An old adage tells us that the road to success is a long and challenging one. Tim Wilson, lead singer of Ivan & Alyosha, will certainly be the first to tell you that. During the set that night he said, “The last time we came to St. Louis was a few years ago and there were six people there. It’s great to see even more of you here tonight.” Through the help of their signing to Dualtone Music Group, having lots of exposure on NPR, and playing every day at SXSW, their buzz has certainly grown. By the end of the night, it was plain to see why there is such a strong buzz surrounding them.
At the start of their set, the five members came on stage, took to their respective posts, and immediately went straight to business. Lined up four across the front, all of the permanent members sang on nearly every song. The band opened up with the first track off their latest release, “Be Your Man,” and quickly set the tone for musical excellence for the entirety of the concert. Song one led comfortably into song two, “Fathers Be Kind.”
A fear that many music critics have when going to a concert is the possibility that there may be things musically that the band simply cannot do in a live setting. Whether it be the slide guitar tone that you fell in love with on the record, the luscious harmonies coming from everyone, or the slight vibrato in the lead singer’s voice that gives it that unique feel, you tend to enter the concert with your expectations a little low knowing that it may not be possible to do it all. However, those expectations were met and exceeded with every passing song during Ivan & Alyosha’s set. The slide guitar from Tim Kim was incredible, the guitar tone and harmonies from Ryan Carbary were spot on, and bassist Pete Wilson was a terrific complement to brother and lead singer Tim Wilson. Around the midpoint of the set, Tim Wilson shared with the vibrant crowd that “Today is the first day on tour that I’ve felt really good.” which garnered a loud cheer from all in attendance.
Ivan & Alyosha’s “Glorify”
6 songs in, the band mixed it up a little when lead singer Tim handed his acoustic guitar over to Ryan who threw on a harmonica as they played a song off their Fathers Be Kind EP “Glorify.” The harmonies were never as fantastic and spotlighted as they were in this song; all four vocalists sang in perfect pitch and phrasing in what felt like an old gospel song. The final song of the set, and definitely most highly anticipated, was their single “Running For Cover.” Not only were the 4 vocalists belting out the chorus, but nearly every fan in the crowd was swaying from side to side singing along with the band. After just a few minutes, the band returned to play their encore song and title track from their new release, “All The Times We Had.”
Ivan & Alyosha’s “Running For Cover”
Afterwards, the band stood right off stage and eagerly met with fans. Only a handful of the crowd members left instead of going to meet the band, but those who did stick around left with a huge smile on their face and an armful of wonderful merchandise. In chatting briefly with the band, it was easy to see that not only did they love playing their music live, but they loved seeing the people who had connected with their music and treated them as partners in the creative process.
After the show, Tim Kim talked about how this tour has been a drastic change from those in the past, especially in some cities where they are playing two nights in a row because tickets sold out so quickly. “It’s a good feeling when you have people that stoked about your music in a city you’re not all that familiar with. Somehow you have this following that’s able to help you sell out a room. It’s so good.” Although it was not a sell-out crowd in St. Louis, it was easy to see that the band certainly is on track to be doing some great things in their future, and mentioned that they will be touring throughout the entire summer in support of this release.
Written by Matthew Moore
OurVinyl | Contributor
Photography done by Ben Menghini (Thanks Ben!)
– Be Your Man
– Fathers Be Kind
– Easy To Love
– I Was Born To Love Her
– God or Man
– I Don’t Wanna Die Anymore
– Beautiful Lie
– The Fold
– On My Way
– Who Are You
– Running For Cover
– ENCORE: All The Times We Had