I just saw Lucinda here in Atlanta last month. Apparently she is quite the 'couples' musician, as my partner Wendy and I consider Lucinda's music a main soundtrack of our courting. I thought the concert was great, and she liked the sound of Atlanta's Tabernacle too. (It really does have pretty good acoustics. We saw Tom Waits here in the fall and it was also great sound).
I thought Lucinda and her band were excellent, but I want to compare this show to the one I saw in Denver in December of 2003. That was one of the all-time greatest concerts I ever saw. The differences were that in 2003, Lucinda's mom had just died, she was just over a relationship, and she was heavily into alcohol/drugs. Now I don't wish her to still have those burdens, but she was pouring out her soul as I stood in the front row in awe. She seemed to be using the performance as a way to try to exorcise her demons, even as she continued to be more more "blown away" as the concert went on. She staggered around and seemed to barely be able to come back to the mike in time for each verse and chorus. The fans were so supportive and into trying to help her make it through the show, that they sang along to help her with the words, and shouted encouragement at every chance. The band also sensed her battle and picked up the intensity and fills to push her along. Amazingly she made it through every song and at after the last encore she practically fainted into the arms of her bass player who helped her off. I imagined this was what it may have been like for Janis Joplin or Billy Holiday on similar nights. The drama of the performance and the intensity of her singing was unforgettable.
Last month's show she talked about her mother's death three years ago, her sobering up, and her sea-change move to California. Lucinda looks cleaned-up, together, and very clear. She was calm, focused, and obviously happy with her life right now. There was a joy in her voice and music this time. She did talk a lot more with the audience. She is in a good place now. And she is well worth seeing, with a great supporting band. But I will never forget her remarkable open-souled dramatic performance three years ago, as happy as I am for her now.