Concert Reviews

Ours, Plane Jane Automobile and Yerkish at Toad Tavern

Photo: Jon Solomon

Ours, Plane Jane Automobile and Yerkish
Friday, November 28, 2008
Toad Tavern

I was floored the first time I saw Ours at the Walnut Room nearly two years ago. I was fully drawn into the band's performance and awestruck by singer's Jimmy Gnecco's vocal delivery, especially his soaring Jeff Buckley-esque falsetto. My expectations were high before seeing Ours last Friday, and the band delivered a solid performance, but it didn't quite hit me in the gut the way the other show did.

There were some powerful moments, like Gnecco's a cappella falsetto at the end of "Mercy" or his falsetto that turned into a scream on "Murder." "Live Again" started with a thunderous drum intro that built up until the band was completely rocking and then slowed down into an extended instrumental interlude with guitar atmospherics and then built back up again. The guys definitely had their dynamics nailed, especially on the eight cuts they played from their latest album, Mercy...Dancing for the Death of an Imaginary Enemy.

The first half of the show was dedicated mainly to cuts from Mercy, and the band saved a handful of songs from 2001's Distorted Lullabies for the second half, including "Fallen Souls," "Miseryhead," "Meet Me in the Tower" and "Sometimes." Before Ours launched into a killer version of  "Sometimes," Gnecco talked about when the band came through town last summer he wasn't sure if his voice would work again. On their way through Colorado Springs he bought a trumpet that he had planned on learning to play in case his voice didn't return. He said just as he was starting to have fun playing the trumpet his voice started working again. Curiously, a silver trumpet sat upright on a stand near the side of the stage, but Gnecco never played it.

Duke Crider, singer of opening band Plain Jane Automobile, joined Gnecco on "Meet Me in the Tower" in which he traded off verses and added some harmony vocals. During the last song of the night, the band delved into another instrumental interlude that culminated with Gnecco jumping on top of the drum kit.

--Jon Solomon

Critic's Notebook
Personal Bias:
While Ours delivered a pretty damn good set for the most part, it seemed like the band was struggling at times.
Random Notes: As Ours took the stage, the opening song Peter Gabriel's score to Last Temptation of Christ played on the sound system.
By the Way: Opener Plain Jane Automobile and Yerkish both delivered solid sets.

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Jon Solomon writes about music and nightlife for Westword, where he's been the Clubs Editor since 2006.
Contact: Jon Solomon