On Sunday night I intended to head over to the Velvet Lounge to catch Dysrhythmia‘s dizzyingly complicated brand of technical metal. Instead, feeling a little overdosed on aggressive live music, I opted for a less fatiguing option: sitting at the Birchmere with a couple friends, listening to Karin Bergquist sing gently depressing words with her inimitably Midwestern voice. Over the Rhine, whose American folk is as likely to draw from soul and R&B traditions as it is old-school country, is pretty much the perfect Birchmere band, as it were, a point proven by the packed house and the standing ovation the band received at the conclusion of their set.
With 20 years of albums to draw from, the set was a nice mix of old and new, pulling a great deal of material from the band’s latest record, 2007’s The Trumpet Child, as well as their highly-acclaimed 2003 double album Ohio. It was nice to see the band stretch out in the live setting, adding extended sections to some songs and not being afraid to let loose every now and then. I did find a lengthy drum solo rather extraneous, but it seemed that I was in the minority opinion there as it earned some enthusiastic applause. All told, a more than pleasant way to spend a chill Sunday evening. (And yes, it was done early enough that I probably could have headed over to the Velvet Lounge and still had to wait two hours for Dysrhythmia to go on.)
Support was provided by The Cassidy Project (below), featuring the former lead singer from all-female rock group Antigone Rising.