Last night brought the Philadelphia band of Strand of Oaks to St Louis for a night of concert. Strand of Oaks is really the brain-child of Timothy Showalter and his newest record HEAL is not only his best record yet but one of my favorite albums this year.
HEAL was born as a cathartic response to tragedy. Last Christmas, Showalter got into a car accident after his car ran into a patch of ice and slammed into two semi-trucks. The accident left him concussed and with broken ribs. Rather than bring him down though, Showalter went out and wrote HEAL as way to confront his demons and in the process, heal himself. The result is some deeply personal yet thoroughly beautiful music.
It seems though that bad luck always seem to follow Showalter. While in town yesterday for an interview with local public radio station KDHX, Strand of Oaks‘ van got broken into and their personal belongings, including their clothing and laptop computer were stolen. Rather than letting the incident get him down though, Showalter and his band went on stage determined to give the loyal crowd a show they won’t soon forget. And what a show it was. Understandably emotional over what happened earlier in the day, Showalter channeled those emotions into one of the most heartfelt concerts I ever witnessed. It was honestly transformative how the band let their emotions affect their performance. Each line of song sung and each guitar riff strummed had so much passion behind them. Afterwards, when the show was over and still overcome by emotion, Showalter jumped down into the crowd and hugged as many people as he could. I just wanted to thank Showalter for allowing me the pleasure of witnessing one of the finest shows I’ve seen this year.
Christopher Denny opened the show and his deep beautiful voice and sad contemplative songs serenaded the early crowd, cleansing them for the night ahead.
Browse photos from the show taken below and watch the video of Strand Of Oaks performing my favorite HEAL track Shut In, embedded below.