photo by Bridget McQuillan
Dressed in red to match his wife and bandmate Stefanie Drootin-Senseney, the pair pop from the dim lights and royal blues of the club, standing out like, were it not for the fact that they’re on a stage and the audience is present for their performance, cargo shorts at a wedding.
But the song, one in a 30-minute set, couldn’t feel more appropriate for the 1200 Club.
“Everybody Pays” rests on a delicate guitar riff, a persistent but unintrusive drum beat by Daniel Ocanto and gentle keys from Dan McCarthy, carrying Chris’s sedated voice, naming situations in which, in one way or another, people pay their dues.
The song is subdued, subtle, much like the audience, politely seated in tables at a polite distance from the stage. It’s in this realm that “Everybody Pays” finds its strength, though. The song is more emotionally weary than it is tranquil, with a sort of grimacing irony to the chorus, flanked by palpable imagery in the song’s verses. The harsher, rockier rides from Big Harp’s sophomore album Chain Letters will follow.
NET Television aired Big Harp’s full “Hear Nebraska — Live at the 1200 Club” set last night. Next week, Digital Leather’s will air at 10 p.m. CST on NET. The entire 60-minute special will air on NET on May 20. NET Television, Omaha Performing Arts and Hear Nebraska partnered to present the concert June 7, 2013.
You can see Big Harp’s full, 30-minute set, as well as the video single, “Everybody Pays” from 2013’s Saddle Creek album White Hat, here:
Jacob Zlomke is Hear Nebraska’s staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.