oberhofer Live at the Biltmore



It’s an Easter Friday night, the venue only half sold. This is the band’s first Vancouver gig. From behind the backdrop, hands appear to reveal Brooklyn’s Oberhofer. A single guitar note, a bit too familiar opens in gratitude of our anticipation.

It was December 2009 that I first heard about Brad Oberhofer feats, at the time I was still in Guatemala and going through a long overdue breakup. A gentleman never tells, given I’ve never been one myself: one of those mutually toxic, angst schisms that scar you for many innocent relationships to come. Our
third failed attempt at it actually, true attrition. And of course one will never learn from past mistakes, they’re bound to happen again. And of course ‘Away From U” was on repeat a full month prior and a full month after emotional meltdown.

But tonight the same song talks to both past and present. The cute xylophone cues in, once more the incredibly catchy riff compliments, balls to the wall drums fill the dance floor. Brad’s unique vocal style does the rest. It must be just twenty-five of us there, frolicking merely four feet away from the microphone.We explode. Brad jumps around in perfect execution despite his impressive footwork. What’s not to like about Oberhofer? How is it that for $10 this place
isn’t stacked? Where’s Vancouver?

Oberhofer performs most of their debut album Time Capsules II (http://www.northerntransmissions.com/new-musi/oberhofer) as bodies sway and the
second verse of “Dead Girls Dance” picks up again. Lead singer steps down from the stage into the middle of a perplexed crowd to place his stand amongst us.We circle around; rock goes pop and back again, a turquoise 1970’s guitar hits me square in the chest. It doesn’t take long before the euphoria shatters cheap glasses, hipsters loose their shoes and the bass line finishes us all off.It’s getting late by the last set and Oberhofer retreats suddenly. The trance-like crowd never moves from the front line, gasping for air from the last rendition of ‘I Could Go’, wanting encore. After the third round of applauses they
come back, sweaty and disgruntled. Brad dares the city with the closing ‘Gotta Go” and Vancouver finally steps up. The crowd accepts and hops unto the stage that suddenly seems more like an old friend’s boozed-up get-together more than a indie pop show. Oberhofer quiets down again with a bang. I’m standing with my gf outside the venue, smoking and catching the midnight spring air. There was so much youth in that stage that night. Without warning, it hits me how there is no remorse in Oberhofer’s songs. No more
2009, it’s 2012 tonight. Their tour van is parked in front of us, their four fixies whimsically strapped to its back. So much youth.

Chris Kummerfeldt

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