We don't review every show we see around here any more, just the really exception ones. And "really exceptional" certainly describes last night's field trip down to Exposition Park to see The Orbans at Double-Wide.
Double-Wide, for those of you who haven't made the journey, is located in one heck of a dodgy neighborhood. You turn off Commerce onto First Ave, a stone's throw from I-30 and Fair Park, and there isn't any missing the place, as its the only building for blocks that doesn't look ready for the wrecking ball. The tinfoil tornado on the roof helps too. You park around back, say a little prayer asking the Gods of Rock-n-Roll to watch over your car, and walk around to the entrance.
Upon entry, you walk into an open-air courtyard with tables and a bar. The performance room is to the left, the indoor portion of the bar is to the right. Both are zero-frills, just the way a dive music joint ought to be. Double-Wide is my second favorite small venue in town, right behind Lee Harvey's, and is a lot more reliable during what has turned into a blast-furnace summer like we haven't seen in a while.
The Orbans, who we mentioned here some time ago, have an EP - Switchblade Waterpistol five bucks and change at Amazon, but I bet you can find it for free out there somewhere and a new record When We Were Wild, both of which are great from end to end. Not a bad song to be found anywhere. Personal favorites: "Like A Liar" (video embedded below), "This Is", "Were Her" (video also below), and "When We Were Wild".
The boys played a relatively short set last night, including a bunch of songs off the record and a note-perfect cover of Traveling Wilburys "Handle With Care". A little lighthearted banter between lead singer and guitarist Peter Black and keyboardist Justin Pate was engaging, but mostly the band played a tight, representative set. I enjoyed every minute of it.
Got to chat with Peter Black for a minute after the show. I was careful not to whip his ass with fanboy, but he seemed really appreciative to hear that I liked their stuff and had enjoyed the show. Really pleasant guy, seems to be handling this beginning of success very well.
I am excited about this band. I think, with a break or two, they could go a long way. Musically, they are skilled. They write great, catchy songs. Black seems at ease in the spotlight.
They've promised to return to the Northlands - coming again to Lochrann's in Frisco. Watch this space - I will be trumpeting it to the heavens when they do.
And go buy the record!