Lisa Marie Presley may have inherited her dad’s good looks, but his talent or showmanship? Not so much.
In her first Seattle concert – not counting a Puyallup Fair show in 2003 after releasing her debut album – Elvis Presley’s daughter performed an awkward and uneven show Wednesday night at the Triple Door.
Presley started a half hour late, leaving a long line of fans waiting on the sidewalk while she finished her sound check. But fans were forgiving when she finally took the stage with her five-piece band shortly after 9 p.m.
And her heart was in the right place: She plugged World Vision, her charity of choice, with a plea to concertgoers to pledge $35 a month to needy kids in Third World countries, directing them to a sign-up table near the entrance.
The set was heavily stocked with songs from her current album, “Storm & Grace,” produced by T-Bone Burnett. The famous producer described the songs as “honest, raw, unaffected and soulful.” Indeed they were, but there was something missing in the execution.
Lots of reverb helped cover the weakness of her vocals, and many tunes simply plodded along without much conviction. But her band supplied enough crunch to carry the more rocking songs, such as “Soften the Blows” and an encore of Tom Petty’s “I Need to Know.”
“Weary” was mournful and downcast and really quite beautiful. “Idiot” (which she described as “the meanest song I’ve ever written”) took a swing at a former man in her life. After Danny Keough, Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage, Presley is now on her fourth marriage — to Michael Lockwood, chief guitarist for her current tour (Lockwood sported a top hat with a plume of feathers so large it looked as though it would fly away with the hat).
Presley, dressed in a blue gown, black leather belt and black boots, complained that the microphone was so heavy that it was difficult to hold, and she frequently shook her wrists to relieve the discomfort.
While credentialed photographers darted around the room taking photos, hawk-eyed security people kept a close watch on cell phone cameras for unauthorized photos or videos, pouncing on anyone pointing a device toward the stage.
It seemed like overkill for an artist still touring clubs, even if she is the daughter of a rock ‘n’ roll colossus.
Opening was The Black Lillies, a talented country band from Knoxville, Tenn.