Concert Review: Ivan & Alyosha, December 18, Empty Bottle


Ivan & Alyosha are easy to love. The fivesome is full of all things easy, breezy, and beautiful: 1,000 watt smiles, good cheer, catchy tunes, hand claps and an ability to fit the lyrics “Chicago, Illinoise” into any of their live songs (and the understanding that the quickest way to any midwestern’s heart is a well-placed Sufjan Stevens reference).

The Seattle based folk rockers hit up the Empty Bottle on a snowy Thursday night to a packed crowd. With Tim Wilson on vocals and acoustic guitar, Pete Wilson on bass, Tim Kim (best name ever) on slide guitar, Cole Mauro on drums and Ryan Carbary on guitar, the fivesome made their way through “Easy to Love” off their 2009 EP The Verse, The Chorus as well as “Fathers Be Kind,” “Don’t Wanna Die Anymore,” and the swoon-worthy “Be Your Man” before finishing things off with the NPR approved “Running for Cover,” all off their fantastic 2013 debut album All The Times We Had.

I think the best way to describe I&A’s live performance style is ‘warm’ – which seems entirely fitting for the homespun indie/folk/pop sound that the group embodies. It seemed like the band was having fun onstage, and it seemed like they wanted to extend that fun to the audience. The three guitarists and bassist were spaced out in a line at the front of the stage, but for most of the performance they were wandering over, visiting, singing into each other’s mics and Wilson was often extending his mic to bring the audience in for some crowd-sung vocals. The band also mixed in some of their new material from their upcoming album, and from the small teaser they gave Chicago on Thursday, it sounds like more high quality folk-rock is coming our way from these gentlemen.


Posted on by Celeste in Concerts

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