My blogging catch up frenzy continues…this time with a show from last week instead of digging back into last month. Bear with me, as I am obsessively posting things before the sun has begun to rise.
These three acts were well worth venturing out into a spitting wintery evening to get to the Blue Moose. I don’t think I am alone when I say that Ryan Lauder and his guitar dazzled me. He has a lovely voice and tender lyrics that only grow more intense when joined on stage by his maniacally-talented banjo and stand up bass players. He made himself right at home here in Iowa City, even sharing with us and fact checking Iowa-related details from the United States travel guide that he carried over from the distant UK. I hope he’ll make his way back here again soon.
Lauder was followed by the prolific Brooks Strause & the Gory details, who have yet to perform a song that isn’t to my liking. It isn’t that I am that easily pleased, it’s that this band is really, well…fucking amazing. Brooks’ voice is as versatile as it is texturized and the performers he graces the stage with are as magnetic as they are talented. Throw all that in the blender with some beautifully portentous lyrics and you’ve got a stunning, eerie band. For the one hundredth time, if you have not seen these folks, get off yer duff and brave the cold to catch them in action.
Langhorne Slim was the evening’s headliner. His set was a like a bucket of pure energy poured over the crowd. I was being jostled around in the front row by some of the die-hards that were too busy belting out his lyrics to notice teeny lil me getting impelled to sway with the flow of the crowd. I’ve been a Langhorne fan since I saw him at Gabe’s a few years ago, but this was a new beast altogether. He was in almost constant motion, serenading each one of us with a vocal power that actually drowned out the bass lines seeping through the floor from downstairs. Not only is Langhorne Slim an excellent songwriter and guitar player, but he is a vibrant, passionate performer that got the even cynical hipsters in the room to dance a little.
While I am certainly not a music critic and not even quite sure about what I have just written for all you folks, I meant every word of it. Shame on all of you who were sitting at home on your cushion of laziness instead of coming down to this show. I guess you’ll just have to settle for photos.