Live Review: The Willowz

Category: Blog — @ 3:44 pm August 14, 2005

It went pretty much as expected — almost no one showed up for The Willowz show at O’Leaver’s. Expected because of the Neva Dinova/Mayday show going on down at Sokol and a Terminals show at 906, also known as Pete’s Place. The show’s promoter was somewhat bummed at the low attendance, and I think any other night his show would have done well, if not much better. Or maybe not. No one knows who The Willowz are around here, which is a pity because their garage-rock style injected with heaping doses of Stooges attitude would have made some new fans among those who instead went to 906 or The Brothers last night. The Willowz guys didn’t seemed phased by the low turnout. Talking to them outside of O’Leaver’s, the band takes everything in stride. They weren’t too thrilled at their gig the night before at Chicago’s Double Door, where a blues act opened for them. Not their usual crowd. But something tells me that they put on as good a show as last night’s, tearing into their set with the same abandon as if 300 had turned up instead of 30. Or maybe it was the fact that it was bass player Jessica Raynova’s 22nd birthday. “Jess, didn’t you say there’s no place you’d rather be than in Nebraska on your birthday?” asked long-haired frontman Richie Follin to a smattering of applause. It was somewhat surreal to see R Kelly’s long-play video for “Trapped in the Closet” play on O’Leaver’s new big-screen plasma TV behind them while large stuffed versions of Mickey and Minnie Mouse sat at the table directly in front of the band. It was one of those kinds of gigs. Their set was comprised mostly of songs off their new CD We Walk in Circles, which sounded a lot better live. I do like this band, even moreso after seeing them live.

There is another show at O’Leaver’s tonight: The all-girl DC-based politically charged punk-rock combo Partyline. Tomorrow morning, check out my interview with Orenda Fink, just in time her two-day stint opening for hubby’s band The Faint. I’ll be at one of those shows, though I don’t know which one yet. Maybe both?

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