My vaguely preppy exterior hides the heart of a rocker, and I got to indulge that side a few nights ago at Cain’s Ballroom. (Seriously, I love that venue!) Eye Empire, 10 Years and Seether were performing to a great crowd. The show didn’t sell out ahead of time, but when we arrived, the line to buy tickets snaked down the block. Luckily, I already had my tickets. (Sometimes, planning does pay off.) We were able to enter through the Second Stage entrance at Oklahoma Joe’s barbecue where there was no line. Don’t you just love being able to do stuff like that.? It kind of makes you feel like a VIP even when you aren’t. Not a bad way to start the evening, if you ask me. (That could also have been the guy at the door telling me that they didn’t take fake ids. I’m 36. That kind of thing just makes you smile.)
The evening started out with Eye Empire taking the stage. I had no idea who these guys were before last night, but I’ll definitely be following them from now on. They were the perfect openers to get the crowd pumped up and going. I’ve mentioned before in posts about Center of the Universe Festival and Rascal Flatts that I really love a performer that works the crowd. These guys did an awesome job with that. They realized they were playing to a crowd that probably hadn’t heard their music before and they were out to impress. Consider me impressed. The temptation to head bang along to the music was nearly overwhelming. The lead singer’s does a great job of balancing melodic passes with raging ones. That juxtaposition of harsh and staccato with smooth and lyrical has always been something I’m drawn to in this genre and Eye Empire pulls it off beautifully. The songwriting was fantastic, and, in particular, I loved the stuff they said came off their new album. These guys love what they do and it shows. Every time they addressed the crowd they spoke about all of us coming together over a shared love of music, and their overall message was one of love and support. By the end of their set, I’m picking up the words to their new song Beyond the Stars, which is just fan-freaking-tastic, and singing along. Eye Empire picked up at least two new fans in Tulsa, OK.
10 Years followed them, and the contrast was a bit shocking. When I lived in Chicago, I’d come across a few of their songs and really liked their style, so I was excited to see them live for the first time. The music was played flawlessly, and I still love their sound. The lead singer came out with heart shaped sunglasses and a handlebar mustache…he has a unique sense of style. He seemed disappointed that more people in the crowd weren’t singing along and kept telling us “you can do better”, reminding everyone that they’d been playing in Tulsa since 2006. Frankly, it was kind of off putting after the unbridled enthusiasm and spirit of Eye Empire. There were a couple of band members who looked like they were having a good time, but overall the performance came across as stiff and rather gimmicky. This is a band that I’d rather not see live again. I’ll still listen to their music, but I’m not paying for tickets to see them.
Fortunately, Seether had a Remedy for that when they took the stage. They rocked. I wasn’t surprised. This is my second opportunity to see them live. The first was a few years ago in Milwaukee at Summerfest. (If you ever get the chance to go to Summerfest, do it. It is completely worth it.) I only knew a couple of songs of theirs that first time, but seeing them live made me a fan. I bought their album on iTunes as soon as I got home, and I’ve listened to everything they’ve put out since. They have never disappointed me. Last night I got to hear all my favorites including Country Song, Fake It, and so many more. They did a ballad version of The Gift that was just amazing. I sang along with every song, and walked out of Cain’s last night with no real voice to speak of (get it…no voice to speak of?). In fact, I was still paying for it the next day, but I wouldn’t trade a second of it. When they performed Broken, the audience took over and was signing the lyrics before Shaun Morgan could even really begin. In fact, we sang most of the first verse without him. It was pretty awesome, but I did sort of miss hearing what may be my favorite song not being performed by…well the actual performer. They closed with Remedy as their encore, which was pretty much perfect.
As always a big shout out to everybody at Cain’s Ballroom. You guys are awesome. Rowdy, impatient and often…we’ll just say less than sober people aren’t easy to deal with in small numbers much less crowds, and I know they get on my nerves (I don’t even work at a place where I have to deal with people like that!). Everybody I’ve ever had contact with at Cain’s has been great. They’ve all been friendly, helpful and in general happy to be there. The bartenders, staff, security…they’ve definitely made Cain’s my go-to place to see live music in Tulsa.
So you might have figured out I love music…all kinds of music! What has been your favorite live performance? Who should I go see if I get the chance?
‘Til next time,
- Shakin’ It with Alabama Shakes at the Cain’s Ballroom (ilovegeekology101.wordpress.com)
- Seether (myonlyreality.wordpress.com)
- Song of the Week: Rise Above This, By Seether (descentintoslushland.wordpress.com)
- Let the words fall out (eternallyinprogress.wordpress.com)