An unexpected early start for an unexpected group of performers leads to a fantastic evening of music.
Assumptions can come back to bite you, and thankfully we arrived at the show at 8:10 instead of even later. You see, we figured there was plenty of time – surely there would be an opener, and our boys from Nebraska wouldn’t be on stage until well after 9:00. The moment we entered the Olympic and started to ascend the old wooden stairs, my ears informed me that we were late and the fellas were already going strong. Oops.
Thanks to my man Craig for informing me that we had only missed one song (“Run No More”). There were certainly more people present on this night than the last time I saw them in this building – both in the crowd and on stage. Turns out on this tour Nick (electric guitar, backing vocals) and Tyler (acoustic guitar, lead vocals) Talbott have a band behind them, with bass, drums, and keys – and it took their already strong songs to another level.
Tyler’s singing voice is incredible, but his speaking voice is something altogether different, with an accent that I really can’t place – it’s something unique and a bit strange. Having said that, he had some good banter throughout the evening, including his pride in understanding the correct pronunciation of our fair city. This has been a point of conversation at several shows recently, as apparently the rest of the country really does think we live in Boy-zee. Tyler also gave shout outs to Guru Donuts and Tom Grainey’s basement, which, ya, why not?
On this night we got fewer covers than the last time they came to town, but they were solid gold: “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins and Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence”. Their selection of originals was entirely from their latest two albums, and that was all right with me – those are their finest efforts so far. They switched from full band mode to duo mode a few times, and the changeups were quite refreshing.
Yep, Tyler is a lefty. I see fewer southpaw guitar players than you would think…
We learned that “Deadman Pass” was written about the I-84 rest area given that name, and that “James Bell” is about a friend of theirs named Jimmy Bell – “name changed to protect his identity”. They got jokes, folks, as well as tunes. As I said, the band was terrific and a welcome addition that drove things into a new dimension, but the highlights of the night for me were all duo performances: “Chances”, “The Sound of Silence”, and the tear-jerker/closing number, “Family”.
Run No More
We Got Love
One Day Soon
Without a Doubt/In the Air Tonight (Phil Collins cover) suite
The Sound of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel cover)
Man on a Ledge
Spotify setlist link: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/30pBgf5hc8KhbohhQMwC4O?si=_xxY3QoDS4OjyoPAaGi_cg