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Man… I wasn’t expecting that.

I love the last few Okkervil River albums, and you my valued reader will know I had The Stage Names in my top 5 of 2007 (from which the timely Oscars-ish quote in the title comes from). Not having seen them before I was looking forward to this gig, thinking I would get a nice melancholy night of folky-pop-rock. What I got though was the full rock show. Sure there were moments of stark beauty, but with a great sounding 6 piece band, Will Sheff put on the show. He is really an awesome, charismatic front man.

But we all know Okkervil River has always been about Will. You just have to listen to the bonus disc of demos from The Stage Names to know that his voice and an acoustic guitar are the heart of the songs. The energy he has on stage though takes the whole Okkervil River band experience to another level. Kicking off with The President’s Dead, and heading into a track from Black Sheep Boy (who’s name escapes me) I thought the band was peaking way too early. But no… Will and co. kept the energy up for the next 1hr 40. For a relative newby like me I was treated, with most of The Stage Names and Black Sheep Boy getting a guernsey, and a smattering of old-gold kept for the encore, including the Okkervil River Song. The crowd held a fair reverence for these early tracks too which made for quite the singalong.

So really great stuff. I like being surprised at a gig. You think it will be good, and ends up great. Much better than vice versa (sorry Sonic Youth).

… muttler

Okkervil River

One Comment

  1. Hey Muttler
    I was also at The Corner gig – what a show! Like you, I was expecting a more melancholy performance and thoroughly enjoyed the sheer exhuberance and high energy. Awesome! I’ve got a review over on my blog too, come check it out some time.
    Agnes @ It All Started With Carbon Monoxide

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