The club's staff wore dress shirts. The guitar tech wore a tux. The bride wore all black, with knee-high, high-heeled boots -- and when she finished her vows, she went right into Rolling Stones and AC/DC songs.
Minneapolis' First Avenue nightclub played host to a royal rock 'n' roll wedding Friday night starring Grammy-winning alt-country singer Lucinda Williams. After a 90-minute performance with her band -- a surprisingly tight set, given the circumstances -- the Louisiana-bred tunesmith married her Minnesotan beau and manager, Tom Overby, in front of 1,500 fans.
"I thought I'd wear something besides jeans tonight," Williams, 56, joked to the crowd after she took the stage in a silky, tight skirt and matching blouse.
Coming back out for the encore, Williams set the matrimony tone with solo performances of two blissful songs by singers not known for writing happy endings: Her own "Plan to Marry," followed by one she adapted from unrecorded Hank Williams lyrics, "I'm Happy I Found You." Hank's on-stage wedding to his second wife inspired Lucinda's spotlighted nuptials. She fought back tears singing his words.
The bride's father, renowned poet Miller Williams, got up and read a piece he wrote for his daughter when she was 7, "The Caterpillar." Then out came Col. Frank Burggraf, a secular humanist minister, and the groom. Fans hooted for Overby's "I take thee, Lucinda" as loudly as they did earlier when she sang "Joy."
Once pronounced husband and wife, the couple were showered by confetti shooters, and the band shot into Keith Richards' "Happy." Williams glowingly concluded, "Thank you for sharing this with us."
Afterward, the newlyweds partied at the neighboring sushi hot-spot Seven. Attendees included some of Williams' singer-songwriter friends from out-of-town, including Carrie Rodriguez, Erika Wennerstrom (Heartless Bastards), Rosie Flores and "Wild Thing" auteur Chip Taylor. Her first husband, ex-Long Ryders drummer Greg Sowders, was also there, as were Twin Cities rock stalwarts, including Jayhawks Gary Louris and Marc Perlman, ex-Son Volt members Jim and Dave Boquist, New West Records Vice President Peter Jesperson and executives from Best Buy, where Overby used to work.
The couple plan to honeymoon a few days in the Twin Cities, and then they're off for an ambitious tour marking her 30th anniversary as a recording artist.
See a review at startribune.com/poplife Chris Riemenschneider • 612-673-4658