On a chilly March night in Cambridge, Massachusetts a storm of good ol’ southern rock n’ roll, aptly named the “Stagecoach Spotlight Nikki Lane Highway Queen Tour,” blew into The Sinclair directly from the south bringing with it some of the most talented musicians that side of the Mason-Dixon line. The crowd was treated to three stellar acts, each bringing enough charm and style to light up the stage for a few hours and make us forget we were still in winter’s grasp.
First up was Dallas, TX musician Jonathan Tyler. Armed with only a guitar he quickly got to work setting up the night with songs from his fantastic collection of albums, including the latest release Holy Smokes, which came out in 2015. It’s usually tough to quite a Boston crowd on a Friday night but Tyler’s storytelling and song and quick wit soothed the audience to a point where you could hear a pin drop. It did not go unnoticed by the Texas troubadour. It was a fantastic set.
Next up was Georgia born/Nashville-based singer-songwriter Brent Cobb. Backed with an amazing band the crew got the boots stompin’ as he tore into songs from his collection, including the major-label debut album, Shine On Rainy Day, released in October of 2016. It is easy to see that Cobb has been a musician pretty much all of his life. He talked of playing in his dad’s band as a young boy and sung one of the songs his father had written many years ago. Cobb has penned many a number for some big name country artists, and has toured the world with a few of them, and now the genre’s spotlight is aimed in his direction. Given the strength of his performance this evening he’s going to handle it well.
The boys who took the stage before Ms. Lane knew it was her night and continuously reminded us what a great time we were going to have. Now we were already having a great time, but as southern gentlemen often do they held the door open wide for the highway queen herself to take the stage. When she did it was to thunderous applause. We have been lucky enough to have her visit the Boston area quite a few times, and now with her critically acclaimed third album, Highway Queen, just released it seems all of Massachusetts music fans have finally been wrangled up by Lane’s lasso.
Kicking right into the title-track from her new release the audience cheered and sang along putting a big ol’ grin on the Nashville musician’s face. The set-list changed direction a few times as requests were yelled out and Lane changed her mind a few time on what to play next, but it consisted of many sing-along numbers from each of her three albums including everyone’s favorite flip-off song from All or Nuthin‘, “Man Up,” with all middle fingers raised high, and “Gone, Gone, Gone,” from her debut Walk of Shame. The band left the stage for a moment and she performed two songs solo before being joined on stage by the night’s opener (and Lane’s boyfriend) Jonathan Tyler for a touching duet, “To Love is To Fly,” from Tyler’s album Holy Smokes. The night ended with the entire “Spotlight” gang on stage for the song of the night, sending us all back out to the cold without a care in the world.
Needless to say we had a great time! Check out the fantastic images from the evening taken by our very own Jamie Reiley.