LIVE: Deer Tick At The Troubadour (10/26/13)
By Jeff Murray on October 29, 2013
West Hollywood, CA
October 26, 2013
It seems a bit old fashioned to go see a rock show these days; putting on your Levi's jacket, letting the five o’clock shadow shine. But when you’re attending one of the nations finest rock n’ roll clubs to see a group of Rhode Island rockers bring the house down, the arrangements couldn’t be more fitting.
Opening Saturday night for the East Coast’s Deer Tick at the Troubadour was Robert Ellis, an Americana crooner who has mastered the art of finger-picking. At his side for the majority of the set, save a few Deer Tick aided moments, was a slide guitarist, adding those harmonic moans that hearken to those early rock days of yore branded into the structure of the Troubadour’s walls. Ellis’ delicate poetry was well placed among his dark, quiet ballads and when he covered John McCauley’s “Daydreaming,” Mr. Rasp-y himself jumped on-stage to help out with a verse.
But once McCauley (guitar/vocals) and his band, Ian O’Neil (guitar), Rob B. Crowell (saxophone/keyboard), Christopher Ryan (bass), Dennis Ryan (drums), took front stage to the sold out audience, the energy of the weekend ruffians was matched and released by the group, with fans unleashing plenty of approval. And although the origins of the band may be from across the continent, their comfort and familiarity on-stage was clear as they ran through their set including the hard-hitting “The Dream’s In The Ditch” off their latest Negativity--a difficult and dark album for the band recorded over a time that saw McCauley’s father imprisoned and his own engagement broken off.
The honesty of his songs were delivered bravely, as confessions, were spat and screamed through songs like “I Used To Know You” and “Art Isn’t Real (City of Sin).” It may have been hard for the singer to share these things and the emotion was palpable, but the crowd approved and the band played, and West Hollywood’s Troubadour was once again filled with another breath of spirited rock n’ roll. F