Posted: 11:34 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014
By By Pete Mongillo
Ola Podrida and …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead came together at the Belmont Saturday to celebrate the release of a new album and revisit an older one, though not everything went as scheduled.
The Belmont, a West Sixth Street bar that reopened last year as a 1,000-capacity venue (though not that many people can actually stand in front of the stage) and is now being booked by ACL Live as a sort of auxiliary stage, sounds good. It’s also booked consistently over the next month or so, with upcoming shows including DJ Shadow (May 9), Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk (May 10), Marc Cohn (May 17) and Carla Morrison (May 26).
The space is a bit narrow, however, and it’s not easy to see the stage when standing in the back half of the room (there are plans to elevate the stage). That said, there are other places to view the show: an open area with a railing adjacent to the inside bar on the first floor, and the patio on the second floor (and the staircase if you don’t mind standing on the stairs).
Ola Podrida, celebrating the release of their new album “Ghosts Go Blind,” played before Trail of Dead (as did American Sharks, but I missed their set). It felt like a bit of an unusual bill, as the two bands don’t have very similar sounds. That didn’t matter though, with the band alternating between lead singer and songwriter David Wingo’s folky, low key vocals and the band’s dense, melodic riffs and dramatic, crashing moments.
When the show was announced, it was billed as …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead performing their popular 2002 album “Source Tags & Codes.” While they played songs from that album during the set, they did not play the album in its entirety, which upset a few people in the audience, including one guy who said he felt tricked. “This isn’t all Source Tags and Codes, it’s just a show,” wrote another on Twitter.
Despite the change of plans, the band was in fine shape, walking on stage with a bottle of Jim Beam and ripping into a set that included a tense version of “How Near, How Far,” with quick-fire drums juxtaposed against the slower sections. Bassist Autry Fulbright crowd surfed and actually bent over backwards a few different times. Jason Reece whipped his guitar around like he was in a fight.
At the end, the band seemed happy with night, thanking the crowd and jokingly made another promise — they would be back in 2017.