The Crepe Place is one of those venues that I’ve known about for awhile, but hadn’t ever visited. Bands I like tend to play there, but due to one thing or another (usually time and work conflicts), my best intentions never added up to actually ending up inside the place.
For this show, I took the night off work. Jeanine had been there before with Eva, who currently has a list of bands that she “needs” to see and seems to go to almost as many shows as I do, and warned me that it was tiny and likely to sell out. I bought advance tickets the day of the show, and got there early enough to get something to eat before things got started. The Crepe Place turned out to have a nice outdoor dining area, with, the sound of trickling water emanating from the nicely landscaped surroundings. Jeanine got clam chowder and ginger ale, and I got hot chocolate and a desert crepe that contained butternut squash and cinnamon. Damn good. I like venues that serve food.
I had checked out opening band, Stone Jack Jones (from Nashville), online and had come away ambivalent. That often happens, probably because nothing really sounds good when filtered through the tiny speakers on my laptop. It turned out that they were much better than my online experience had me believe, churning out some nice, dreamy-sounding Americana with acoustic guitar, banjo, electric guitar, and some nice keyboard drones. There was a bit of harmonica too. The languid vocals and the droning keyboards injected a profound feeling of melancholy into the proceedings. I did my best to filter out the bar noise, but the performance space is mere feet away from where the rude drunks were holding court. Oh, well. This often happens during quiet opening sets.
This was my fourth time seeing O’death, so I knew what to expect: highly energetic Americana played on acoustic guitar, banjo, ukulele, electric bass, fiddle, and drums, with soaring melodies, razor sharp vocals, and enthusiasm to spare. I wasn’t disappointed.
The band kicked things off with the title track of their new album, “Out of Hands We Go”, and then swept through an excellent set that featured both new songs and old favorites from the previous three albums. They’re one of the only bands I know that can sound haunting while raging along at breakneck speed. This is definitely a “best of both worlds” experience for me. I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite moment. This is country/folk music you can headbang to, and some of us did. Bob Pycior has got to be one of the most energetic violinists I’ve seen on stage, and the other band members are no slouches either. Greg Jamie’s voice is perfect for this kind of music. It sounds like he’s channeling a porch-sitting depression-era elder, full of fire and dark secrets.
In short, the band puts on a great show, and the songs stick in your head. Who can ask for more?
In addition to Out of Hands We Go, the band played Down To Rest, Ghost Head, Low Tide, Black Dress, Vacant Moan, and many more. I’m not sure how long they played, but we were out the door before 11:00, making it an early night. Before we left, I picked up the newest Stone Jack Jones disc and a pair of mix tapes from O’death. I haven’t had a chance to listen to them yet, but I’m savoring the anticipation.
On a more sober note, a few days after this gig, O’death had their van (containing all of their gear and merch, not to mention personal items) stolen. This saddens me that a band who works so hard to make people happy would have this kind of misfortune befall them. Needless to say, I hope that the assholes who took their stuff get apprehended and tossed in the clink, but in the meantime, you can visit here to give them money so they can replace their things and continue the tour. As of this moment, they've already raised $18, 473.00 of their $26,000.00 goal. I love that so many people have pitched in to help. That's the lemonade we make from these lemons.
When people make the people who make me feel good feel bad, I’m not happy, and O’death make me feel very good.