Red Wanting Blue’s “Hey 22!” tour rolled through Leesburg, Virginia, recently for a performance at Tally Ho Theater. Remarkably, for the band who recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and regularly plays over 200 shows a year, it was their first ever visit to Leesburg and the Tally Ho.
On Jan. 27 at the Tally Ho Theater, the band opened its nearly two-hour set with “High and Dry,” a hit from its most recent studio album, The Wanting which released in 2018.
Stream The Wanting by Red Wanting Blue on Spotify:
The band quickly transitioned to one of its earliest hits, “Audition,” which was originally recorded for its Model Citizen album in 2000 and rereleased on its Vanishing Point album in 2011.
The setlist included one new song from RWB’s current album project which should release later in 2022. “Hey 84!” is a love song of sorts for the nostalgia of growing up in the 1980s.
The rest of the set consisted of RWB’s live performance standards. During “Hope on a Rope,” Dean Anshutz went off on an extended drum solo that left the crowd in awe.
In a gentler moment, frontman Scott Terry offered a trigger warning prior to singing “My Name is Death,” which is typically performed with the stage lights out and Scott holding a folding book light while Eric Hall accompanies on an unplugged acoustic guitar.
Scott said the COVID-19 pandemic almost caused the band to retire the song whose chorus begins, “Hey there, fellas, my name is Death, so when you see me coming better hold your breath.” Instead, he offers a trigger warning at each performance and sets a proper and respectful context for the song.
For “I’ve Got a Feeling it Hurts,” Scott invited one of the show’s openers, Meaghan Farrell, to join the band and perform the lead vocals as a duet. Meaghan opened the show with a 45-minute solo acoustic set. She told the audience this is her first experience on tour, opening for a national tour and her excitement was palpable.
Meaghan was joined on stage for a portion of her set by Jon Tyler Wiley and Eddie Dickerson, two-fifths of Jon Tyler Wiley & His Virginia Choir who were the second opener of the evening. Jon and Eddie had to play their set without the rest of their band who tested positive for COVID 19 in the days prior to the show. You can catch the full band for an album release party at Jammin’ Java on Feb. 25.
Red Wanting Blue is comprised of founder, Scott Terry on lead vocals, ukulele, and tenor guitar; Eric Hall on guitar; Mark McCullough on bass and Chapman stick; Greg Rahm on guitar and keyboards; and Dean Anshutz on drums and percussion. The band formed in Athens, Ohio, in 1996 when Scott was a student at Ohio University, and since 1999 has called Columbus, Ohio, its home base.
The band is known for its strong grassroots following and road warrior quality, both byproducts of the fact that it regularly performs over 200 nights a year, on average. When I spoke to Scott in late 2021 for a wide-ranging interview prior to a RWB show at DC’s The Hamilton Live, he remarked on the band’s awe and gratitude for so many of its fans who travel long distances to see not just one, but multiple RWB shows over the course of a year.
Indeed, several of the fans in the audience at the Tally Ho show in Leesburg also attended the band’s show the previous evening at The 8 X 10 in Baltimore.
Enjoy some more photos from Red Wanting Blue’s Jan. 27 show at Tally Ho Theater in Leesburg, Virginia. All photos copyright and courtesy of Ari Strauss.