By Nicki Escudero
By Amy Silverman
By Brian Palmer
By Chris Parker
By Troy Farah
By Lauren Wise
By Lauren Wise
From there, Sweet played a few songs "unplugged," including a nice take on Girlfriend's plaintive "Winona," another Sweet song that seeds innocence with budding angst: "Could you be my little movie star/Could you be my long lost girl/It's true that I don't even know you/But I'm alone in the world."
The acoustic interlude was a nice diversion, although it slowed some of the momentum from previous songs. It took a while for the band to return to speed, but Sweet and crew managed to finish strong with the unusually aggressive "Super Baby" and the wonderfully acerbic "Not When I Need It" (killer line: "And you give me what I want/Not when I need it"). Sweet then closed with "Evangaline," an apparent crowd fave that one person loudly requested at every idle moment of the evening. The resulting rendition sufficiently fueled an encore.
Opening act Sonny Landreth, former lead guitarist in John Hiatt's band, cemented his rep with an occasionally astonishing nine-song set. Landreth's slide-guitar work transcends the kind of bayou-bred, genre-strangled hubris his songs most closely approach. Diminutive and bespectacled, Landreth sang softly through his Louisiana twang, allowing original, off-kilter melodies to carry impressive songs like "Meet Your New Landlord" and the especially strong "Shooting for the Moon."
On other, more rootsy tunes, Landreth slipped into predictable guitar-school showmanship, relentlessly proving how well he can use the four fingers on his right hand and the slide-saddled pinky on his left. Too bad. The side-show stuff just took time away from Landreth's considerable singer/songwriter skills.-