Lee MacDougall Brings It – Live at 3rd and Lindsley, August 15

Artists, Concert Reviews, Features, Music — By on August 17, 2011 11:12 am

It’s not unusual to hear an artist nail it on an EP or LP but fumble when performing live.  Lee MacDougall is NOT one of these artists.  From the moment he opened his mouth on the stage at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville, he gave us the very same vocals, dynamics, range, and wit that we found in his EP, If Walls Could Talk.  I’d love to just make my way down the set list and delve into every song, but in the interest of time, I’ll just focus on some of the highlights from the show.

To open the show, Lee started with Falling in Love for the First Time, which showcased his impressive range.  Much of the song featured his falsetto, which was just as strong and true in a live setting as it is on the recordings.  To separate his live performances, he played a little bit with the rhythm, giving the audience something new and fresh.  After he finished the song, he leapt right into story time, in which he professed that he often wants to call his mom to come get him during times of distress–never mind the fact that she lives thousands of miles away, with an ocean between them.

His mom was apparently the inspiration behind the next tune he performed, which was This Is My Story.  When I talked to Lee before the show, he mentioned that this particular song is the most autobiographical, and I could see how much he meant that when he sang it.  Tender notes were given the respect they deserved rather than Lee attacking everything in full voice for the benefit of a live audience.  While I missed some of the backing vocals found on the record, I was still quite impressed with the amount of music he produced with just his voice and guitar.  When he finished, I realized that he bowed after the first and second song–something he continued to do throughout the show, reminding me very much of the Beatles and other British Invasion bands.  It was a wonderful sign of respect and gratitude toward the audience.

When he launched into The Star Hotel, which is one of his rock tunes, I expected a nice, acoustic version.  What Lee gave me was the same energy, sound, and attitude, with so much music that he was like a whole rock band wrapped up in one person.  It was truly amazing how magnetic he was, especially since he was alone on the big, new stage at 3rd and Lindsley.

Of course, Lee then managed to bring it down a notch with his tender ballad, Hindsight, before moving into an acoustic version of Joanna and a few songs that weren’t on the EP.  I’m told they’re on the upcoming album, which makes me anxious to own it and add to my playlists.  Finally, he started the opening chords of She, which is one of my favorites from the EP.  I did miss the piano and the backing vocals, but he really pulled it off on his own, maintaining the doowop feel with inventive percussion.  The song still remains my favorite.

After hearing him live, I’m forced to admit that Lee MacDougall has cemented himself among my favorites, and that list includes some pretty heavy hitters.  I’m not the type to follow a singer across the country, but I’d certainly be willing to travel to hear him again.  As it is, I can’t wait for his next tour.  You can still check him out if he hasn’t hit your city yet.  His tour schedule is posted on his website, so look for the show nearest you.


Photo credit: MD Laidlaw


  1. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for encompassing all the best things about Lee’s show in othis article. It takes a powerful person to pull off a one man show as eloquently and vibrantly as Lee does. I am looking forward to the St. Louis show this coming Saturday. (I am traveling to see him ;))

  2. Nicole says:

    Great review MD Laidlaw. I so wish I could’ve made it to meet up with you as well as some other MacDougallette fan favorite supporters. Sounded like an amazing night, and I totally agree with you on the “be willing to travel to hear Lee play again” part. It is definitely so worth it!! Glad you had a nice time. I’ll be looking forward, hopefully to the HOT TEXAS Nights!! Hopefully, I’ll get to see Lee play again sometime in TN. Again, thanks for the lovely article on Lee’s performance @ 3rd & Lindsley in TN. Great picture too! ;•)

  3. Nicole says:

    Oops, my bad I meant great article by Jennifer Barry & great picture by MD Laidlaw. Forgive me ladies. ;•)

  4. Tara says:

    What a great review Jennifer! I was at this show and was equally impressed with Lee’s live performance. You did an excellent job of describing the impact he has even without a band and compared to a recording.

  5. Jenny says:

    Great review! I have yet to see Lee play live but I have heard many great things- this review being the latest. I’ll get my chance in about a month when he heads up north towards Chicago. Thank you for the review!

  6. Maria in CT says:

    Fantastic review! I’ve been lucky enough to see Lee 3 times this year – all in New York City – and can’t wait to see him again in October. Lee is an amazingly talented young singer/songwriter and he can tell a story better than anyone. I hope everyone gets a chance to see him soon!

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