Normally, I’ll walk into a show and know one person there if I am lucky. Walking into the Orpheum, I was amazed to see groups of people I knew, he bulk of whom, like myself, had come to finally catch a glimpse of the Appalachian Apocalypse from New York that is O’death.

Over the past year I have read many an O’Death review raving about the ferocity of their live show. As result, I think I had romanticized the possibilities to the point where I was expecting sparks to shoot out of their asses and the devil to be playing fiddle. Neither case played out, instead the band opened up a little on the reserved side after a particularly miserable Miami crowd the night before. However, but by the end of their set shirts were missing and requests were being played. One thing is for sure, after seeing the passion these kids put into their music, any questions I had about the authenticity of a group of 20-something New Yorkers playing Appalachian folk songs were put to rest.

Drummer David Rogers-Berry lived up to his advance billing; screaming, howling, beating trash cans with chains, hyping the crowd, and just generally beating his floor toms so hard you could almost see them wince in agony. Adding to the drum-abusive energy was fiddle player Bob Pycior stomping and dancing about while trying his damndest to saw his instrument in half. Much like Berry, he plays with such an intensity that you get the impression he is punishing his instrument more than playing it. Balancing out these two was Gabe Darling’s banjo and ukulele and Greg Jamie’s guitar and sometimes woeful, always captivating vocals, which help give the band it’s dark sound. By the end of the show the band had loosened up and began interacting with the crowd, and by the end of their 30 minutes the crowd managed to goad them into playing one more song before packing up. I left as O’Death packed up figuring I had seen the best this particular night had to offer, and having finally caught the band live, I’ve come away knowing two things:

1. Believe the hype.
2. Thirty minutes just wasn’t enough time.

Come back to Florida, O’Death. Fuck Miami.

O’Death – Down to Rest
O’Death – Only Daughter
O’Death – Nathaniel

I managed to actually remember my camera and actually managed to get some pretty good pictures. You can see them here if you’re interested.

O’death’s Official Site, O’Death on Myspace, Buy Head Home