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CONCERT REVIEW: Mary Lou Lord

Photo by PETE TROSHAK

Mary Lou Lord took the stage alone at Concerts@SixthStreet in Media on Saturday night looking like she just walked off the cover of her 1995 self-titled LP. Lord is known for covering Elliot Smith, being hated on by Courtney Love, and for being friends-with-benefits with Kurt Cobain, something she always denied. But most significantly, she is known for the 1998 album Got No Shadow which earned her a four star review in Rolling Stone and a cult following. She didn’t release a follow-up until 2004 and then vanished, partially because she was affected by spasmodic dysphonia which robbed her of her ability to sing. Lord resurfaced this year, able to sing again and working on a new album. With a deep red guitar almost as tall as her slung across her body,  the pixie-ish singer opened with a yearning  “Western Union Desperate” that ended in a mash-up with The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven.” She performed in her usual style, pogoing gently in place in front of the mic and drawing the emotion from each song from the tips of her toes all the way to her lips. Her voice was still strong despite her illness and time off. She mixed covers and originals for an hour and a half with no break except to chat with the audience and take requests. With some encouraging and lyrical cues from an eager audience member Lord ably tackled Bruce Springsteen’s “Thunder Road,” reinventing the piano ballad as a guitar song and cruising by the time she reached the closing section. Singing with her eyes closed for that moment she owned the Boss’ song, trading in wings for wheels and happy to be back doing what she loves. – PETE TROSHAK

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