Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Other Lives Turner Hall Ballroom Live Review

Saturday the 17th at Turner Hall Ballroom, Other Lives caught me off guard in the sense that it was an unforgettable performance. I had a similar experience in Salt Lake City while checking out City and Colour and I feel like a broken record for saying this, but the best shows always seem to be the ones you attend with little to no expectations! These are the shows you walk away with more than you walked in with.

I was tardy to the venue, but fortunate enough to catch Copenhagen's "Indians," the alter ego of Søren Løkke Juul. The overall sound was rather pleasant as his soothing voice was accompanied by both keys and acoustic guitar. In all honesty, it was probably one of the more enjoyable openers that I have seen in recent months and I'm fairly certain it won't be long before Indians make their way back as the main act.

Following Indians, Other lives were accompanied by an interesting arrangement of light bulbs that flickered throughout the show, which was fitting. You will have to forgive me, as I said earlier I went into this show with little expectation so I am a little rusty on a few of the tracks. The band started off with the what I believed to be "Dark Horse" the first track off their most recent (and well praised) album Tamer Animals.  Soon after, the band dove into "As I Lay My Head Down," also from Tamer Animals. From the start it was apparent we were dealing with a well rounded group of multi-instrumentalists as lead singer Jesse Tabish switched between both piano and acoustic guitar. Cellist Jenny Hsu joined him to the left often playing violin. Drummer Colby Owens was also joined in the back by Josh Onstott (bass and percussion) and Jon Mooney (guitar, piano, horns) to the right. With such a wide variety of instruments it re-emphasized the craftsmanship of the carefully constructed folk songs.

Other Lives seemed somewhat surprised anyone showed up as the humble group often thanked the audience saying, "it's our first time in Milwaukee, thank you so much, glad to see everyone." Soon after, Tabish lead the group into "For 12" and then "Tamer Animals." They even treated us to "Dead Can" off their new EP Mind the Gap, which is a bit heavier and darker than previously released material. "Dust Bowl III" is another standout track played close to the end of the set.

For the encore Tabish took the stage solo, playing piano to "Black Tables" from their self titled debut album, Other Lives. Again he thanked the audience saying "thank you for the warm welcome" and "we didn't expect this." Also asking what kind of beer to check out, with suggestions coming from every direction, he replied jokingly, "I'll just drink 15 different beers and get piss drunk" and then went on to finish the set.

As stated above, I went into this show expecting nothing and I walked away with a feeling that I can't quite put my finger on, but it's one I get from few shows. Gaining a strong sense of what Other Lives is  capable of, especially live, I wouldn't expect them to be going anywhere soon. From the atmosphere to the sound, the overall show was perfect and I would encourage you to see them live and at the very least listen to Tamer Animals and/or Mind the Gap EP.

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