Saturday, October 27, 2007

Rogue Wave @ The Mod Club, Oct. 26

Twelve dollars and 50 cents. That’s how much a great night costs seeing a first-rate band like Rogue Wave, playing yesterday to a far-from-sold-out Mod Club. What a bargain. If I had to make a quick list of what I expect when I go to a show, it’s that I want the band to be tight, I want them to enjoy themselves and I want them to spare no energy. And Rogue Wave hit all the marks.
     It was especially exciting to hear the extra oomph given to the sleepier numbers on their current CD, Asleep at Heaven’s Gate, an album marred with frustrating unevenness. As mentioned in my earlier record review, the four-song start to Asleep is one of the best I’ve heard; then, the album descends into a tepid mess.
     The greatness Rogue Wave hints at on record is even more apparent live. Band leader Zach Rogue is the real deal, his pathos-filled vocals perfectly suited to his sharp, twangy guitar-playing. Drummer Pat Spurgeon was notable, too, banging away at his kit (with no sign of a recent kidney transplant!), and giving songs like Asleep’s “Harmonium” added thrust.
     That song in particular, which is currently featured in a Payless Shoe Source commercial, was the show’s best — I had my money’s worth just hearing that one. Payless? Nope, pay more.
Rogue Wave: Harmonium (mp3)

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