“Ladies and Gentlemen, Lyle Lovett and his Large Band!”
With a band of 13 musicians and an additional eight in the choir, Lyle Lovett’s band is nothing if not large.
Dressed in suits they took the stage after Leo Kottke at Red Rocks Amphitheater just after 8:30.
The band came out first and played an Instrumental.
Lyle ran out after the song was over along with the choir.
Lyle said, “Thank you very much, thanks so much for inviting us back to Red Rocks and thanks to the great Leo Kottke. Please make welcome from Denver, Jarion Hamm and a Miracle!”
I Will Rise Up
“Jarion Hamm and a Miracle!”
Make It Happy
The choir left the stage.
No Big Deal
Lyle introduced some of the band, including Viktor Krauss from Champaign, Illinois and on fiddle from Austin, Texas, Gene Elders.
Lyle said, “Thank you very much,” and introduced Buck Reid from Nashville on steel guitar and on cello from Austin, John Hagen.
If I Were the Man You Wanted
Lyle said, “Thank you very much. I can’t tell you what it means to me to get to come back to Red Rocks.” He added that it’s the “best place in the world to get to play” and that “anyone will tell you.”
He said that “getting to come to Denver is like coming home” because his first manager was the promoter of the show, Chuck Morris with AEG and that he played here in Denver some of the first times she ever played out of state and that the next song was about home kind of and that he was “really proud” to be able to write it with Robert Earl Keen.
This Old Porch
Lyle said thank you and that singing with him from Los Angeles was Willie Greene Jr., Sweet Pea Atkinson and that we were a great audience.
He said that the next song had started out because there’s not a better reason to write a song than to make fun of someone and that this was about a friend of a friend who was obsessed with a certain kind of bird and that everything this person owned from the pillows to the blankets had this bird on it.
Lyle added that when he went to the person’s house the first time and was in the bathroom and looked in the cabinets that the bath towels and the toothbrush and the soap all had this bird on it. He said, “the soap actually looked dangerous.”
Cute as a Bug
He said, “I feel so luck that once a year these wonderful musicians take time off from what they do to come play with me.”
He talked about the first time he saw Willie Greene in Austin at the Paramount (he actually remembered the date) and that he was in Ry Cooder’s band with John Hiatt and that he had heard Willie on the record but until you hear him live you just don’t know how low he can go.
Lyle asked Willie, “How low can you go?” and Willie responded, “To the bass A on the piano.”
Lyle then asked, “How high can you go, Willie?” and Willie said, “That depends on how I’m feeling.”
Lyle continued to talk about working with Don Was from Was not Was and asked Sweet Pea if he had been in Denver recently and he said he didn’t know and that he “sometimes gets amnesia.”
Lyle said, “that can come in handy,” and asked how long they were on tour. Sweet Pea said, “a month.”
Lyle asked if he had a good time and if there was anything at all he didn’t like about it to which Sweet Pea said, “Nope.”
Lyle said, “I know we’re high in elevation, and that’s absolutely all, don’t you have climate concerns?”
Sweet Pea said that it was not too hot and not too cold like Milwaukee. Lyle asked how cold it was in Milwaukee and Sweet Pea said something to the effect of it was so cold that (something?) was in Montana.”
Lyle said, “That’s quite a distance from Montana.”
Give Back My Heart
Long Tall Texan
Don’t Cry a Tear
Lyle said, “That’s John Hagen!”
He said that they had played together since 1979 and that he thought the reason they managed to play together so long is that they had both grown up in Lutheran families. He said that John’s grandfather was a Lutheran minister in Casper, Wyoming and asked John if he would say that his Lutheran upbringing contributed to his musical sensibilities and that if in anyway it made him more musical.
John moved his mic up from his cello (which took a while) and answered, “Yes.” Lyle continued saying, “I’d have to say the same thing” and asked if John had probably been playing from an early age in church, to which John said, “Yes.”
And Lyle asked, “Did you play or sing?” John said, “Sing,” and added something about a school orchestra that wasn’t worth mentioning.
Lyle said that he’d always liked that John was modest and that this song was written after visiting a Catholic church in Victoria, Texas and that growing up Lutheran he was “taught lots about Catholics,” and that he was always “overwhelmed by the symbolism, the paintings are more graphic, the stained glass is really stained,” and that Catholics have a lot more choices to choose from to pray to.
He added that it was also about car trips they’d take in the summer when he was growing up, but always short ones because his parents worked.
He asked John if his parents worked and that the older generation did things because they had to so that their generation could choose to do what they wanted to and he asked John if his family took trips as well.
John said, “Yes, long trips.”
Lyle replied, “Wyoming is big.”
He said that this song was about all that and that up until a few years ago you could drink and drive in the state of Texas and that it wasn’t the “ideas or ideals that get us into trouble but the abuse of those.”
South Texas Girl
All Downhill From Here
Which was missing the lyrics about Joe Ely, John Hiatt and Guy Clark.
Lyle started retuning and thanked us for our patience. He said that when he first started out in acoustic rooms tuning was the biggest part of his show. He talked about Viktor Krauss and his solo albums and that he was really proud to get to write a song for him.
You Were Always There
He introduced Jim Cox on drums, Mitch Watkins on guitar and Gene Elders (“you met him already,”).
He said that this song was one the lady in front had asked for and that it’s very important in a relationship that one person not have more fun than the other.
He talked about how when you’re traveling like they do in the music industry and that you have to do something that the other loves to do but they’re not there like eating and how often times in a business situation you have no choice over what’s being served and it would be even rude to refuse.
Keep It In Your Pantry
Lyle introduced Keith Sewell, Gene Elders and Viktor Krauss (again) and said here’s another food song.
Up In Indiana
Lyle introduced more of the band including Buck Reid on steel guitar and Jim Cox on piano and on congas from Houston, James Gilmer. He said it was such a privilege for all of them to play with Russ Kunkle.
My Baby Don’t Tolerate
That’s Right, You’re Not From Texas
Lyle said, “You folks are wonderful and thank you so much for coming out to see us. Thanks to Chuck Morris and AEG and KBCO, the best radio station in Colorado.” He asked us to welcome back to the stage Jarion Hamm and a Miracle.
Just A Little Big Longer
Ain’t No More Cane
during which one of the singers from Miracle tried to sing a solo but her mic didn’t work so Lyle went back and brought her down to his mic to sing.
They left for the encore and when he came back he said, “Thank y’all very much, you folks are so good to us. Thank you very much, thanks to Leo Kottke.”
If I Had A Boat
I’m A Solider in the Army of the Lord