Owen Concert Review – Beachland Tavern – Cleveland, OH – 06.17.13
On Monday night (06.17.13), a very small group of people gathered at a very small venue to watch one man and his acoustic guitar take the stage. Chicagoan Mike Kinsella, more commonly known by his stage name, Owen, kicked off his summer tour at the Beachland Tavern with special guests Slingshot Dakota and Saintseneca.
While the opening acts performed, most of the crowd wandered around the tavern, making sure to check out the vintage record and clothing shop located below the venue. Owen sat patiently behind his merch table, selling his new (and old) albums, along with a creative t-shirt that spelled O-W-E-N in pizza slices.
For those unfamiliar with Owen, you are missing out. I had never really listened to his music other than the few songs that my brother had downloaded onto my computer years ago, and I regret not getting into his music sooner. If you haven’t heard his melodic love songs, don’t worry. You can check out Owen’s new album, ‘L’Ami du Peuple,’ which drops on 07.2.13 on Polyvinyl Records. (Pre-Order) It’s definitely going to be worth the $10.
At around 10:00pm Owen appeared on stage, sitting on a chair, front and center, tuning his guitar. He began his set list with “Too Many Moons” from his 2011 album, ‘Ghost Town.’ A hundred people fell silent to the sound of one acoustic guitar and the voice that accompanied it.
Stream Owen’s “Love Is Not Enough”
In between each song, Kinsella took a moment to tune his guitar and chat with the crowd, thanking them for being so quiet. Owen’s 12 song setlist mostly included songs from ‘Ghost Town,’ as well as his 2006 album, ‘At Home with Owen,’ although he did manage to play at least one song from every album (excluding his 2001 self-titled debut), but including a couple of songs from his upcoming release. Some crowd favorites included “The Sad Waltzes of Pietro Crespi,” “A Bird in Hand,” and “Bag of Bones.”
Following the regular setlist, Owen took some time to grant fans’ requests, as the crowd shouted out songs they wanted to hear. His encore included “Love Is Not Enough” and “Curtain Call,” as well as a cover song by Robyn, titled “Call Your Girlfriend.”
The best thing about smaller venues is the increased crowd involvement, with Owen casually being able to talk with his fans during the show. At one point, a man shouted across the venue asking him if he wanted a shot. Owen paused and replied with “Kind of.” The heckler bought Owen a shot of Jameson and the two of them swallowed the shots in between songs.
The night ended successfully, with a flock of fans exiting the venue, smiling and humming the tunes of Owen’s graceful music.