Wayward Weekender: Olympic Size, In the Pines, the Life and Times

As far as I know, neither Olympic Size nor In the Pines have ever played a wedding. This past Saturday, both bands came close, playing on a deck tucked behind the Westport restaurant and special events establishment Californo’s, where on the larger indoor/outdoor side of the venue, a wedding reception was taking place. Some 50 or so eaters and drinkers paid $7 to hear the bands, while, just across the sidewalk that leads away from the front door of Murray’s ice cream, wedding guests got a taste of the best homespun music KC has to offer, for free.

Olympic Size kicked it off just before 9. The slapdash mixing job the band did before playing didn’t hurt the six-piece’s sound at all. Maybe it was the wood deck underfoot, or maybe it was the canopy of trees. Maybe it was the warm breeze and the high we Midwesterners get when our tenuous, mostly cold spring resigns itself to the first caresses of summer. In any case, with just a couple PA speakers and monitors and a few vocal mics plus amps, they sounded great.

The mood cast was mellow. The dinner crowd — most of whom, I assume, were not regular followers of local music — waded aurally into the band’s sound, probably not dipping below the surface, under which lies a cinematic, blue world of rich complexity and depth. I’ve always thought of the band as a friend to introspective moments, best suited for a quiet, at-home listening session or a dark, intimate bar. Outside at Californo’s, O-Size played the role of pretty backdrop. They got up, played some sweet tunes and left. Here’s hoping the people who paid attention — and even those that didn’t — got a sense of unexpected satisfaction, like a belly-warming glass of wine at the start of an evening out.

Categories: Music