Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

O Wood Brothers, Where Art Thou? (At Kent Stage, Last Night)

Concert Review

Posted By on Wed, Sep 30, 2015 at 10:43 AM

There's a sort of thesis I've massaged over years of seeing shows that has something to do with larger than life music being performed onstage by humans for other humans. It's hard to put into words, but, to borrow Justice Potter Stewart's phrasing, "I know it when I see it." 

I saw it last night at the Kent Stage, where The Wood Brothers threw down a two-hour set of jazzy folk funk and generally communed with the eager Tuesday night crowd.

To be more specific, I saw Chris Wood thumping minor-key earthquake tones into jaunty Americana reflections. I saw Oliver Wood scratch nickel-wound yearning into the hardwood stage. I saw Jano Rix turn a guitar into a drum set. (He called it a "shuitar.")

The show opened with "The Muse," a delicate ballad that had Oliver crooning about the ups and downs of life, "trying to work some things out and not gettin' too far..." Chris took a bow to his upright bass, and Jano cast melodica washes across the background of the song. 

From there, the set arced through heavier, danceable numbers ("Shoofly Pie") and downtempo introspection ("The Shore," lovingly sung by Chris). Later on, Oliver dedicated "Postcards from Hell" to all the musicians they've grown up alongside and all the musicians working sports bars around Northeast Ohio, unable to be at the show last night — all the "regular guys" who inspire them everyday. "I got a soul, but I won't sell," Oliver sang in that last one.

Throughout, the small crowd was extremely engaged with the music. There was a certain mood touching every moment of the show — that je ne sais quois — a mood that had talented musicians just leaning back into the groove, throwing down some stirring storytelling and mind-bending instrumentation. The savvy lighting around the stage also added to a sense of otherworldliness. 

These guys are the real deal. 

For the encore, the audience suddenly rushed toward the front of the room, growing louder and dancing with more intensity. "Luckiest Man" closed out the show and gave the Kent crowd one more high-powered rocker before we all slipped into the rain outside, all awash in the blood-moon afterglow of time well spent. 

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation