Live review: The Rosebuds and Other Lives at The EARL in Atlanta, June 16, 2011
Imagine working with your spouse 24/7/365. Never a break. But the product you make is in demand and made of high quality materials. This has been the situation for the Rosebuds’ Kelly Crisp and Ivan Howard for about the past ten years. The North Carolina duo is on the road in support of their new release, Loud Planes Fly Low (Merge). Sadly, not all business ventures work out. The married Crisp and Howard called their union quits recently, but the Rosebuds continue churning out that great product. You can hear the heartache in “Worthwile” and “Come Visit Me,” but there is also joyous abandon, as in the upbeat “Woods.”
Not strangers to Atlanta, Crisp and Howard performed like locals playing a gig at a friend’s house. Constantly chatting with fans, high-fiving, talking about old times, the band had a great time (and so did we). Throughout the evening, Crisp’s birthday was discussed frequently (it was to hit at midnight), and as they wrapped a fine show, a small birthday cake with candles was brought to her on stage and “Happy Birthday” was sung with vigor by her fans.
The set included several exquisite selections off the new Loud Planes, sprinkled with old faves such as “Drunkards Worst Nightmare,” and “Nice Fox” (with the crowd helping out, “And it don’t mean nothin’ at all”). The EARL was packed with happy fans who sang, danced, and reminisced with the group. Crisp and Howard both possess fine vocal talents, but it was the harmonizing that came off the strongest. They traveled effortlessly between folk and rock, hitting everything in between.
After all four consumed the birthday cake, Kelly Crisp announced, “Well, that’s it. I guess we’ll just hang out now.” And she waded into the crowd of friends.
Opening band Other Lives gave the fans a two-for-one show with a fantastic set of something that sounded like a mix between My Morning Jacket and Radiohead, if you can imagine that. With the recent release of Tamer Animals (TBD), the folk/rock outfit from Stillwater, Oklahoma is making a name for itself with sweeping, fantastic songs that you wish would never end. Singer/guitarist Jesse Tabish possesses a strong voice which perfectly complements the band’s orchestral sound (and vice-versa).
Originally an instrumental-only band known as Kunek, Tabish made the smart decision to beging singing and never looked back. The multi- multi-intrumentalists in the band worked double-time playing guitar, bass, drums, xylophone, trumpet, vibraphone, keyboards, a laptop, cello, a pair of deer antlers crafted into tamborines, and more. Fascinating just to watch, Other Lives provided a lush sound that easily trumped the visuals.