The live CD/DVD release of Richard Thompson’s 1,000 Years of Popular Music show, shot and recorded three years ago, includes 10 of the roughly two dozen songs Thompson performed at Lisner Auditorium Wednesday night. Five-twelfths would be an acceptable, even generous, reply ratio for any tour but this one, wherein he has — What was it? Oh yes: 1,000 Years of Popular Music from which to choose.
My first Richard Thompson show was underwhelming; read all about it in the Paper of Record. I don’t want to sound like one of those jackholes who goes to a solo-acoustic Bruce Springsteen show and then yells all through because the E Street Band didn’t show up, or the guy who interrupted a moving performance of “Fallen” by Elvis Costello and Steve Nieve at Royce Hall a few years ago to bellow for “Pump It Up.” But for Thompson to play three or four of his own tunes at the end of the show would not have violated the show’s conceit at all: A guy who even half-fills Lisner is still “popular” in my book, even it he ain’t Nelly Furtado. And he had time, too. Minus the 20-minute intermission, Thompson performed for only about an hour and 45 minutes. Not a short show, but not a long one, either. Though it sometimes felt that way.