When you go to a Shawn Colvin concert, you expect to hear a lot of sensitive, sad songs.

But Colvin’s concert Monday night at the Guthrie’s McGuire Proscenium Theater seemed a bit sadder than usual. It wasn’t the music; it was the performer. She seemed in a haze, never really finding any joy in her performance, never really exposing her personality in conversation, never really shifting out of autopilot.

Between songs, the singer was preoccupied with tuning her lone guitar. (Don’t stars who collect nice paychecks hire roadies to tune for them and switch guitars after each song?) She didn’t say much, didn't unleash her usual humor much. She didn’t even plug her new memoir, “Diamond in the Rough.” Not even when she sang a song of the same title. She didn’t even mention that she’d be signing copies of the book after the concert (but there was a long line of fans who figured it out, anyway).

Colvin was in such a fog that she walked offstage after a mere 65 minutes and returned and explained that she thought she’d played longer; she promised to make it up with an extended encore.

On her Facebook page, she indicated that she’d arisen “at the butt crack of dawn,” to fly from Sacramento via Denver to Minneapolis. But she never mentioned that inconvenience during the concert.

Colvin’s set – which stretched to nearly 90 minutes with a long encore – was similar in content to her gigs earlier this year at the Dakota Jazz Club. She did offer a few tunes from this summer’s strong new album, “All Fall Down.”

The 56-year-old South Dakota-born, Texas-based, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter did covers of Tom Waits, Jimmy Webb, Gnarls Barkley, the Beatles and the Bee Gees. In fact, she opened with “Words” and afterward announced that it was “an old Bee Gees song. It gives you an idea of how the night is going to go.” Huh?

I loved the way she turned the Beatles’ “I’ll Be Back” into a minor-key dirge, and her own “Killing the Blues” was a potent country plaint in waltz time. Both highlights nicely underscored the pity-party tone of her program.

Colvin’s full house of fans warmed to familiar favorites, including “Polaroids,” “That Don’t Worry Me Now” and “Round of Blues.”

Opening was John Fullbright, an impressive folk-blues newcomer from Okemah, Okla. (hometown of Woody Guthrie). He broke a string during his first song, managed to change it while telling a joke and, in his brief 35 minutes, he probably connected with the crowd more effectively than Colvin did in triple the amount of time. The high point of Fullbright’s set was his own “Forgotten Flowers,” which sounded like the best Merle Haggard song I’ve heard since Hag was here last week.