Review: Other Lives, Riothorse Royale, Daniel Hart
Other Lives; all photos by Paula Tesoriero
Walking in to Crescent Ballroom last night, I knew two things: my feet were already hurting in my heels and tonight’s show was going to be brilliant, in more ways than one.
Unbeknownst to myself, violinist/singer/composer Daniel Hart opened the show. The first thing Hart did was create atmospheric sounds upon his trusty violin and loop them over and over. A silence fell over the crowd as we intently listened to these waves of strings disrupted once in a while by a “sick” beat. Hart’s stage presence was very minimal, but he still came out with a large sound and personality. I was overcome at moments, while listening to his melodies. They invoked a beautiful sadness inside of me and I found myself beginning paying more attention to other things in the room, utilizing senses other than hearing and seeing. At the end of his set, Hart did quite the cover of an Other Lives tune. He mentioned how Crescent Ballroom was a most excellent venue and that he was very appreciative to be there. Daniel Hart, thank you for setting the mood for what was to come!
Riothorse Royale took the stage next. Composed of only three musicians, the Riothorse Royale group was both terribly simplistic and remarkably full. The two lead female singers played guitar and bass, and the drummer was in the back beating away at his set. I enjoyed the two voices singing in unison and dividing into harmonies, when necessary. I realized how much I underestimated the power of a unison line. Madi Diaz and Emily Greene were clearly enjoying themselves on stage! They would look at the each other while singing or shredding and smile with such enthusiasm; it was refreshing and wondrous to see! It was also an emotional night for them. Greene mentioned how it was the last time they were to share the stage with Other Lives for this tour, and that the band is comprised of the most kind-hearted people who attract the most compassionate crowds. Greene’s emotional way of speaking was the same way she approached her performance — it was passion filled.
At long last, Other Lives. Goodness me, Jesse Tabish’s voice is my favorite, so you can only imagine my feelings as they performed and he sang in his, oh so sweet way. Last time I saw Other Lives, there was a lady cellist with them. This time, however, there were two violins, and Daniel Hart was actually playing one of them. At first, I thought this would be a negative since violins and cellos have very different timbres, but it actually worked! I recall at one point the two violinists seemed to be having a face off, seeing who could make the most unique noises, such fun!
Tabish’s hand movements were so fitting to his lyrics. This band creates a sound that is both somber and intriguing, serious and yet somewhat dreamlike. Between two songs, Tabish mentioned that Crescent Ballroom is one of his favorite venues to play also, and talked of how they always felt so welcome here. The funniest part was when he said that if you took him out of the on-stage equation, you’d have yourself a real boy band, and that he was sort of like a troll. The ease with which the band laughed and joked with each other on stage made me feel so comfortable and close to the music. I closed my eyes to focus on the sound and I also noticed the scent. It’s Crescent Ballroom, so of course you’ll get the occasional whiff of burrito (not bad at all), but there was also a scent of freshly baked cookies for some reason. At least, that’s what I smelled. It fit well with the evening. Something warm, and sad, as it is sure to invoke memories of a simpler time. Other Lives ended with a solid encore that included a Nirvana cover. Not a bad way to end a show at all.