The reigning queen of alt-country, Lucinda Williams, brought her band, the Buick 6, to First Avenue on Friday, September 18th, 2009 for a stop on her 30th Anniversary Tour. Before the night was over she was a married woman. She hit the stage alone, nicely dressed in black skirt and a low-cut jacket top and it was obvious from the beginning that it was an emotional and butterfly-inducing occasion as she brought in the sold-out show with a couple of acoustic songs from her first album, Ramblin.
She then brought the Buick 6 onstage and proceeded to work through songs from all of her albums chronologically, ending the set with 2008′s acclaimed album Little Honey that was released on Lost Highway Records. The Buick 6 were slow to move, but by the middle of the show the engines were revving high with former Iggy Pop guitarist Eric Schermerhorn leading the way. The set ended with Lucinda playing acoustic once again including a
song (lyrics) by Hank Williams that she wrote the music to. She fought back tears several times before finally setting the guitar down and stepping off the stage.
Moments later Lucinda took the stage with her poet-father Miller Williams, a tall gaunt gentleman with a soft southern voice. He spoke of Lucinda and how as a child she was in the room the day he met Hank Williams who died soon after. Then Miller finally read his most famous poem “The Caterpillar” which was written about Lucinda when she was seven. Lucinda stood behind her father in the corner of the stage smiling admirably the entire time. After the poem, the stage filled with family and friends. The ceremony proceeded with unique vows led by a tall elderly minister and when it was time for the kiss, First Avenue exploded with streamers and confetti.
The ceremony seemed rather unorganized, but it all made for a very memorable rock-n-roll experience and Lucinda and her new husband (Minnesota native) Tom Overby appeared to be truly happy.
After the stage cleared, the band encored with “Happy” by the Rolling Stones. Lucinda persuaded her groom to join her onstage and he finally did, holding onto her side as she wailed from the center of the stage. Tom then picked up a white Fender Telecaster and strummed along timidly as the band played an alt-country version of AC/DC’s “Long Way to the Top”. That’s how this unique and interesting evening ended and it will go down as one of the more memorable experiences I’ve ever had at First Avenue. The music was good too.