NATICK - Lisa Marie Presley pushed aside the sticks and stones of critics Friday night, solidly rocking The Verve at the Natick Crowne Plaza with her five-member band and a talent all her own.
Wailing away on a pair of drums with felt mallets at times, the daughter of the king of rock 'n' roll revealed an edgy, haunting blues sound to which she adds a touch of the Go-Go's. She was confident in her singing and has formed a tight-knit musical family that includes her husband, guitarist and musical director Michael Lockwood; keyboardist/vocalist and former Bigelf member Damon Fox; drummer John Sands; Jamison Hollister on mandolin/pedal steel; and Luis Maldonado on electric bass/vocals.
During the 75-minute set Presley featured mostly songs from her latest album, "Storm & Grace," a solid endeavor produced by T Bone Burnett, including memorable renditions of "Over Me," "So Long," and "Sticks and Stones." Keyboardist Fox, and Lockwood with his colorful series of Gretsch hollow-body guitars, juiced things up just enough without stealing the show from its star.
Lisa Marie Presley performs in Graceland's Jungle Room
Sitting in a chair, lights and cameras pointed at her, Lisa Marie Presley involuntarily twitches when a soundman's boom microphone accidentally hits the ornate chandelier hanging overhead, just outside camera range.
She is sitting dead center, smack in the heart of Graceland — and however controlled, is giving off the vibe of a teenager whose parents went away for the weekend and now an unexpected mob of party guests are clumsily, but methodically, wrecking her house.
And what on earth will she tell her parents?
"I'm very protective over it," she says. "I feel really comfortable here, very happy and comfortable."
Maybe two rooms over, past Graceland’s dining room and kitchen, a herd of camera-crew types is setting equipment up in the Jungle Room, where Lisa’s father famously recorded in 1976, and where she'll soon be performing for the very first time, for all eyes to see.
"But this is working inside of where I grew up, which is very strange. I feel like I'm watching, making sure that everything doesn't get trampled over. That people are being careful while it’s happening."
In September during her stop in Memphis on her Storm and Grace Tour, Lisa Marie Presley performed in the Jungle Room at Graceland, the house where she grew up and where her dad recorded his last album Moody Blue. Today Yahoo Music released the performance on its site. Lisa performed "Over Me," "Sticks and Stones" and "Weary." (I can't embed them, so please click on the song title for video) "Sticks and Stones" is one of my favorites – watch for Lisa's drum solo at the end. And check out Michael Lockwood's (Lisa's husband and band leader) guitar in "Weary" – it's Elvis'.
Music's favorite daughter performing in Sellersville Nov. 16
Lisa Marie Presley carries with her the most famous last name in pop music history. She has been world famous since the day she was born. And though one might assume that with her personal history and her DNA she'd have all the makings of an extrovert, that's not really the case when discussing her life. With some topics, she remains guarded, while with others, she speaks freely. Her latest critically-acclaimed album, "Storm & Grace," falls into the category of the latter. And it's worth talking about.
In a recent interview with The Weekender, Presley talked about "Storm & Grace," its accompanying tour, and some of her other recent musical endeavors in her native hometown of Memphis, where she not only recorded at the legendary Sun Studios, but also performed live on the same stage where a young and upcoming artist named Elvis Presley performed in 1954. She also recently did a home recording, so to speak. But in her case, "home" just happened to be the Jungle Room in a place called Graceland.
TIME TO DECLARE LISA MARIE PRESLEY HER OWN WOMAN
The ticket was free, the company was fun, the venue was a personal favorite so there was little to lose seeing Elvis' baby girl in concert. But after walking in apathetic, I watched the petite forty-five-year-old brunette give an intimate, emotional seventy-five minute performance that turned me into an enthusiastic fan.
Lisa Marie Presley is a diminutive figure, an inherently shy person who has nonetheless decided to put herself in the position of being an artist – and one who has spent months on the road, standing in front of crowds in intimate rooms and putting her vulnerability on display.
While she clearly isn't naturally comfortable onstage – though with five musicians backing her on the cramped Eddie's Attic stage, she might have felt physically penned in as well – she nonetheless conversed quietly with the audience and tried to indulge the boorish types who constantly interrupted her with song requests and irrelevant comments.