4.13.2016

From the Front Porch to Center Stage: Robert Earl Keen & Lyle Lovett in Concert

Note: This is a work in progress! Concert reviews are harder than I thought! I have more thoughts, which I may jot down some day. The show was a few weeks ago so I want to get this review posted before more time goes by.

Robert Earl Keen & Lyle Lovett, March 18, 2016 Wilma Theatre Missoula
Marcy 18, 2016, Wilma Theatre

If you're a fan of Robert Earl Keen and Lyle Lovett, then you are probably familiar with the story of how their friendship began while they were students at Texas A&M in the 1970s. Tales of how the budding young songwriters played music on the front porch of Mr. Keen's rented house have made the rounds over the years and it is an endearing tale.

I always hoped for the chance to see these two Texas music legends perform together and had the opportunity to do so as as they made a stop at Missoula's Wilma Theatre last weekend. It was a stellar show.

I had always wondered why they haven't played together. Had there been a falling out?  Jealousy? Perhaps their paths had gone separate ways and they're just getting around to it now. I suspect that it is the latter as their friendship seemed genuine (Or really well rehearsed) and Mr. Lovett repeatedly talked about how much he cherished his friendship with Mr. Keen.

Mr. Keen and Mr. Lovett took the stage and looked like we know them to, Mr. Lovett in his show-business style black suit and Mr. Keen looking dapper in his dark suit, splashy orange shirt and stylish hat. They were armed with two guitars each and entertained the audience for 2.5 hours without an intermission.
Seeing the men on stage together was a treat. It was great to see their contrasting styles, both musical and personal, side-by-side. The two took turns playing and in between each they shared stories, jokes and casual banter. There were a few moments where one would embellish the others song with vocals and guitar along with a few duets at the end but for the most part it just one man and one song at a time. This show was everything I expected it to be.

A complete review of our trip and more details on the Wilma, check out this post.