As I walked into the club, I saw that tables were laid out, covering most of the floor. I’d been to partially seated shows at the Indie before but I did not expect this show to be seated. It definitely changes the dynamic of the show to have people seated and spaced out as opposed to crunched up against the stage.
The Wheel opened the show. A five piece with two guitars (electric, acoustic), keyboards, upright bass and drums, they played a fairly subdued sort of indie country/ alt country. While I wasn’t completely enthralled, they did play a nice set and their songs were good. They had some particularly nice moments with three vocalist harmonizing together.
After a month long tour with John Vanderslice and touring on and off for most of the last year, he’s developed new and different arrangements for some of his songs from both the recorded versions and previous live versions. Kristian Matsson is an excellent performer that uses his songs, his multi-faceted voice and movement around the stage–sitting on his chair, walking up to the very edge and looking out into the crowd–to pull people into his songs. While he may not have the banter and stories of fellow Swede Jens Lekman, he’s a gifted showman. In the end the Rickshaw show in March felt more intimate and may stay with me longer, but this show was still great.