After a long career that has been both commercially and critically successful, Nick Lowe has nothing left to prove to anyone, but he certainly performs with all the passion that he has possessed since day one. Never bowing to trends, Lowe has crafted so many timeless pop gems that, even decades after being composed, do not sound dated.
His legend includes stints in two legendary bands (Rockpile and Brinsley Schwartz), a super group (Little Village), and a sparkling solo career (for a full examination of Lowes career, it is well worth searching out his 1995 box set "The Doings.")
Lowe is currently touring with the Los Straitjackets, a very tight instrumental gang, as his sidemen. Lowe and Los Straitjackets performed at The Wilbur in Boston, Massachusetts on April 11, 2019.
"So It Goes," Lowes first single as a solo artist, cheerfully opened the show ("So It Goes" was also on the soundtrack to the 1979 cult classic movie, "Rock and Roll High School," a celluloid vehicle for The Ramones).
Lowe spent much of the night revisiting lost gems as "Ragin' Eyes" (from the underrated record "The Abominable Showman"), "Without Love," a pain filled tale of isolation after a breakup, and his late 90's cut, "You Inspire Me."
After a sparkling "Tokyo Bay," Lowe took a break and let Los Straitjackets take over and they ran through an instrumental set of "Kawanga!," "University Blvd," "Space Mosquito," and "Itchy Chicken" (all the while, paying homage to great surf bands as The Ventures and guitar virtuosos' as Link Wray), before Lowe returned to the stage with a smooth take of "I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass."
Following a pensive translation of "Blue on Blue," he pulled out 1984's bouncy, "Half a Boy and Half a Man."
"Cruel to be Kind," his biggest US success (which was incredibly forty years ago!) is still irresistible and Lowe and company tossed out a lively rendition of the pop rock classic.
While ending the set, the quintet did a killer version of "I Knew The Bride (When She Used to Rock and Roll)." Penned by Lowe, the song was originally made popular by Lowes former Rockpile band mate, Dave Edmunds (also, the power-pop quartet, The Knack, do a thrilling version of "I Knew The Bride" on their disc, "Proof: The Very Best of The Knack" collection).
Los Straitjackets returned for the first encore, instructing the crowd to sing as they bashed out the theme to the 60s TV show "Batman." Lowe then joined Los Straightjackets for a cover of Rockpiles "When I Write The Book" and a much slowed down working of "(Whats So Funny 'bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding?"
Returning for a second time solo, Lowe did a stellar cover of Elvis Costellos "Allison."
In referring to playing at The Wilbur, Lowe stated he was more of a "Paradise" guy (alluding to the iconic Paradise Rock Club in Boston, where he has played at a myriad of times over the years), but was upgraded to the larger Wilbur, proving that his popularity endures and grows.