She sings about drinking and smoking. And she carries a few more pounds than other singers boasting similar success. And she swears. She swears a lot. But she does not care. "You don't see women who look like me and sing about these things," she boasted to the crowd Saturday night at Chicago's Salt Shed amphitheater.
King opened with "Tusla," a recent rocking country song about a woman throwing all her man's possessions out on the grass after he leaves town with another woman: "Well, that good-for-nothin' mothertruckin' son of a gun; I don't need to know her name 'cause I can tell you which one," she wailed to an appreciative audience.
King has plenty of country and western songs, and she sang many on this night. Her band dressed in cowboy hats and The Great Whiskey Project from Mobile, AL delighted the crowd with their country-blues numbers before Elle took the stage.
King also has plenty of pop material from which to draw, and she mixed in some of these songs. Early in her set, she performed "Ex's and Oh's," her biggest hit, and the band impressed with a rendition of Dr. Hook's "The Cover of Rolling Stone."
But the evening mainly belonged to country music which Elle delivered in abundance. She sang a few slow songs ("Jersey Giant"), but most of the set was rough and rowdy.
King got a bit rough herself. I could not tell if she was joking when she told the keyboard player to "Shut the f*** up!" He seemed to take it in stride.
She closed the show with "Drunk (And I Don't Wanna Go Home)," a single she recorded with Amanda Lambert.
This was my first visit to the Salt Shed. The venue opened last year, and the indoor concert area opened earlier this year. Most patrons stand at the Shed, but the indoor space provides some grandstand seating.
It was a good night and a good show to experience this theater.