Monday, June 05, 2006

Over the Rhine: Live in Nashville and Atlanta

Holy smokes! This weekend I had the joy of seeing Over the Rhine play a pair of knockout shows, one in Nashville and one in Atlanta, and both gigs were absolutely dynamite-- ten times better than their show in Knoxville last year, which was itself an excellent, grade-A performance. These guys are to small clubs and theaters what U2 is to arenas and stadiums.

A few highlights:

-- THEY'RE RECORDING AGAIN! Karin said they'll be hitting the studio again very, very soon. Her description of the new record was priceless: "We're not sortin' through a bunch of heavy crap this time, so it should be a pretty light-hearted record."

-- The new songs... well, gosh, where to begin? They played four brand new ditties-- all of which, I assume, will be on the new album-- and at least three of them ("Trouble," "I'm on a Roll," "Entertaining Thoughts") sound like instant OtR classics. "I'm on a Roll," especially, ranks right up there with "My Love is a Fever" as one of the most whimsical, downright FUN songs they've ever done. And as for the fourth new song, "I Don't Want to Waste Your Time"... well, it still sounds a little rough at this point, and the music sounds far too similar to "Little Did I Know." The lyric is killer, though-- I'm sure it'll end up being a concert-closing highlight if they play with the arrangement a bit.

-- Linford is a helluva storyteller. He didn't say a word in Knoxville last October, but he was talking up a storm last night, sharing stories about his upbringing and how some of the new songs got written. I'd pay money just to hear him talk. And so, I think, would most of the other folks gathered at those two shows-- both audiences were mesmerized, silent and attentive, appreciative of his hypnotic command of the language.

-- They opened with "Latter Days," and the song has never sounded better.

-- Same with "Jesus in New Orleans."

-- Same with "Show Me." And "Lookin' Forward"-- I've heard four or five versions of that song by now, and last night's was far and away the best. Ah, heck, every song was spectacular-- there were what seemed like dozens of standing ovations during both shows.

Here's Atlanta's set list; the Nashville show was mostly the same, minus "I Want You to Be My Love" in the main set, and, because the club was triple-booked, they only had time for a one-song encoure, "When I Go."

Latter Days
Jesus in New Orleans
Lookin' Forward
I'm On a Roll
Entertaining Thoughts
I Don't Want To Waste Your Time
Linford's monologue/Piano instrumental
Little Did I Know
Show Me
Drunkard's Prayer

First Encore:
The Seahorse
When I Go

Second encore:
Hush Now


Blogger LN said...

They played "I don't want to waste your time" in Charlotte 6/5 and it nearly brought me to tears. Best song of the night, for the lyric alone, but their performance was top notch as well.

9:48 PM  
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