The concert by Over the Rhine last night was well worth attending. Nearly three hours from start to finish, highlighted by nine or more songs from their as-yet unreleased new album, The Long Surrender. I lost count of the number, but it had to constitute nearly the entire album. From my perspective, this new CD will be a must-have for anyone, not just OTR fans. Some great wordsmithing, beautiful melodies, and wonderful performances will highlight this release, that’s for sure.
Above is Karin Bergquist singing the song “Born” from their Drunkards’ Prayer CD. This is my favorite OTR song of all-time and they led off their performance with it. It was the only song they performed from that CD, probably their best one if I had to choose only one. They performed three songs from their Trumpet Child CD, which is their last released studio recording. They threw in a cover song written by their friend, Kim Taylor, and other than that, the entire show was given over to performing the upcoming CD. Most of these songs they had never played live before, so it was a great treat for the packed house audience at the renovated Goshen Theater.
We had front row priority seating, just to the left of center stage. I was able to get some decent photos from that vantage point with the DSLR without using flash. No bobbing heads to shoot over or around is always a plus for this type of thing. The last two photos here were shot at a high ISO setting and so tend to show a little noise, making them appear a little grainy, but that’s normal for these types of lighting situations, in my experience.
In addition to Karin, and of course, her husband Linford Detwiler, who actually constitute the band, they had a friend from Cincinnati on stage with them, and this trio was performing together on stage for the first time. I missed the other man’s name, and apologize for not being able to credit him, but he was integral to the stripped down sound they brought to the show, playing a wide array of percussion instruments, and various stringed ones as well. He also sang some very good harmony vocals and joined in with the on stage banter.
The stories are integral to OTR and their music, and they really know how to tell stories, not just in the songs but also in the lead ins to the songs. They really connected with the audience, but then they had also connected when we had seen them in concert before. They seem to have a natural ease about them and are very comfortable on the stage. This really pulls the audience into the performance, and the fact that they had considerable personal history connected to the Goshen area going back twenty or more years, also seemed to strike the right chords with the audience.
All in all, a great night and a great show. I even forgot my sore back for a couple of hours, and though I’m still a little punchy feeling from the lack of sleep after being out later than I’m used to, I sure am glad that we went to this show. I can’t wait for the release of the new CD, and for the next time they’re in our area so we can see them again.