Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Concert Review - WINO & CONNY OCHS

I'm close to having all older, backlogged posts out, so here's another concert review from a little while ago...

Wino & Conny Ochs and Paul Metzger
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Turf Club, St. Paul, MN

Click on any of the pictures to see more photos of Wino & Conny Ochs (7).

Doom metal legend Scott “Wino” Weinrich (St Vitus, The Obsessed, others) surprised many when he began unveiling acoustic records, a career turn that brought out about an interesting collaboration with singer/songwriter Conny Ochs. This acoustic tour for the duo was in support of their second album together, Heavy Kingdom. Local guitarist Paul Metzger opened with a solo acoustic show that appropriately set the stage for what was to come.

Click on the photo to see more pictures of Paul Metzger (4).

This was an acoustic show in the truest sense of the word, not simply a band playing acoustic-type songs – just Wino and Conny with their acoustic guitars. Wino was hanging around the bar talking with fans before the show, but things were all business once on stage with Conny. The pair opened with “Somewhere Nowhere”, a slow somber tune that seemed an odd choice to start the show. “Labour Of Love” kicked up the energy level a bit, and “Dust” had Conny adding some bass drum kicks over the CCR-like melody. A couple of songs from Wino’s Adrift album were brought out, including the folk-inspired “Adrift” and “Old And Alone”, as well as the jangly “Manifesto”. Vocal duties were shared throughout, with Wino and Conny each taking turns singing lead and singing in harmony. Wino’s deep, gravely bass voice was complimented well by Conny’s higher, more melodic style. The high point of the show came with “Angels And Demons”, which had Wino using some electronic effects on his guitar and Conny thumping furiously on the bass drum to bring the song to a climactic conclusion. There were a few surprises thrown in, one being a new, unreleased song “Crystal Madonna”, a depressing love song. A number of covers were played such as “Hellbound Train” by Savoy Brown. By the time “Vultures By The Vine” wrapped up the set, the respectful crowd had been fully converted to Wino’s new style and loudly demanded more. The encore consisted entirely of covers, leading with “Hotel Vast Horizon” by Chris Whitley, then Joy Division’s “Isolation”. This bled into “Find The Cost Of Freedom” by CSN&Y for the finale.

While acoustic material isn’t the favorite of most metal fans, you have to respect Wino for not pulling any punches and delivering a solid, convincing show. The collaboration with Conny makes this style more interesting, and it should be fun to see where their work together leads.

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