Was assigned to cover this one the day-of for a fellow staff writer who couldn’t make it. Although I knew of Woods a little, the Fresh & Onlys were entirely new to me. Great concert anyway.
Even though it had been a warm day, this particular Monday night the Doug Fir sat practically empty. At around 9:45 p.m., the floor directly abutting the stage had a single couple standing on it, and Janet Jackson’s “Say You Do” was crackling over the P.A. But leading up to the Fresh & Onlys set, it was apparent those present were excited about being hit by theirs and Woods’ sun-steeped psychedelic prisms, and for any who made the choice to stay up late to catch both sets, it was worth any slight sacrifice. To a thin if extremely enthusiastic crowd, the four-piece F&O’s tore through a 13-song set in a matter of an hour, spanning dope-rock, shades of Arthur Lee and the kind of imagery Buddy Holly and surf rock had first brought on board (vocalist Tim Cohen crooning about how “Water’s gonna wash all of us” and singing of life (“Across the sea/ Where life will be so lonely”). Whether occupying the lower stratosphere, the domain of jet engines, with their guitar work, or descending into some reimagined, perpetual Summer of Love state, their jangle, rumble and loose-handed jams lit up the crowd.
Tapping the Fresh & Onlys bass player, Shayde Sartin, to play guitar with them, the Woods took the stage a little after 11:15 as the crowd filled in significantly, groups of young folks jockeying for good spots on the main floor. Band member Kevin Morby brought out a four-string bass; vocalist Jeremy Earl, in dark-rimmed glasses and a white button-up, strapped an acoustic guitar across his shoulder. Multi-instrumentalist Jarvis Taveniere seated at the drums and tape effects man G. Lucas Crane manning his set-up in the center, Woods kicked off with a snap-perfect “Pushing Onlys,” Earl’s high tenor coming in slanted against the wall of sound rushing at him. Next up was At Echo Lake’s “Suffering Season,” a giggly lo-fi adventure in nostalgia and uncertainty.
Check the rest here: Spectrum Culture concert review: Woods/The Fresh & Onlys