Shelby Lynne played the Saenger on Thursday night, and she was just wonderful. It was good to hear her live -- she doesn't just sing the songs so that you might as well be listening to a cd; she has new arrangements for them, making her songs fresh and new. She did many of my old favorites, such as Where I'm From (which I swear is on I am Shelby Lynne, but it's not listed on the amazon.com track list), a song about Alabama that is so beautiful it makes me want to stay here the rest of my life. What was really nice, however, was that she did songs from the new album she's working on --- one probably called I'm No Fool and the other most likely titled Your Alibi. Both were songs about the end of a relationship, making me wonder if that's going to be the theme of her new album. They also made me think that the new record (she actually used that word -- "record"!) is going to be more similar in tone to Suit Yourself, which is lovely, than to Identity Crisis, with its delightful surprises (like the gospel-infused 10 Rocks and the rock-country flavored Buttons and Beaus. )
I expected a rowdy audience, even though the concert was on a Thursday night, because Shelby Lynne is a hometown girl (her grandmother and other family were in the audience) and she hasn't played Mobile since 1991. I wasn't disappointed. My ears, however, were assaulted by some woman behind me who kept whistling in this really high pitch, the frequency of which really hurt my ears, and yelling, "Shelby, we love you!" at the top of her lungs. On the other side of the theater, people were yelling, "Shelby, Shelby!" and "Welcome home, Shelby!" She was gracious about all this and didn't tell people to shut up, which I might have considered, and she seemed genuinely glad to be back in Mobile. It was great to see her -- too bad the audience also had to be there.