Okkervil River are loud, passionate, energetic, and nice guys to boot who put on a good, diverse show. No one can accuse the band of giving less than 100%.
They play with such gusto that one wonders how theyâ€™ll survive the show; yet, they not only make it to the end, they crash through the finish line.
Tuesday, the 18th, I found myself amid the mayhem. Right in line with Brian Cassidy’s guitar amp, I stood there as he ripped through solos, tastefully gave the band a harmonic base, or sat down to put some soul into his steel guitar. As for the rest of the band, they’re just as hard to pin down at any given moment, (except for bassist Patrick Pestorius, who stood like an anchor and held down the stage).
Lead singer Will Sheff had a hard time stying behind the microphone even when he had singing to do, and drummer Travis Nelsen put his whole body into the skins. Throughout the night, they played the majority of the nine songs from their most recent release, The Stage Names, but without neglecting their older records. “For Real “and “The Okkervil River Song” were two crowd favorites from previous releases, and everyone seemed to enjoy “Unless Its Kicks” and “Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe.”
Logan Square Auditorium was an old second-floor venue: something between a gymnasium and a ballroom. The high-energy music sounded good where I was, but I cannot speak to the sound quality in the rest of the space. The only problem that I could see with the venue was the absence of a backstage area for the performers. They had to walk through the crowd to get on stage and off.