REVIEW: Over the Rhine @ WOW Hall (Eugene, OR – 11/15/10)
FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM
It’s been three long years since I’ve seen Over the Rhine. I missed them on their last tour through Portland (Doug Fir 2009) due to illness. Going three years between shows is odd… I mean, when I lived in Southwest Ohio, I would see them 5 times a year (on average) for about 10 years. Well, I’m making up for lost time by seeing them in both Eugene and Portland (Aladdin show review link). One might call me a fan.
For those that don’t know Over the Rhine, they started out as a four piece in Cincinnati in 1989 and put out their “post-nuclear, pseudo-alternative, folk-tinged art-pop” indie debut ‘Til We Have Faces in 1991. It was Karin Bergquist on vocals & guitar, Linford Detweiler on bass & keyboard (later focusing on primarily keys), Ric Hordinski on guitar, and Brian Kelley on drums. They put out four studio albums and a dark, broodingly beautiful Christmas album as a four-piece. Then in the late 90s, Ric & Brian left. Ric went off to do some amazing records under the moniker MONK (check it!). Brian still drums for various groups around Cincinnati.
Karin & Linford carried on the Over the Rhine flame throughout the years… moving away from a rockier feel to a more folky-pop-Americana thing. What I like about Over the Rhine is they continually change and evolve into a different band with each album and each outing. I’ve seen them rock out, I’ve seen them jazz it up, I’ve seen them happy, I’ve seen them somber, I’ve seen them celebratory, and I’ve seen them tell stories that will make you laugh and cry.
They’re on their annual West Coast tour as a precursor to their forthcoming album, The Long Surrender – which (last I saw in print) comes out on January 11, 2011 (aka 1/11/11). I’ve heard the songs from it (it pays to pre-order), and I’m digging it a bunch.
They also have a huge back catalogue (my count: 8 studio albums, 2 Christmas studio albums, 3 studio & live b-side releases, 4 official live releases, 1 greatest hits, and 3 Linford solo releases). While it’s hard to limit a large catalogue to a few albums, go check out some of my faves: the indie rocker Eve (1994), the acoustic homespun Good Dog Bad Dog (1996), the re-imagined band on Films for Radio (2001), or the magnum opus Ohio (2-CD 2003). You can’t go wrong. Happy scout’s honor.
So, being that I haven’t seen them in three years, it was noted as a duo show by their publicist, and they have a large catalog of songs to play, I was excited for the hopeful surprises. But first the opener…
Lucy Wainwright Roche played a humourous 30 minute set prior to Over the Rhine going on. She was a great mix of stand-up comedian (unintentional?) and singer-songwriter. Nice banter in between the songs. You can see her father Loudon’s humour in her. Where else are you going to hear about a car break-in “clean up” instead of a theft? Or a first date whose lung collapsed at dinner? And then top it off with a “Hungry Heart” sing-along? Lucy was a very formidable crowd warmer-upper!
A suprise to me based on the initial reports, Karin & Linford weren’t just a duo on this West Coast jaunt. They also brought along percussionist and cuatro player Nick Radina. He provided some nice layers to the already grogeous sounds coming from the guitars and keys and voices. Nick and Linford also played a nice instrumental which was called “Descarga” on the Santa Fe setlist. I don’t know if this is the actual name, or just some other setlist identifer. Anyway, it had a nice Latin feel.
They played a lot of their forthcoming The Long Surrender songs, with a few Trumpet Child and Drunkard’s Prayer songs thrown in. Linford was on keyboard for most of the night, but did join Karin on guitar for a handful of tunes. Karin also busted out some poetry prior to their “Bluebird” tune and a nice backstory about her mom’s nursing home prior to “Only God Can Save Us Now.” The backstory made the song make much more sense to me… especially all of those characters.
Setlist: about 75 mins
- The Laugh Of Recognition
- I Don’t Wanna Waste Your Time
- Trouble (horny & inebriated mix)
- “The Bluebird” by Charles Bukowski [poetry reading by Karin]
- There’s A Bluebird In My Heart
- Rave On
- I Want You To Be My Love
- Oh Yeah By The Way
- The King Knows How
- I’m On A Roll (to be covered by The Judds on their next record)
- Drunkard’s Prayer
- Only God Can Save Us Now
- Days Like This [Kim Taylor song]
- All My Favorite People
- Encore: Infamous Love Song
- No Kill Shelter
It was soooooo great to see them again after too many years. We got to chat with Linford for a bit after the show. I forgot to ask / confirm the release date of The Long Surrender (the merch lady said Feb 8th instead of Jan 11th). Here’s hoping they stick to 1/11/11, because that’s a superb release date… if I remember and I see him, I’ll check on Wednesday.
Anyway, Linford was glad to be able to spend a little bit of time in Oregon. He said that had a great experience on their Roots on the Rail tour (go here for Bill Ivester’s write-up of the experience). They might be doing another train tour next year in the west/central United States (Colorado area?). I’ll be seriously considering it for 2011 vacation plans.
For the meantime, enjoy some Eugene photos. Sorry about the primarily black & white and graininess… WOW Hall is a dark venue with normally high use of red lights (i.e.- death for my camera’s focus). Here’s hoping I’ll get some better shots at the Aladdin Theater show in Portland on Wednesday.
more photos below
The Appropriate Linkage:
- Over the Rhine’s Site
- Over the Rhine: The Orchard
- OTR’s Social Media Links (see below)
- Lucy Wainwright Roche’s Site / MySpace
- My Other Related Reviews~
- WOW Hall’s Site / Facebook / Twitter
Check out more tour dates below.
(click for larger)
these 22 pictures (cc) 2010 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution
Fall 2010 Tour Dates
- Fri, 2010-11-12 Los Angeles, CA Troubadour
- Sat, 2010-11-13 San Franscisco, CA Great American Music Hall
- Mon, 2010-11-15 Eugene, OR W.O.W. Hall
- Wed, 2010-11-17 Portland, OR Aladdin Theater
- Fri, 2010-11-19 Seattle, WA Triple Door
- Sat, 2010-11-20 Seattle, WA Triple Door
- Sun, 2010-11-21 Seattle, WA Triple Door
- Fri, 2010-12-03 Marion, OH Palace Theatre
- Sat, 2010-12-04 Kent, OH Kent Stage
- Sun, 2010-12-05 Ann Arbor, MI The Ark
- Tue, 2010-12-07 Columbus, OH Lincoln Theatre
- Fri, 2010-12-10 Louisville, KY Bomhard Theater
- Sat, 2010-12-11 Chicago, IL Old Town School of Folk Music 7pm & 10pm
- Fri, 2010-12-17 Cincinnati, OH THE LONG SURRENDER PREMIERE @ the Jarson-Kaplan Theatre (in the Aronoff Center)
- Sat, 2010-12-18 Cincinnati, OH Taft Theatre
- Sun, 2010-12-19 Norwood, OH St. Elizabeth’s