Concert Review: The Old Ceremony CD Release Party by uncdiversions
February 17, 2009, 9:21 pm
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The Old Ceremony and Roman Candle – February 14 – Cat’s Cradle

For The Old Ceremony, Valentine’s Day was a loud, crowded, and musical affair. Beneath a slew of lights and red and pink lanterns, the local band transformed the usually rough-around-the-edges Cat’s Cradle into a Cupid’s paradise Saturday night, performing songs from their new release Walk on Thin Air for a crowded and enthusiastic audience.

The release party integrated nearly every Valentine’s-themed element possible. As audience members streamed through the narrow entrance of the Cradle, the angelic plucking of a harp filled the same setting that has housed many a punk and rock and roll act—even the legendary local venue submitted to the Valentine’s ambiance. The entire space was infused with pink and red, a Valentine’s tribute that miraculously seemed more charming than obnoxious.

As opening act (and local powerhouse) Roman Candle took the stage, front man Skip Matheny began singing the formerly local band’s songs to an audience of couples, singles, and the occasional group of middle-aged fans. Roman Candle’s astronomical energy and presence set the stage for The Old Ceremony, who emerged from backstage to a cacophony of whistles and yells. Lead singer Django Haskins paraded out in a suit with a flower pinned to his lapel.

As The Old Ceremony alternated between well-known tracks and new songs, the diverse crowd stomped and shook their way through old and new material, often singing along in unison as the band put on a lively, light-hearted show. The Old Ceremony didn’t hold back in terms of showmanship, alternately dancing across the stage and pounding feverishly on a large xylophone. It didn’t take long for the band members to become drenched in sweat, but their energy and vivacity never dwindled throughout their performance.

During the band’s lengthy encore, Roman Candle joined The Old Ceremony on-stage for a rollicking group-sing that proved both entertaining and amusing as group members banged furiously on tambourines or huddled around microphones together. Musically, it wasn’t perfect—certain songs grew stale as their moderate tempo plodded on a bit longer than necessary, and tracks of The Old Ceremony’s latest album were, for the most part, noticeably better. But the fans weren’t discriminate with their enthusiasm, and if their fervent singing was any indication, everyone was feeling the love.

– By Diversions Staff Writer Linnie Greene


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