On Saturday, March 5 I attended “An Evening with Grayson DeWolfe” at the Nether Bar, featuring openers Spencer Grimes of Whosah and Josh Clutter. I was happy to be back in the small venue below Mill City Nights for an intimate show, surrounded by friends old and new.
Spencer Grimes is the frontman of local “personal pop” band Whosah. I’m used to seeing him bouncing around a stage with his bandmates to electric guitars and synthesizers–therefore, the acoustic setting was quite different. Grimes opened with the first track of their It’s Not Just Me In Here EP, “Oxygen.” Spencer’s guitar skills were very impressive for someone who usually isn’t required to play guitar–he played with such passion that I’m surprised he didn’t break any strings. The Whosah songs translated fantastically to acoustic. The musician was calmer than usual, but not boring, and equally as enthusiastic. He commented on this, stating that he was “In no danger of breaking (his) foot tonight.” You could tell that the ever-energetic frontman was resisting the urge to dance around the stage. One of my favorite things about the set was watching the young musician’s supportive bandmate sing backup vocals from the crowd, a huge smile on his face. Listening to an acoustic Whosah was just as great as seeing the full band–like being on a playground during a windy day, as opposed to a sunny one. Different vibes, still a flawless show.
Local singer-songwriter Josh Clutter was next to take the stage with his girlfriend Kailey Johnson and drummer Erik Bear. His music is lovely and relaxing and it reminded me of lazy summer days in bed, the sunlight filtering through the window. Clutter’s voice is strong and pleasant, and his harmonies with Johnson were amazing. It’s obvious that he really means the soulful words he sings–an important trait of live music. Although his music was serious, he kept up a light atmosphere in the dark room, cracking jokes between songs. It was hysterical to see his friends in the crowd “positively heckling” him–something I didn’t think existed until grown men were screaming their love to Josh Clutter. After his set ended he was met with well-deserved and thunderous applause.
This show was Grayson DeWolfe’s highly-anticipated first solo gig in over a year. He is usually found performing with his pop/rock band Time Atlas, but they’re currently busy working on new music, so the young musician returned to his solo roots. As DeWolfe’s set started, he was immediately met with a chorus of voices singing along to his 2014 single “Temporary,” a bouncy rock song about the perils of love. The room was instantly transformed into a party, buzzing with energy and a laid-back, feel-good atmosphere. It was all smiles from everyone. Grayson played a mix of his older solo songs and his newer Time Atlas songs, with a slew of pop covers thrown between. Everything was very well-received from the crowd of loyal fans and friends–there was hardly ever a dull moment. At one point, he let a girl up onstage to sing part of his song for him (and she did very well). At another point, he made the crowd swear an oath to clap along, though I doubt anyone was unwilling. Artist-fan interaction is always important. Grayson DeWolfe is a natural-born performer who commands attention to the stage with his confidence and personality, and always puts on a good show.