Photos by Rachael Barbash, words by Chip Midnight
Showing their love for Columbus – a city that is a regular tour stop – The Willowz kicked off their short December tour at Cafe Bourbon Street this past Friday night with a tight and efficient 40-minute set heavily loaded with tracks from Everyone (physical release: Dec.15).
If there were opening night of the tour jitters, they weren’t obvious – no miscues on lyrics, no starting or stopping a song too early, no confusion about the setlist. The interaction with the small – but attentive – audience was limited, a few Columbus references and a lot of post-song ‘Thank you’s’ delivered by singer Richie James Follin with a southern twang. Darren, Pete and I tried to determine where Follin was from and if the accent was real and in the cab on the way home we came to the consensus that the twang wasn’t real. (Mr. Follin, please correct us if we’re wrong).
(Darren and Pete)
As with previous Willowz material, the new stuff is heavy on the bluesy, hard garage rock which I’ve often compared to the White Stripes. When trying to sell a co-worker on going to the show by giving her a copy of Everyone, she said their stuff reminded her of Led Zeppelin and Wolfmother, neither of which I would have compared The Willowz to but after seeing them live for the first time, I think I can kind of see where that comparison was coming from.
Not really sure how many songs The Willowz played during their set but I’m guessing they played somewhere in the neighborhood of 18 songs including “Cons and Tricks” from 2006’s Talk in Circles. This song was my introduction to the band and it remains one of my favorites though there are a number of songs on Everyone that are equally as good.
A good night overall that would have been a lot better had the show started earlier. I “get” that Friday night shows aren’t going to start at 9pm, especially when there are only two bands on the bill, but 11:30 seems too late to kick things off.
Maybe I’m just becoming my dad.
View all of Rachael’s photos from the show.