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Randy Newman Debuts Songs From New Album For VIP Crowd in L.A.

Last night at L.A.’s 280-capacity Largo, Randy Newman performed the entirety of his excellent Harps and Angels (due in stores August 5th) for a VIP-packed crowd that included Mandy Moore, Jason Schwartzman and ex-That Dog frontwoman Anna Waronker, whose dad Lenny co-produced Harps with Mitchell Froom. “It never hurts to start with a religious tune,” Newman said by way of introduction after opening the show with the album’s title track, in which an unbeliever takes a memorable trip to heaven.

Harps contains no shortage of Newman’s trademark social satire: He got big laughs from Largo’s limousine-liberal contingent with “A Few Words in Defense of Our Country,” which puts Dubya’s foibles in perspective by comparing them to Hitler’s and Stalin’s, and the Sondheim-esque “A Piece of the Pie,” whose gentle John Mellencamp dig Newman said he hoped wouldn’t offend the heartland rocker. After he and his four-piece band played Harps and Angels, Newman encored with a handful of old chestnuts: “You Can Leave Your Hat On,” “Louisiana 1927,” “The World Isn’t Fair” and “I Love L.A.” At Largo there was no doubting that L.A. loved him back.

Set List:
“Harps and Angels”
“Losing You”
“Laugh and Be Happy”
“A Few Words in Defense of Our Country”
“A Piece of the Pie”
“Easy Street”
“Korean Parents”
“Only a Girl”
“Feels Like Home”
“You Can Leave Your Hat On”
“Louisiana 1927”
“The World Isn’t Fair”
“I Love L.A.”

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