Loudon Wainwright III and Amy LaVere in concert at the Clifton Center in Louisville, KY

Loudon Wainwright and opener Amy LaVere put on a wonderfully intimate show last night at the Clifton Center near historic Frankfort Ave. in Louisville, Kentucky. It was my first time seeing either of the musicians, and it was an enjoyable experience of musical uppers and downers.

Amy LaVereLaVere opened with a few notes on her stand-up bass, comically plastered with a bass-fishing sticker. I liked the girl right away :) She and her high-pitched, almost cartoony voice, her twangy guitarist, and drummer belted out some rockers, some downers, and some hard-to-explain tunes (Gypsy/latin/polka-inspired? This blog has a more detailed description.) No matter what you'd call them, she played some songs that might make you want to dance, cry, or dance and cry at the same time.

Wainwright followed LaVere with quite the one-man show. I'd seen him act, albeit briefly,  in The Aviator and Knocked Up, but neither prepared me for his rubbery expressions. They don't seem forced, and I sure did get a kick out of them. His music was excellent, too. I'm not generally a big fan of one-man/acoustic-guitar shows, but Wainwright's songwriting, strumming, and obvious love of performance kept my attention throughout the ~90-minute show. He enjoyed a beer onstage and won me over with songs that made me want to laugh, cry, or laugh and cry at the same time.