supermoon played dreamy folk music that edged on country. (There’s little to no information about them online, and I only caught the woman’s first name–Morgan!) Both sang while the man played the electric guitar. Using no pedals and what seemed like little to no effects, the guitar sounded sparse but the fullness of their vocal harmonies rounded out Supermoon’s sound.

Supermoon’s stage banter was humorous and so were some of the song’s subject matter. The man introduced one song as “about Morgan’s behind. It’s not a big deal, but a medium sized deal.” Perhaps noticing the audience talking over their music, the man prefaced a slow number: “If anyone has to go to the bathroom, this is a good one to leave for.”

Shortly, the red-headed patron saint of Van Nuys, California (Jenny Lewis) entered onstage with her four-piece band (lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass, and keyboards/violin), sitting behind a brightly colored stand-up piano. Her band wore sharp suits with white button downs, but that paled in comparison to what Lewis wore.

Lewis donned the sparkly champagne-colored gown seen in her On The Line promotional photos. The little fur details on her cuffs and neckline and 1960s bouffant hairstyle gave her the old school lounge singer look.

While playing the piano, Lewis started off with the first few tracks off her 2019 release On The Line: “Wasted Youth,” “Heads Gonna Roll” and “Red Bull & Hennessey.”

She moved onto crowd pleasers–songs from her old band Rilo Kiley (“Silver Lining”), “Happy” from her act Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins, and “Fernando” from her solo career efforts. Lewis played other On The Line songs like “Little White Dove” and “Party Clown,” but there were enough old favorites played to entertain those unfamiliar with her new catalog.

Performance-wise, Lewis was spot on. It’s clear that she has a beautiful soprano voice on her recordings but it’s even more evident in concert. Her demeanor was friendly and approachable, easy to smile when someone in the crowd yelled out a joke.

At the end of a long encore, Lewis et al (including Supermoon) gathered around the mics to sing “Acid Tongue,” just like what Lewis has done in other concerts.

It was a good reminder of Lewis’ old catalog of confessional songs people connected with during their formative years. Lewis is still the iconic, sensitive songwriter listeners looked up to and as relevant as ever.

Review by: Lara McCaffrey
Photos by: Delfina Glover