Photos by David Rubene
Yesterday was insane. From the gym, to work, to a haircut, to home to slam a pizza into my mouth then to the show- I honestly didn’t have time to catch my breath. I was still in that frantic space as I walked into the 7th Street Entry. My stomach hurt from scarfing down half of a mac n’ cheese pizza, I was subconsciously worried about missing the second episode of The Bachelor because I know my friends are going to ruin it for me, and, well, I was just in a freaking tizzy. That tizzy calmed the second Of the Orchard took the stage. It was just like falling into a meditation. All of my stress and frantic-ness that had seemed to plague me throughout the day instantly went away and all was well in the kingdom.
Unfortunately I didn’t make it to the show on time to see opener Stain the Mind. Full disclosure- I had my dates wrong and thought this show was on Friday so made the mistake of committing to help out a friend by being a hair model and, well, who would say no to a free hair cut by a salon owner?! (And yes, it looks amazing.) My apologies to the band. I do hope to catch ya’ll again sooner rather than later.
The first band I did catch was Of the Orchard. With a little bit of 90’s pop rock mixed with some bluesy tendencies and an all over upbeat yet under-stated sound, Of the Orchard was the perfect band for me to kick off my night with. Vocalist Ben Vanden Boogaard definitely has a voice that lends perfectly to the alt-90’s vibe of this four piece without it sounding recycled or overdone. One of the biggest things that stood out to me about this group was Zach Ward’s guitar playing. Although his wailing solos seemed to over-power the rest of the band throughout the set, there’s no denying his passion and dedication to his craft. His sweeping guitar solos had me absolutely captivated throughout the band’s quick opening set.
Beyond Jenna’s bubbly personality and the personalities of the other members that shined much brighter than the stage lights, The Von Tramps’ music was infectious to say the least. As I mentioned, it was a unique blend of ska, punk, pop, and a little bit of everything else. Every song was more upbeat than the last and every epic hit of the drum-kit made by Kieran O’Donoghue made you bounce along. There was something so powerful and moving about the music but it wasn’t in your face (unless you refused to scream “Shout” during their Otis Day and the Knights cover in which case Jenna wasn’t afraid to shove that microphone in your face). All in all, it was a set I wish I could check out on a Friday or Saturday night when I could have a couple of drinks of me and let all of my nerves and inhibitions fade away. I walked in knowing nothing about The Von Tramps and walked away with a new favorite local band that I need to take all of my friends to see (this is a warning to my friends) very, very soon.