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Review: Christopher Owens

Christopher Owens, Chris Owens live

Last night, Christopher Owens performed at Arizona‘s newest underground venue, The Valley Bar. Sporting an oversized Giants baseball graphic tee, blue jeans, his signature blonde mop top and New Balance sneakers, Owens shared the stage with three backing bandmates and gave Phoenix fans a slow and steady set. There were no high highs or low lows and the modest-size audience didn’t seem to mind Owens’ mellow stage presence. People standing in the front were quiet but attentive, mirroring the same laid-back vibe offered by the band.

Owens and his band glided through a set of 17 songs, a performance that was shortened because the venue combined two shows for the evening (Sam Prekop and Archer Prewitt also performed). The set list featured tracks from Owens’ solo discography and Girls releases, which delighted concertgoers more familiar with Owens as former frontman of the band.

The audience showed little to no reaction to the opening songs, but softened up four songs in, when it played Girls’ “Substance.” A few fans in the crowd even sang along. This was one of many Girls songs Owens performed, others included: “God Damned,” “Broken Dreams Club,” “Headache” and “Lauren Marie.” The rest of the set was mostly dedicated to Chrissybaby Forever, the 16-track album Owens surprised released late last month. The audience favored the drums on “Coffee and Tea,” danced to “Me Oh My,” and laughed when, after “Music of My Heart,” Owens said: “You guys like the music tonight? Me too.” This was, after all, one of the few times Owens spoke to the audience. The rest of the time, they fed off non-verbal cues, including a sheepish smile you could sometimes see through the hair that hung around his face like curtains.

All in all, it was a straightforward performance that fans seemed to enjoy.

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