Lydia Loveless gives us the not-so- typical coffee shop show

A common question comes up for music lovers; Where would your dream concert be? Most say huge venues like Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall or Red Rocks. What they should say instead is a coffee shop, specifically Milwaukee’s Prospect Ave. Colectivo Coffee.

This place is something everyone should take on at some point in their life, because seeing Lydia Loveless play in their Back Room was such a great experience.

First of all, there is really nothing cooler than seeing a musician play in the intimate setting of a coffee shop. It gives you a whole new concert experience.

The venue there felt more homey. The coffee shop atmosphere, the warm colored lights, the smaller stage area, and the smaller crowd just made you feel like  you could kick back, relax and enjoy the music. There were no worries of a mosh pit, being pushed around in a huge crowd, or not being able to see the stage. It was right there in front of you. No matter where you were, you could see and enjoy the show.

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However, Lydia Loveless is not the typical act you’d expect to see in this setting. She was not sitting on a stool, strumming on her acoustic guitar and singing acoustic singer-songwriter tunes.

Loveless was a purple-haired, tattooed musician, plucking at an electric guitar, head-banging and performing honky tonk punk music. It was amazing. The audience got to be in this smaller setting, rocking out and having the time of the life, with the band only feet away.

When Loveless and her band came out, instantly people excitedly moved closer to the stage, and were ready to see her do her thing. The band took some nice chugs from their tallboys, fitting right in with all of us in brew city, and then the show was on it’s way.

Loveless, of course, started the show with her traditional awkward silence. After that, the band dove right into the music and played their hearts out. They were making the quiet Colectivo shake from their blaring guitars and drums. It was a good change of pace for the normally otherwise calm shop. The music livened up the room.

The lively punk music is different from most. The country twang of Lydia Loveless’s voice added a twist to things, as well. They take country music and fuse it with punk rock. It’s not the music you hear everyday, but it definitely works.

As the band jammed out on stage, Lydia Loveless performed her songs, “Midwestern Guys,” “Bilbao,” “Real” and more. The audience swayed to the beat, bobbed their heads and mouthed the lyrics. They were having a great time and absolutely loving what they were seeing on stage.

The highlight of the whole concert was when Lydia Loveless ditched her band and sang by herself.  She belted out “Clumps,” “Crazy” and “All the Time.” on stage solo, and it was incredible. This stripped down part of the show really showcased her talents and her genuinely amazing voice. As she sang these lyrics you could see the passion and feel the emotion. It felt like she was reading a diary to us. The intimate, close setting made it easier to feel her songs and relate to them, too.

After these few solo songs, the band eventually came back on stage and then they closed the night with a few more tracks. In the last song of the night, Lydia Loveless sang her last note, walked off the stage and let her band go wild. They all were thrashing on their instruments, making the crowd go bananas with excitement.

This closed the night. The band walked off stage as well, leaving the audience roaring in applause. The crowd were hoping to catch more, but they were done for the night. This just means Lydia Loveless and her crew need to make a grand return in the future. Us, Milwaukee folks will be anxiously waiting for it.