(Spoiler Alert!!!! If you’re not caught up on all the season 5 episodes of The Walking Dead, read no further!!!!!)
I’d be a liar if I said that Emily Kinney was on my radar before The Walking Dead. Her character’s death was one of the more jarring in the series, and I admit that as a fan of the show I had a bit of morbid curiosity as to what ‘Beth’ was doing in the afterlife. A funny thing is, that her character was featured as another’s hallucination, postmortem, playing guitar and singing, with the bullet wound that caused her death gracing her head. It honestly was slightly distracting to watch her preform when a few weeks ago I had seen the back of her head explode from a point blank gunshot, and her brain matter splaying out all over her friends… Albeit, it was only in a TV show, but it still was a bit odd.
The evening’s show was at Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox, a fairly new and very diversely decorated smaller venue in downtown Denver. I arrived early enough to get a table and order some food off their eclectic menu. I ordered an ostrich burger, which they were out of, but they substituted it with an equally interesting yak meat.
I had secured a seat next to the soundboard, a place that I’ve found through the years to have some of the best sound because it is where the engineer mixes the room audio from.
The opener identified himself as the guitarist for Emily Kinney’s band, and that he would be playing a few of his own songs to get things started. His songs were fairly mellow, but he did some interesting things with his electric guitar.
Right from the beginning, the lighting director was having issues. He couldn’t figure out how to turn on the lights that illuminated the front of the stage. For the first two acts he spent his time fiddling with the computer program and spending countless minutes on the phone with someone, trying to find out how to make things work. The computer program that ran the lighting setup at Ophelia’s was the same one that I had to figure out for a Man on Earth show in New York last year, so I had an overwhelming desire to step in and offer to figure it out for them. The downside, though, was not knowing any of the crew or how they would react to said offer, so I waited it out. They were able to get it sorted out in time for the headliner, so I’m betting no one got fired.
The biggest surprise for me that evening came in the form of the other opening act, Dylan Garner. With the stage lights not working properly for his set, it was impossible to get a good look at him, but what I could tell was that he had great stage presence and his pop rock songs were catchy without being cheesy. It wasn’t until after the show when I was talking to him did I realize that he was just an 18 year old kid. Without a doubt, his performance was beyond his years. He is definitely someone I’ll keep an eye out for in the next few years.
With the lights working again, and the club’s manager noticeable relaxed, Emily Kinney took the stage.
Kinney’s music was diverse to say the least. What started off as almost country, continued on, weaving into folk and pop with a smidgen of blues thrown in. Her singing style was very reminiscent to me of June Carter, but a modernization, an almost playful indie rock vocals that you’d hear at a New York City coffee shop.
Emily Kinney’s family was there in force, so after the show I said a quick hello so as not to disturb, and then headed out into the night.