Daniel Miller

Over the Rhine

Last night we went to see Over the Rhine at the wonderful listening room The Kessler.

Image from the Over the Rhine Twitter

It all started when Google reminded me at 10 minutes until 8 o’clock that I had bought tickets to the show. I had neglected to then put it on the calendar and had thus completely forgotten about it. Google just happens to read my email and remind me of such things, just days too late to book a babysitter. Fortunately for us, our babysitter is amazing and agreed to come over in a half an hour.

So we missed the opener Leigh Nash, which was a shame, but we made it for the entire OtR set.

The first thing that happens when we arrive at The Kessler is we see Jeff Liles at the door, and his warm smile immediately reminds me I’m home. Every time I see him I’m reminded of the moment after Margot’s memorial, which was held at The Kessler, when we went to pay for our use of the venue, and he just shook his head “no”, his face full of authentic empathy.

Last night he didn’t even check the list, he just said, “Welcome. It’s good to see you. Come in.”

We both got Cokes and sat on some barstools on the edge of the venue–Carissa’s favorite seating because she could actually see over the people in front of us.

It was an amazing show. Over the Rhine shows usually attract reverent listeners. About six songs in some people who were more typical Dallas concertgoers sat next to us, and we had to fight back the resentment at their chatter, and constant walks back to the bar, and their phone screens blinding us. (If you didn’t post on Facebook during the show, were you really there?) But we managed to not let them ruin it for us.

I’m always struck by OtR’s musicianship and soul. They are now joined by Brad Meinerding, a tremendous guitarist and mandolin player, who had some serious moments last night. I’ve literally never seen anyone shred on a mandolin like he did last night. And the entire band’s comfort on stage, and the authentic ethos they bring to their music and their lives is right there…

It was a break from what feels more and more like a treadmill existence.

Thanks Over the Rhine.

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