As a regular of Black Sheep, I have become accustomed to seeing the place only half full, despite an iconic or mainstream band gracing their stage. However, I was taken aback by the lack of enthusiasm for one of the greatest comeback bands I have listened to in a while.
Despite the lack of a crowd, and a short power outage for the guitarist and bassist that led to an improvised interlude, Oleander went all out and rocked it. The addition of their new drummer, Steve Brown, and the return of Thomas Flowers to lead vocals was an extremely smart decision for the post-grunge band, who’s cohesive sound proved that even over time, true talent does not diminish. After a long haitus that began in 2004 post release of their 4th album, Joyride, they reunited in 2008 to work on their newest album release Something Beautiful. Some of my personal favorites on this new album include “Never Too Late”, “Save Me”, “Something Beautiful”, and “Fight”.
During the show, Flowers took to jumping off the small stage and singing as he walked through the crowd, giving out handshakes and hugs, acknowledging appreciation for those of us who did come to support the reunion tour. Though I would have loved to experience Oleander with the natural energy of a huge crowd, there is something to be said for intimacy with fellow musicians. Personal connection really made the show for me.