Smile Politely

Elsinore, Oh My God, Post Historic: Cowboy Monkey, Oct. 24, 2008

Last night Cowboy Monkey hosted a show featuring Post Historic, Oh My God and Elsinore.

The opening band, Post Historic, was okay. They had some very strong points, but it only came every other song. I thought they exhibited talented musicianship and I loved the viola and harmonica in the songs that gave a folksy feel. But, they also had this emo edge that just didn’t capture my interest. I thought the lead vocalist had a good voice, but I don’t think he sang well with the music. I suppose what I’m trying to get at is they sometimes have two different genres going on that just don’t match. In all, they did have songs I genuinely enjoyed, but most I think were, as I said before, just okay.

Now, the second band, Oh My God, was just awful. I’m sorry, but I honestly caught myself saying out loud, “just stop.” I was confused at some points in their show because I would look around, see that I was in Cowboy Monkey, I was drinking good beer, but I was listening to a Nickelback meets the 14-year-old punk band I liked when I was 14.

If they had been a band in 1998, I would have loved them. I think lots of people would have loved them. But, it is 2008, and I frankly just don’t like seeing a grown man jump around like a gorilla on stage. The lead singer would ostentatiously act out every word. Every single word. I hated it, and it distracted me from the music. At this point, I saw a few people walk out. Walk out before Elsinore!

Elsinore was great, thankfully, because I would have been thoroughly disappointed with the show. It started off with Ryan Groff singing a song alone with his guitar. Besides Ryan being a talented and enjoyable musician, I thought it was a good tactic on their part. It gave them a smooth and clear introduction to their set – a strong contrast from the other bands.

They had well composed songs with matching lyrics and vocals, but we all know that in Champaign-Urbana. Their new music is good. I wouldn’t say an improvement, necessarily (because I don’t think they needed one), but it’s just a slightly different take on their music. My only critique of their show is that they didn’t play any of their old songs. None! “Cannonballs,” or “Time, Space, and Time,” or “Caroline,” or any of them – I just wanted something because that’s how I fell in love with them; through Nothing for Design.

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