Last week saw Steve Earle roll into town to play at The Tivoli, the last night of his Australian tour in support of his ‘Washington Square Serenade’ album.Â For most of the set it was just him and his guitar.Â However, later on in the set he was backed by a DJ, playing beats on a couple of turnstiles. Whilst it was hardly a Dylan-Judas type moment, it was startling how much the power of one man and a guitar can be diminished by something as innocuous as a simple drum track.Â But like DylanÂ so much ofÂ the power is in the words, with the backing drum tracks causing the lyrics to be lost inÂ mix to some extent, and the overall impressionÂ coming over as a lazy, gimmicky add-on; aÂ musical no-man’s landÂ between stripped-downÂ guitar and vocals and a properly fleshed-out arrangement for a full band.Â
Allison Moorer was the main support act, a pleasant enough voice, although her cover-heavy six song set didn’t provide much of real substance to mull over.Â Based on her performance tonight, there are better female singer-songwriters in Brisbane, butÂ being the seventh Mrs SteveÂ Earle has its obvious advantages.
Krista Polvere opened the night, although again with only a really short set, this time onlyÂ four songs, it was hard to form any real opinion.Â
A few more photos on flickr.