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26 June 2011 @ 07:02 pm
Okkervil River live @ the Rialto  


THEY WERE AMAZING.




{pre-show

I was so nervous about this trip!  It's a long way to Tucson, I knew my car wouldn't make it so I had to rent a car (straight up, the Elantra sucks WHERE IS THE POWER OH MY GOD), my passengers weren't certain they were going to make it and just ... auuuugh, what a nightmare.  One ended up staying behind cos she had to work at six in the morning and we were unlikely to get back to town before five in the morning, the other was fine.  So!  I got to take my sister-in-law, which was fun (she's been dragged to 2 of 3 of my AZ concerts so far; I certainly intend to make this number higher before we move), and gave us more company.  We left PV a little after 2pm, and after detouring to grab the sis in Phoenix, we made it to Tucson around 6.15.  Since I knew better this time than to try to find street parking in downtown Tucson on a weekend, I hit up the car park right next to Club Congress, nervously parked the rental (I turned down the extra insurance so I was pretty nervous, lol), and we went to find some food!

Being complete strangers, we wandered until we found Empire Pizza, which sounded reasonable enough.  I've been ridiculously picky about pizza for a while now (Streets of New York is about the only kind I can stand now), but this place had the most amazing BBQ Chicken pizza I've ever had.  Seriously, it was delicious, and if you're ever on Congress Street in the Tucson area you seriously need to put some in your mouth -- they totally deserve the Best of Tucson award they had hanging on their wall.  After that, we had about fifteen minutes until doors opened, so we decided to head up to the Rialto, just up the street.

(Oh god, they've got both Reel Big Fish and Ben Folds playing there soon, I could live here (and have money this time) and be very happy for the music scene alone.)

I did have a moment of complete terror when we walked up to the doors and there was no one around and I was wondering what do I do if I got the date wrong somehow, lol.  I have these moments often.

Anyway.  Doors opened, we got in, got front and center seats (in a matter of speaking; the Rialto has no theatre seats so it was several rows of folding chairs and a wide area in front of the stage).  I liked that the floor sloped downward, so that those who were seated wouldn't miss out because of a bunch of people standing in front of them (mostly; there were some tall motherfuckers out last night, as well as the douchetards that decided to stand waaaay back despite there being a ton of space in front of them).   I kind of hate that space between being seated and the show starting, because there's really nothing to do but sit or stand around, and my ass was getting kind of numb from the chairs and I was ready for the show and I don't drink so the bar was meaningless but whatever, because Okkervil River!  In the building!


{
the show!

Somehow I was under the impression that Titus Andronicus was the only opening band.  I'd ... heard of them, but never heard them?  But more on that in a moment.

First band that came out was NewReligion.   Wasn't really expecting everything, did the eyebrow-lift at the hippie ritual clap right before they went to their instruments (I am also extremely distrustful of white guys displaying medicine wheels), and then -- wow, holy shit.  I watched both passengers ears literally perk up at the first few chords.

Amazing.  Holy christ -- three dudes, pretty unassuming, but my god the music they made was eerie and gorgeous.



They only played half an hour, but I did not want them to go away.  I immediately set about the facebook stalking, because apparently they have no albums out BUT WHEN THEY DO I WANT TO KNOW.

And then Titus Andronicus.

I ... wanted to like them?  I really, really did.  But the sound levels were reeeeeally off, so all I heard was a lot of monotonous mumbling over what seemed like pretty great music.  Even just listening to the videos taken with some better sound, I do like them!  Definitely not as much as NewVillager, and I'm still pretty sure 90% of my love for them stems from that adorable girl bouncing around on the right, there.  (SHE ALSO PLAYS ELECTRIC VIOLIN, HOW DID THEY KNOW I CAN FORGIVE ANY ROCK BAND ANYTHING EVER IF THEY HAVE VIOLIN?)

Actually no, you get this video.  A little bit of everything!  And what what was probably my favorite song of theirs.
 


