Bonnie “Prince” Billy played The Wilbur Theatre – 6/9

Will Oldham returned to The Wilbur for his first solo Boston show in nearly a decade last weekend, joined by Drag City label-mate Ben Chasny’s Six Organs of Admittance. 

But wait, you might be thinking, wasn’t Oldham in town just two summers ago, as reported on this very blog? And you’d be correct – the Bonnie “Prince” Billy & Bitchin Bajas tour did make a stop at Cambridge’s Sinclair two Junes ago, with Oldham playing collaborator – but last Saturday’s show found him untethered from any psychedelic drone accompaniment, alone on stage for a full, easygoing set.

Boston’s Wilbur, one of the city’s more intimate theater venues, proved an ideal setting for Oldham to dig deep into his rich, multi-moniker-spanning songbook. He covered Merle Haggard and the Everly Brothers, debuted new songs, dug back to the Palace era and broke out the classic “I See a Darkness.” And between songs, the oft-mysterious Oldham offered surprisingly candid asides about the inspirations behind the new work and his relationship with the selected covers.

Like Oldham’s Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Ben Chasny’s Six Organs of Admittance project exists in any number of configurations, but manifested simply as the man and his guitar on this evening. The all-too brief set highlighted Chasny’s lyrical acoustic playing, and featured an unexpected covers medley that contrasted Oldham’s Americana standards by incorporating the likes of Coil and Faust.

See photos from the whole evening below.