Lisa Loeb recalled Thursday night (May 22) that her New York gig a year ago at the Highline, which was supporting her latest album No Fairy Tale, was with a full band—and a rockin’ one it was.
But this one at Tribeca Performing Arts Center, in which her acoustic guitar was backed by electric guitarist Chris Unck, was no less exciting—and enchanting.
No Fairy Tale’s titletrack actually came late in the set, along with an explanatory intro: “Life is not a fairy tale,” said Loeb, “but better than a fairy tale.”
The “ups and downs” of real life lead to a life “more rich” than a fairy tale’s perfect one, she suggested, mirroring her song’s wonderful chorus:
It’s no fairy tale
There’s no bread crumb trail
To lead you back, that’s just as well
That’s a better one to tell.
She had started with an old favorite “Wishing Heart,” which like “No Fairy Tale” and all her songs, is marked by a memorable lyric: “I never kissed somebody so that they would break my heart.”
From there she went right into a new song, that is, following a motherly rap—she is, after all, mother of two youngsters–about how no drinks were allowed in the theater, but that she had water and soda backstage that she might bring out to give to people waiting for her to sign CDs and books after the show, or “anyone who feels faint” during it.
The new song was “3,2,1 Let Go,” and was written with Unck as the theme for the upcoming movie Helicopter Mom, starring Nia Vardalos, with Loeb in a bit part as a high school teacher. Halfway into it and the chorus was already ingrained:
Our love is shining like the sun
Our love is written in the stars.
It recalls Sheryl Crow’s “Soak Up the Sun,” neither mindless nor carefree and likewise a great summer song that should be rush-released. It would be so good to get Lisa Loeb back on the radio, such a positive force compared to the current crop of scandal sheet pop divas.
And speaking of summer, Loeb, whose Camp Lisa Foundation brings the summer camp experience to underprivileged kids, sang “On Top of Spaghetti” and followed it with her song that it inspired, “The Disappointing Pancake,” from her 2008 album Camp Lisa. Now also an illustrated book and iTunes app, the delightfully Disappointing Pancake, while disappointing in edibility, more than makes up for it in the good deeds it does in its fortuitous world travels.
Loeb did her own good deed after the show and brought out her ice cold waters and sodas. All in all it was a fitting way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of her breakthrough hit “Stay (I Missed You),” which she also sang.