What a night! What started out as a cold, windy, rainy evening ended Friday night in a sweaty, sold-out Baltimore Soundstage filled with cowboy hats and masks (both the Covid-19 kind and the Orville Peck kind). But I’m getting ahead of myself now, so I’ll back up a bit.
Orville Peck, the enigmatically masked cowboy originally from Canada whose music is steeped in that old Country of Tanya Tucker, George Jones, and Loretta Lynn. The last time I saw Orville Peck was a couple of years ago at the Union Stage (see a review of that show here) and his stature has grown exponentially since then.
Filing into the Baltimore Soundstage on Oct. 29, I had gotten there early, but there was already a line for the door which only grew by leaps before those doors opened. After the place was nice and packed, Orville Peck and his band (made up of members of the fabulous Canadian band FRIGS) took the stage to the Bob Dylan tune, “All the Tired Horses,” and announced, “Hello… I’m Orville Peck” to a huge applause before starting off on a fantastic version of the Bobby Gentry classic, “Fancy” that starts out moody and ends in with crashing cymbals.
Taking a breath, Peck told the crowd that they hadn’t been back in Baltimore for a very long time. “The last time we played here we played at the Metro Gallery. I love Baltimore, that’s no secret, though.” And I have to say, if there was an Orville Peck town it would be Baltimore.
“This next one is a love song, but it’s a love song about loving someone so much but they drive you crazy and you want to kill them…” So Peck announced before crooning “Roses Are Falling” and handing roses to the those in the crowd.
And as the band went from one great song like fan favorite (and my personal fave) “Turn to Hate” to another this crowd ate it up with Peck playing off the rest of the band – Bria Salmena on guitar/vocals, Duncan Hay Jennings on guitar, Kyle Connolly on bass, and drummer, Kris Bowering – making that stage shake and rattle.
Although released last year, many of the songs on the Show Pony record never had the chance to be toured before the start of Covid-19, one of those was a surprising piano tune called “Drive Me Crazy.” As Peck announced, “[this is] my favorite song off the new record it’s about truck drivers in love” before starting in on the tune with guitarist, Duncan Hay Jennings hopping up on the piano to throw out a smooth solo as Peck played on.
Stream Show Pony by Orville Peck on Spotify:
“It’s almost Halloweeeen… Do you know you have The most iconic drag artists ever?,” Peck started, referring Baltimore’s own icon, Divine, before calling on the crowd to “support local art and go to a drag show!” As he began “Queen of the Rodeo,” written about drag queen, Thanks Jem.
As things wound down, Peck whistled out the opener for “Take You Back (The Iron Hoof Cattle Call),” a rousing rattler that got everyone dancing before the big encore of “Born This Way.”
Orville Peck is a force not to be missed! If you have chance to catch him live, take that opportunity. For more on upcoming shows, check him out here.
The set list included:
Fancy (Bobby Gentry)
Roses Are Falling
Turn to Hate
No Glory in the West
Drive Me, Crazy
Nothing Fades Like the Light
Queen of the Rodeo
Unchained Melody (The Righteous Brothers)
Legends Never Die
Dead of Night
Take You Back (The Iron Hoof Cattle Call)
Born This Way (Lady Gaga)
Here are some photos of Orville Peck performing at The Baltimore Soundstage on Oct. 29, 2021. All photos copyright and courtesy of David LaMason.