The Orbans dropped their new album When We Were Young onto a half-packed house of fans and friends at Sons of Hermann Hall Friday night, bringing an agreeable live face to their good-time, don't-call-it-country rock set.
The band set an intimate feel for the night straightaway, as singer Peter Black hushed his way through "Darlin' My Dreams" to begin their set just before midnight. (That's same tune, you'll recall, that ended their live performance out at El Sibil last month
.) From one song to the next after that, the band ratcheted up the energy, from "Like A Liar" to "Were Her" like the Jayhawks hopped up on a Red Bull four-pack.
Jump for a few photos, and more on the night before the Orbans' set, when a more sizable crowd turned up to hear Telegraph Canyon
's first Dallas show in a while.
Telegraph Canyon's Chris Johnson tells the crowd to shut the hell up.
The big ballroom had filled in pretty well by the end of Telegraph Canyon's set, though a huge chunk of the crowd made a game of shouting over the band as it set about weaving its hallmark blanket of organ, guitars and violin.
There was the one guy in the audience who enthusiastically head-banged his way through Telegraph Canyon's stage time, but for pure enjoyment, even he couldn't match the members of the band themselves, who seemed to relish catching one another's eye mid-song. Between whiskey shots from the night's liquor promoter, Telegraph cruised loose and effortlessly from the opener "Old Dark Hymns," to the whole high point of the night: a sweeping "Shake Your Fist" marked by a great warm-cold mix of Andrew Skate's rich, layered organ notes and sharp hits from a little glockenspiel.
Check out more shots from the night here in this slideshow.
Singer Chris Johnson may not have brought his awesome powers of stage destruction to bear with the same intensity he displayed at Musink earlier this year
, but it was another killer set from a band that generates enough energy from its own ranks -- even playing one member short -- to topple a room of heavy lunchroom-style chatter.
Jacob Metcalf gave the night a mellow, welcoming start.