Last Night: Pete Yorn & Ben Kweller At House Of Blues
By the time Pete Yorn and his band were onstage, House of Blues was comfortably packed, as the crowd enjoyed the jovial and upbeat melodies that sounded as though they could have been theme songs to new-age Country & Western TV shows.
The ladies swooned (and glared enviously at Yorn's wedding ring), while the men bobbed their heads approvingly to Yorn and company's musical prowess, which, in spite of a somewhat small following, was really quite impressive.
But it was Ben Kweller, the Jewish cowboy, who stole the show.
When Kweller first walked out onstage, we were nervous for him. Performing by himself in front of a few hundred fans? It must have been nerve-racking, even for a tried-and-true musician, and our question was this: Would he have enough intensity by himself to command the crowd's attention?
From the onset of his performance, Kweller began leaping around the stage, strumming his guitar as if he were accompanied by his best friends and bandmates, as he seamlessly drifted from acoustic folk and solemn piano riffs to upbeat country and Southern rock.
"Do you want to sing with me?" he asked the crowd with a smile. "We can sing a song together, if you'd like."
At this point, Kweller taught the crowd a simple melody and asked them to sing along every time he began the chorus. We did as we were told and realized that he was using us as fill-in in for his lack of a backup singer. No one seemed to mind.
"I'm losing control," we all sang. "I just want to rock and roll."