Live Thoughts + Photos: Tabah at the 7th Street Entry
Since early college, I’ve been in a friend group that values being in bands. There was once a young purity in seeing buddies perform. Now, I’m still in that position, but the novelty has worn off a little. Attempting to catch every show where I know one of the players is nearly impossible.
That being said, the prospect of seeing Tabah, General B and the Wiz, and William Within on the same bill was a no-brainer from the start. They also sold out the Entry, making it even more memorable.
General B and the Wiz took their second set privilege and used it like rocket fuel. Quincy Voris’s bluesy howl drove opener “Infinite Connections” skyward. The band played around with a staggering groove for a couple minutes before letting the song implode on itself. As they huddled around the drums, it felt like they were sharing their fire with the crowd as well as each other. I couldn’t help but head to the front row.
(Tabah, photo via Ben Steinquist)
Headliners Tabah are perfectly knit together. In a 70-minute set, they dutifully plowed through songs from Time Will Come. A highlight of recent shows is the plodding “Escalators,” which jazzes its way to two distinct climaxes. Tabah’s centerpiece is vocalist/guitarist Cecilia Erholtz, who always takes time to communicate with her bandmates. She has a knack for reserving the most emotive vocal parts for the ripest moments, particularly on “Changes & Worth” when she admits partiality to the taste of smoke. Her delivery hardly betrays the habit.
(William Within, photo via Ben Steinquist)
And William Within, my good friends and the firs band of the night, always impress with set closer and album opener “Black Car.” Whether last or first, the fluidity of Alex Simpson’s narrative carries a lot of weight. I’ve always questioned whether or not the words (“you get into that black car/and say just drive”) are meant to suggest a beginning or an end. Amidst the swirls of violinist Derek Rohlf and guitarist Tom Steffes, the question and answer slip away peacefully; as does the idea that I can’t continue to see good friends play great shows.
— Michael Cyrs, @mjcyrs