hen Nikki Lane rolled into town on her current Stagecoach Spotlight Tour, she and her touring mates were under the weather. Although illness didn't keep Lane performing (she was in fine voice throughout), Robert Ellis was a last-minute scratch. His replacement, Jenny O, was one high caliber fill-in, however, and kept the bill strong.
Lane came out dressed in a sharp white outfit, complete with a white hat, and looked fine. She opened with "Highway Queen," the title track of her current album, and immediately took charge. She also sprinkled in older songs like "Man Up," which found her flipping a double bird to her ex, and "Good Man." Lane was joined throughout the set by another opener, Jonathan Tyler who added guitar and backing vocals, and the two sang a beautiful duet on his "To Love is to Fly," as well as the older "Love's on Fire." Lane told the audience this was her largest concert audience so far, and Los Angeles welcomed her with open arms.
Tyler preceded Lane with a set that mixed in old blues, folk and country songs with his own compositions. Although he usually tours with a band, Tyler said he likes to keep these acoustic solo performances more roots-y. He sings with a powerful, rough-edged voice. Although he included Lane's band in one performance, he's quite sufficient all on his own.
Jenny O appeared really nervous standing on stage with nothing more than her singing voice and a sometimes-distorted electric guitar. She shouldn't have been so shaken, though, because the venue's early crowd gave her rapt attention from moment one.
In the end, this was Lane's night, and she proved to be one highway queen fully in charge of her queendom.