-by Fally Afani
“Lawrence is the shit, we always have the best time here!” Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner couldn’t have been more truthful when she professed her love for Lawrence Monday night at the Granada.
The band was touring with Okkervil River, and on Monday night a warm and loving crowd had gathered at the venue. Mondays tend to be terrible for the types of working adults who mostly made up this audience. But once the gorgeous and epic indie folk music of Wye Oak started, those terrible troubles melted away.
The adoring fans occasionally yelled out some well-deserved compliments to the band, and they were handsomly rewarded with beautiful and rich sounding guitar riffs accompanied by Wasner’s luscious voice.
Wasner is a woman who can play so fiercely and powerfully, yet at the same time maintain an admirable level of grace. You’ll find yourself head banging one minute, then calmly swaying the next. Without a doubt, this made for a fun and engaging combination.
Lawrence connections are strong with this band. They thanked their friend Jordan Geiger (of Hospital Ships) for providing a place to stay, and constantly complimented the town. Hopefully this means they’ll come back to Lawrence often.
By the time Okkervil River went on, the Granada had dramatically filled out. The indie rock band, true to their Austin roots, played with 100% energy from the get go. Those who could hop about the stage did, and they got the crowd to start bopping along with the music.
There was no shortage of enthusiasm for Okkervil River. It was only proper considering the fantastic show they put on. From the folky, upbeat guitars (and Lauren Gurgiolo’s wicked awesome stage presence) to frontman Will Sheff’s haunting vocals echoing throughout the Granada, our music cup truly runneth over Monday night. Even during the slower songs, you could tell Sheff was waiting to burst with energy. Wye Oak mesmerized us, but Okkervil River kept the party going.
It’s also nice to see a large band scattered about the stage with plenty of room for everyone to give it all they’ve got. I admired the band for giving it their all on a Monday night to a smaller crowd towards the end of a tiring tour. This is a band that truly cares about the performance.
To see a full photo gallery from the show, click here.