Monday, August 17, 2015

{RECAP} good old war

Concert Correspondent Lily checked out Good Old War at The Hamilton on Thursday night -- check out her rave recap below!

After strutting onto the stage to the beat of '90s funk, Good Old War’s lead vocalist, Keith Goodwin, stared out to The Hamilton’s stationary audience and mused, “I think I’m going to be the only weirdo in here dancing tonight.” But fortunately for us, over the course of the Thursday night show, Good Old War’s idyllic lyrics and passionate delivery conjured a happy and rhythmic energy.

The band kicked off the show with “Tell Me What You Want From Me,” the first track on their newly released album, Broken into Better Shape. As the title suggests, this is a song that proudly and directly confronts someone for one of those decisions that would otherwise eat you up. Goodwin begs, “Let me go, tear me apart, forget my name.” Goodwin belted out the plea while clutching his heart with his left hand and playing the keys with his right on a mini piano keyboard. Such emotion with his left, such focus with his right; it’s clear Goodwin knows what he wants and how he’ll get it!

He continued to prove his emotional investment with a few oldies from Good Old War’s first album, “Only Way to Be Alone.” In “Looking For Shelter,” again, he intensely bumped his entire body to the rhythm of “we’ll just know when it’s right,” all while playing those keys on that teeny tiny keyboard with his single right hand. During “Weak Man,” guitarist Dan Schwartz played two guitars at once. Two! As it turns out, not only is Good Old War a group of convincing performers, they are also incredible multi-taskers.

During “That’s Some Dream,” the entire room chanted along, “I’m gonna die it’s alright I’m okay, Lai dai dai.” Did we know what we were saying? Maybe. Did it matter? Nope. We were all together, one big harmony feeding off the group’s determination.

While the group’s heartfelt delivery set the stage for a moving evening, it was thanks to their unique mix of harmonies and the brassy clang of Schwartz’s capo’ed guitar that shaped the nostalgic and sentimental sound that would ring in our ears the rest of the week.

Take “Window.” Let’s be clear: Window is a song I have listened to on repeat on multiple occasions, including the during long ride from Washington, DC to Philadelphia. I had high expectations for this one and Good Old War gave me goose bumps! The second to last song of the set, all three members of Good Old War warmly chimed in to build a comforting, synchronized sound. Schwartz’s classical guitar riff before the chorus built the momentum before all three buoyantly proclaimed, “I’m gonna stay awake for you!” What is more uplifting than hearing someone say that to you?

Good Old War’s spirit, harmonious optimism, and impressive multitasking skills kicked off this bashful DC town to a lively and hopeful weekend!

Thank you to Lily for this recap -- glad you loved the show! Up next: We're continuing to make our list of must-go concerts for the fall (including Hopscotch Festival!)!

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