And then, after what felt like a ... reeeeeeeeeaaaaaally long set and subsequent set-changing, it was time for Okkervil River.


GUYS THEY WERE SO AWESOME.  I JUST.  SO GOOD.

The first three songs were kind of nervous-making -- the sound was still wacky from TA, and it took a bit to iron out the kinks.  I am so amazed at Will, though -- I was a wee bit apprehensive, because I've been spoiled by some fabulous vocalists (and while I love OR, it's Will's lyrical prowess that has me hooked enough to forgive some of the live stuff I've heard that ... wasn't so on-key) and yeah, I know Will isn't exactly Jon Meiburg.  BUT  IT WAS SO GOOD.   And while they played a lot of stuff from the new album that I haven't listened to much, they did a lot from Black Sheep Boy & The Stage Names, which was fabulous.   I was hoping for more from The Stand-Ins, like Bruce Wayne Campbell or Blue Tulip -- I think they only song from TSI was Pop Lie -- but overall I was quite happy with the set list.  And I actually made peace with a few songs.  I've whined about Murderess becoming Piratess, but it was beautiful live.  Same thing with Pop Lie; I've never cared for it, but live was fantastic.

I also love the way Will performs -- he's got that crooner vibe, reaching out to the audience and curling around the microphone and doing that entire thing and it's so fun to watch him.  Also, brilliant smile. ♥  He looks so genuinely happy to be up there.



Will did a solo performance of A Stone; I was both laughing (he was singing and missed a line and was like 'oh, hold on there!  what I meant to say was ...') and crying (because THAT FUCKING SONG OH MY GOD SOBBING FOREVER) at the same time, and then they segued into So Come Back, I am Waiting and I was in heaven.  Two of my three favorite songs.  Back to back.  Done so wonderfully!  The only one I wasn't that impressed with, honestly, was Lost Coastlines, and that was mostly the other guy.  Had a killer voice, sure, but I think his mic was screwy and so whenever he was singing I couldn't hear him or anything else.


And a three-song encore -- Unless it's Kicks (I think, I know they played it but I forget if it was encore or just towards the end), The Rise (so beautiful live with that echo), and Westfall.  WESTFALL, yes.  SO BRILLIANTLY. ♥

{Post-show

Afterwards, we were a little hungry again, and it was about midnight and we were absolutely lost; we thought we had found a safe spot with this sushi bar, but it turned out to be a sushi bar, and it was packed ... so we decided fuck it, let's find an ihop.  First we had to find the damn car, though, and I didn't realize there were multiple car parks, so I ended up at the one I parked at last time, and was distraught when I couldn't find the car, lol.  We ended up asking a security guard who gave the the most unimpressed 'you fuckwit' face ever.  Seriously, he said 'how do you forget where you parked your car?'  I was like bitch, I had other things on my mind >|  but yeah.  Found it.  Found out this car lot was 5$ instead of the other one which is 2$, but whatever.  Convenience!

Rolled back into PV about 4.45 this morning, exhausted but totally content.  I will most definitely be going to see them live next time they're around -- hopefully in Phoenix next time, eh?  Tucson is so far away, holy shit. D:  Seriously, it might be closer to go to Vegas. >.>

 
 
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emanga: koromon blazinwolfemanga on June 27th, 2011 02:32 pm (UTC)
I've never heard of these guys before...any particular song recommendations? :3

Glad you had such a fabulous time, horrifically long drive excluded. xD
[ heart's a mess ]: top gear - LISTEN UParclights on June 27th, 2011 09:38 pm (UTC)
Oh man yes. And because I am a nice girl who loves throwing music at people have Black Sheep Boy + Appendix. It's an earlier album, but it's everything that is wonderful and right with music. And it's got most of my favorite OR songs. And my Itachi song (so come back, I am waiting). And it's just a beautiful concept album in general.

I'm glad I did too; I wasn't sure how they'd be live and I was pleasantly surprised that they were brilliant. *__*