Friday, February 24, 2006

Concert Review: Rogue Wave

Bay Area band Rogue Wave returned home last night supporting Nada Surf at the legendary Fillmore. Taking the stage and commenting on the history of the venue in shock and awe, the band began the set with a couple songs off their first album, then went into the current Decended Like Vultures. All played like they wanted to, and their expressions, vocal and silent, reflected their obvious "I can't believe we made it" band zeitgeist, soaking in their relatively quick raise to fame which brought them to the same place they went to themselves, no doubt, to see their favorite bands. And here they are (taken from my cameraphone):

From left, they are: Pat (the guy with the hair) Spurgeon on drums, Zach (the guy who sings) Rogue on vocals & guitar, Evan (the guy with boogie) Farrell on bass, and Gram (the guy with the glasses) LeBron on guitar. Throughout the set, Pat, Evan and Gram swapped places, giving each song and instrument their own signature sound & feel.

And what are they like? At different times delicately soft & powerfully loud, Rogue Wave brings palpable emotion to the stage. More than just the sum of their parts, Rogue Wave succeeds in creating atmosphere & mood, alternately of surrender & hope. Lyrically they are neither too obvious nor too ambiguous, letting the words paint the story. California, for example, caresses the listener with soft, warm guitar strumming as the words form a kind of conflicting cynical longing: Screw California / and friends that are never there / and places that they oughta / pretend that they even care. /...So lead us there.

The album is brilliant and the live show brings the musicans' personalities to give added depth to the words and music. After the show I went & talked to the extremely affable Zach Rogue & asked if there was anything he wanted to tell the East Bay.

"Go A's!" he smiled. After mentioning their return to Oakland after their US tour with Nada Surf and almost immediate tour of Europe, he reflected on his busy schedule, but seemed pleased to be enjoying the success of the band. "I can't wait to come back, though."

Rogue Wave will be back in California in late March for Noise Pop in San Francisco.


Anonymous bob said...

you should write for a 'zine...
high five!

February 25, 2006 6:31 PM  

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