Waxahatchee + OHMME @ Corona Theatre

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Without being disrespectful, support bands can definitely be a lottery; will it be worth the effort to leave earlier, pay more at the parking meter, and stand for even longer than I have to?  Sometimes, it isn’t.  Other times, it really is.  And on rare occasions, you finish the support set wondering if the headliner can possibly top it.  Tonight, its one of those. 

OHMME band Montreal

Right off the bat, Chicago’s OHMME seem to have a perfect blend of First Aid Kit twin harmonic vocals and Local Natives tribal beats, which is literally music to my ears.  The highlight of the set arrives with Parts, as the ghostly harmonies of Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart churn a moody mixture before fizzling out into an improv violin solo by Macie that evidently captivates even the talkers at the bar; you can literally hear a pin drop at this point.  Sima soon rejoins the soundscape as they blend seamlessly into an unbelievable cover Cloudbusting by Kate Bush, which fits perfectly in the current climate, given that Running Up That Hill seems to be ruling the airwaves once more!  The epic 45-minute set rounds out with Grandmother, starting out with a stirring acapella under pink light until an ultra-bassy funk riff takes over.  A fantastic start to the evening and probably my live discovery of the year so far.

So yeah, it’s a tough act for Katie Crutchfield, a.k.a. Waxahatchee, to follow, as she enters the stage amongst a panoply of rose-adorned mic stands.  The set follows a similar pattern to OHMME, with Katie and her bassist laying down similarly angelic harmonies on Chapel of Pines, and the sound alternates between mellow acoustic and bona fide country stompers.  Arkadelphia is a delicate moment that really showcases Katie’s southern drawl, while St. Cloud utilizes soft piano keys to take things to new levels of fragility.  Singer’s No Star even brings in shoop-shoop harmonies to take proceedings down an almost Motown path.

The more upbeat moments of the set are just as engaging.  Can’t Do Much triggers a flurry of Insta Lives around me while Lilacs, my personal favourite of the Waxahatchee repertoire, sees Katie’s face strain and contort in the pale violet spotlight as huge chunks of the crowd sing it right back at her.  Katie seems to become more and more relaxed as the show goes on, so much so that by the time the main set ends with Fire, unencumbered by her guitar, she roams the front of the stage like Karen O while the crowd roars the lyrics back once more.  The encore ends the 80-minute show in a similar manner, with another stage prowl following a mellow cover of Dolly Parton’s Light of a Clear Blue Morning, which more than fits the mood.

At the start of the set, Katie joked about how the show was a long time coming, finally touring the St. Cloud record that came out over two years ago.  On the strength of tonight’s show, it was more than worth the wait.


  1. Oxbow
  2. Chapel of Pines (Great Thunder cover)
  3. Can’t Do Much
  4. Recite Remorse
  5. The Eye
  6. Hell
  7. Silver
  8. Sparks Fly
  9. Lilacs
  10. Arkadelphia
  11. Peace and Quiet
  12. Singer’s No Star (Great Thunder cover)
  13. Witches
  14. War
  15. La Loose
  16. Fruits of My Labor (Lucinda Williams cover)
  17. St. Cloud
  18. Fire


  1. Under a Rock
  2. Ruby Falls
  3. Light of a Clear Blue Morning (Dolly Parton cover)

Review & photos – Simon Williams

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