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Now Itís Overhead
October 25, 2006 Ė Chop Suey Ė Seattle, WA
by Adam Toth
10.29.06

I feel that I can safely say that this performance by Now Itís Overhead at Chop Suey was one of the most impressive shows Iíve seen in a long time. Best show? No, not that. But impressive? Yes. Iíll explain.

From the band of four, which is comprised of singer/guitarist Andy Lemaster, drummer and back-up vocalist Clay Leverett, and Azure Rayís Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor on vocals, only Andy and Clay were there for the show. Fink and Taylorís absence, for a reason unbeknownst to me, was compensated for by the use of what seemed to be a portable mixer. Basically, there was a giant contraption in the middle of the stage that Andy would fiddle around with between songs, and it would belt out female vocals and an expected techno beat or two. As another tool of compensation, NIO borrowed a bassist and keyboard / guitarist from the opening band, Summerbirds in the Cellar. Knowing those reasons, I hope my statement regarding impressiveness makes a little more sense.

Now Itís Overhead sounded great, mixing songs from their newest album,
Dark Light Daybreak and older albums as well. They even played crowd favorites "Wait in a Line" and "Reverse" from the album Fall Back Open. Andy Lemaster did a superb job of taking a crowd of maybe twenty (fifteen of which were at the bar) and making them love his band. And he did all of that without his actual band, no fancy lighting techniques, and no silly small talk. Say it with me: ďimpressive.Ē

A funny little thing I noticed was that every time Fink or Taylorís voice would belt from the speakers, the crowd would look confused. Apparently they didnít notice the giant box in the center that is rarely present at a rock show, but regardless, this made it fun to pick out the few NIO fans, because, instead of confusion, their faces sang pure relief that the female vocals were present.

With a great show by the second band, Crystal Skulls, and an outstanding follow up by Now Itís Overhead, it was one of those shows that going to sleep at night, I could safely say was more than worth my time.