Over The Rhine
December 19 & 20, 2008
Cincinnati, Ohio based band Over The Rhine came back home from a critically acclaimed national tour to offer a career retrospective on December 19 & 20 at the Queen City’s Taft Theater. Joining the band for the first night were original drummer Brian Kelley and lead guitarist Ric Hordinski.
Stripped to a foursome, the lean, mean Over The Rhine had an immediate impact on the songs, "Eyes Wide Open" and "If I’m Drowning." Lead singer Karin Bergquist held court on the rapturously quiet "Latter Days" from their Good Dog Bad Dog recording, while Linford Detweiler’s heavy bass leanings colored "How Does It Feel? (To Be On My Mind)."
One of the weekend’s highlights was Hordinski’s Adrian Belew-type guitar effects on "Within Without," and not to be outdone, drummer Kelley’s percussive bursts filled the pensive "Like a Radio" with atmospheric, jazzy accents.
Finishing up the night with Elvis Costello’s "What’s So Funny "Bout Peace, Love and Understanding," Hordinski, Bergquist, Detweiler and Kelley joined hands to bow before a massive standing ovation.
Beginning the December 20 performance with "Born," Bergquist seemed to sparkle at center stage costumed in a white dress. Detweiler then proceeded to lead OTR through a medley of material from their 2007 Christmas classic, Snow Angels, including "All I Ever Get For Christmas is Blue" and "White Horse."
Songs from one of 2007’s finest discs, The Trumpet Child, overtook the latter part of the first act, and Bergquist lifted up "I’m On a Roll," the title track and "Who’m I Kiddin’ But Me" with her bluesy Billie Holiday-like harmonies.
Set two dealt with Over The Rhine’s sprawling double disc effort, 2003’s gem entitled, simply, Ohio. Detweiler masterfully orchestrated the group’s direction from the keyboards sitting on stage right during the brooding title track, "B.P.D.," and "Professional Daydreamer." Briefly focusing back to the holiday theme, OTR danced about on "Snow Angel" and "North Pole Man" before delivering the evening’s most memorable moment, a reinvestigation of Trumpet Child and the engaging sing-a-long, "Don’t Wait For Tom."
Bergquist and Detweiler returned to encore with two from Ohio, the hushed and piercing, "Cruel and Pretty" paired nicely alongside the subtle touches of "Changes Come." Bringing the two night stand to a close, Over The Rhine wished everyone a rich and rewarding holiday season before leaving the stage after another magical gift, the inspiring "New Redemption Song."