SOUTH BEND — Giving a performance that seemed more like a band practice than a gig, Loretta Lynn remained loose and casual, showing a relaxed side not often seen in the professional music business.
Perched, barefoot, atop a tall stool, she talked candidly to the sold-out crowd at the Morris on Mother’s Day about nothing and everything all at once.
“Hey, I just go around and fall,” remarked Lynn after telling the audience about her broken foot.
The injuries left her sitting most of the night, but in spite of it all, she talked openly and created a window for everyone to see the quick-witted, sharp-tongued woman’s attitude — which is what has made her such a legendary entertainer.
Lynn took requests from the crowd all night, showing her great sense of humor and ability to just go with the flow.
Upon hearing a request for “Women’s Prison,” a cut from her 2004 album, “Van Lear Rose,” she told the crowd the band didn’t know it.
This prompted what seemed to be the theme of the night. Turning to Gene Dunlap, her piano player, she asked what key it was in and started singing. A few piano notes later, the band was completely immersed in the song.
Albeit quiet and somewhat shaky, the song took form quickly and dissipated even faster as soon as she grew tired of singing it.
After trying to make good on the request, Lynn quickly told the audience, “I hope tickets were cheap tonight!”
The Coal Miner’s Daughter then received a little Mother’s Day help from her daughter, Patsy, when she wouldn’t let “Women’s Prison” rest.
She asked Patsy to come out and help her with the lyrics.
Red-faced, Patsy came out on stage and joked back and forth with her mother, creating an almost stand-up comedy feel.
Since it had been 25 years since she last performed in South Bend, Lynn pulled out all the stops and made the concert a fun, relaxed and interesting time.
The atmosphere was electric and the laughter was overwhelmingly prevalent.
A reverent night for most, Loretta Lynn gave a concert to remember.