Concert Review: Owen, August 1, The Great Hall

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“I’ll treat this like a first date,” said Mike Kinsella a few songs into Owen‘s set. “Do you want me to talk during the awkward silences?” The crowd replied in the affirmative and it’s a good thing they did – Kinsella’s got a way with words not only lyrically but also in terms of some amusing stage banter. He kept up the ‘first date’ conceit from time to time throughout the show, asking what we were doing after the show (strip club and shawarma were some notable options people shouted out) and whether we come here for shows often.

Aside from being a talented songwriter and a pretty funny guy, Kinsella also displayed some impressively intricate picking on several numbers, which reminded me of his work on Joan Of Arc’s Presents Guitar Duets album – a good listen if you haven’t heard it yet. He did admit though to making a few mistakes on songs from time to time, noting that if he makes it through a certain number of songs without screwing them up, then he feels like the audience has got their money’s worth. “I’m probably the only person who thinks that, though,” he added. Aside from a few minor flubs, however, there wasn’t much to complain about. He even managed to make a moment when he paused before the end of a song into one of the more memorable parts of the show, stopping to take a long swig from his can of beer and saying, “I want to get this right. Got to sound like Dave Matthews.”

After running through all of the songs on his setlist, (“I have one more song written on my hand.”) Kinsella played a song by one of his other projects, American Football. “I’m gonna try ‘Never Meant’ only because I have to play it next week in front of a lot more people than you. Although he only knew his parts on the song, he pulled it off, though he admitted that the other guys in the band “do a lot of heavy lifting.” After he finished that song he said that maybe it should be the last one, though he did finish off with one more number. And then we all went out for shawarma. Obviously.

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Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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