Mixing old and new, jamming on favorite inspirations and building on her own class of standards, Norah Jones took the Hollywood Bowl under her spell Friday night for a one-night special performance celebrating her new album, Little Broken Hearts, a collaboration with Danger Mouse (Brian Burton).
Jones, performing in L.A. en route to the Outside Lands music festival in San Francisco, performed an inspired set that included covers of the Grateful Dead and Hank Williams, plus old favorites and a good selection of songs from her new album.
A well-received opening set from indie folk rockers Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons set the tone for a country-twanged evening before Jones took to a stage bedecked in jewel-toned lights and hanging paper cranes. Broken Hearts, which EW gave a “B” after its May release, recounts a brutal breakup, but Jones’s spirited performance with a wink and smile made it seem like the heartbreak is miles away.
“She’s 22,” a viciously sweet song about jealousy over an ex’s new love, led straight into the album’s title track. One of my favorite lines off Little Broken Hearts, “Bring me back to the good old days/ When you let me misbehave” led off “Say Goodbye,” which Jones performed slyly in a sweet pink dress and cowboy boots, looking just mischievous enough as she sang at the keyboard alongside her bandmates.
Jones also turned to some classic covers, including the Grateful Dead’s “It Must Have Been the Roses” (at Outside Lands Saturday, she was joined on the track by Dead guitarist Bob Weir), Tom Waits’ “The Long Way Home” (which appears on her 2004 album Feels Like Home), and Hank Williams’ “Cold, Cold Heart.” Her country/jazz mashup ethos, delivered live with ethereal keyboards and a band supporting her, felt like a country-noir extravaganza.
In tribute, perhaps, to her roots (Jones grew up near Ft. Worth), the chanteuse closed out the night with “Lonestar,” off her debut album Come Away With Me, introducing the song with a proud “I’m from Texas, you know,” before an encore that included two of her biggest hits, “Come Away With Me” and “Sunrise, Sunrise.”
Jones may be a Starbucks staple, but her live set showed off much more than the hits – the elements of electronic music infused by producer Danger Mouse on the new album highlighted her soulful voice and gave new layers to her piano playing. for some 90 magical minutes on a beautiful summer night at the Bowl.
Little Broken Hearts
It’s Gonna Be
Take It Back
All a Dream
The Long Way Home (Tom Waits cover)
Black (a 2011 Danger Mouse/Rome track)
It Must Have Been the Roses (Grateful Dead cover)
Cold Cold Heart (Hank Williams cover)
After the Fall
Don’t Know Why
Come Away with Me