By: Derek Jung
How fitting that on a weekend celebrating red, white, and blue, a band called Red Wanting Blue would be playing the Midpoint Indie Summer Series show on Fountain Square in the heart of Cincinnati. RWB, originally hailing from Athens, Ohio before moving upstate to Columbus, have been criss-crossing the Midwest for much of the last two decades and lead vocalist Scott Terry, with his unique growling baritone, can fill a room with his emotionally charged stage presence.
I had the pleasure of seeing the band in April at Madison Live!, a small theater next door to Madison Theater in Covington, KY. I wasn't super familiar with their material, but given the chance to see them, I was happy I went. This weekend, however, was a different story. There were at least five times the number of people in attendance for this outdoor, free show than there were in April. Not only was it free, but before the set started there was a fireworks show for the 4th of July. The combination of the fireworks, which drew people not necessarily there for the music, and the way the outdoor stage affected the band's sound, led to an underwhelming show.
This is nothing against the band. Terry played with the same energy that I saw back in April, and the band played well, but the sound on the outdoor stage was very underwhelming and seemed small given the space. The drums sounded muffled and distant, and Terry's vocals didn't fill the open aired space with the power and authority that it did in the small theater. You could tell that the group of people towards the front of the stage were RWB fans, and the band was trying hard to use their energy to drive the set, but Terry had a difficult time even getting the crowd to clap along with him. This lack of energy became worse and worse the farther from the stage you were.
The band covered many of the songs from their newest album Little America, as well as the fan favorites. They brought out Cincinnati locals, The Young Heirlooms, who played before the fireworks, to help with a song. If you haven't seen them before, check them out.
Hopefully the next time Red Wanting Blue comes to town they'll return to a theater instead of an outdoor space, because their band is much better suited for that.
Watch a live take of "Hope on a Rope" from 2012 below.
Who are we?
Derek Jung and Joseph Kathmann -- Just two ordinary (debatable) guys that love talking about music. You can read more about us here: