The Wallflowers at the Ogden Theatre, 10/24/12 (photos and review)By Brendan Magee | October 25th, 2012 | 3 comments
The Wallflowers brought a mostly nostalgic set to the Ogden Theatre Wednesday night, while the season’s first storm spat snow and sleet outside the venue on East Colfax Avenue. The room, it seemed, might have been content with a night of hits off of the band’s 1996 multi-platinum-record, “Bringing Down the Horse,” but the band (thankfully) did not entirely succumb to the stale patterns of other ’90s acts currently out on the road.
The show opened with a somewhat muddled “Everything I Need” off of 2002’s “Red Letter Days.” Frontman Jakob Dylan’s voice sounded diminished, scratchy and keyless. The band, itself, was a bit off time and some soundboard kinks needed to be addressed (the audience noticed). But the night was young. “Have Mercy on Him Now,” a new song off this year’s “Glad All Over,” was fun and easy — a friendly reminder that the band is still writing good hooks and even better melodies in 2012.
After a few more forgettable takes, Dylan greeted the crowd, “How are you guys? You look good, so you must be good.” Sure, the room looked good. But what was coming? What was going to light up the cold, damp venue? Would it be the new tune, “Hospital for Sinners”? Unfortunately, this was not the answer, as the song in question was a monotone slump that misses the mark on the album as well.
Thankfully, the band pushed on with a crowd favorite, “6th Avenue Heartache,” at which point keys player Rami Jaffee’s constant and excited movement seemed all the more appropriate, with the crowd finally rocking with him. Continuing with a strong turn on “I’ve Been Delivered” off of 2000’s “Breach,” the Wallflowers settled in nicely and sounded like “that” band again. Later gems, “Three Marlenas” and “One Headlight” made the latter part of the set a success.
With its best hook and fourth encore, the band concluded with “The Difference.” Nostalgic dust spread and the room shouted, “You are exactly the same as you used to be!” The sentiment turned out to be a good thing.
Brendan Magee is a Denver-based writer and regular contributor to Reverb. When not writing, Brendan is working on his own music as a singer-songwriter in Capitol Hill.
Nathan Iverson is a Denver photographer and regular contributor to Reverb.