Talking is Hard. Walk the Moon knows it. Introverts know it. Every middle schooler with a crush knows it. Opening your mouth and pouring forth something intelligent and on point is not an easy task.
Kris Orlowski’s got it down though. The Seattleite (as the crowd on Tuesday learned they’re called) opened for Ivan and Alyosha at Lincoln Hall on Tuesday evening and dude’s stage banter was on fleek as the kiddies say (I’m probably not using that correctly, am I? Any 15 year olds want to correct me?). As he was tuning his guitar he spoke up, “And now comes the Q+A section of the evening. Please ladies and gentlemen – anything and everything”. He got questions ranging from “if you were a statue, what pose would you hold?” to “which power ranger would you be” to “does playing guitar help with the ladies?” (the answer to that one, surprisingly, was no.)
The singer songwriter played mostly from his 2014 release Believer, which is full of lush, powerful, harmony filled indie-folk tracks. Orlowski’s emotional, husky voice filled out the rolling tracks, which was especially prominent when the singer-songwriter came down from the stage and played an acoustic track amongst the audience. Orlowski prepped the crowd: “Okay guys, I’m going to play two more tracks and then pull a French exit – I’m just going to leave. No words.” He almost pulled it off – he couldn’t quite help himself though, singing a couple of pointers to the crowd about meeting him in the back at the merch stand after the show since he wasn’t allowed to talk.
Next up was Seattle based folk group Ivan and Alyosha. Orlowski had prepped the audience for the group saying “they’re a bunch of dreamboats.” There was no disagreement from the crowd. The undoubtedly good looking fivesome took to the stage with gusto, playing from their 2015 album It’s All Just Pretend as well as sampling some of their bigger hits from their 2013 All the Times We Had. For a group that pulls its name from historic Russian literature (it’s based on two characters from “The Brothers Karamazov”) and has some pretty hard hitting lyrics about God and religion, they’re delightfully silly guys onstage. Frontloading the stage boy band style, with the three guitars and bass all lined up at the front of the stage and the drummer in the back, the gentlemen of the band very simply rocked out together, crashing into each other, locking eyes and grinning and jamming out for solos. Seeing Tim Kim on that slide guitar especially is a thing of beauty. I’ll leave it at this: Seattle is a lucky, lucky city and if these guys come by your town take the opportunity – go see them.