Oh My God’s triumphant appearance at the MidPoint Music Festival six weeks ago was more than merely a great gig by a renowned Chicago band with a fervent Queen City following. It was a celebration of survival, the first Cincinnati show by the keyboards/bass/drums trio since their near fatal van collision in 2007 (ironically on their way to play the Gypsy Hut that evening). As reported by CityBeat’s Ezra Waller, upon finally arriving after the near tragedy of their previous unplayed gig, Oh My God transcended simple Rock show excitement and tapped into the joie de vive of life itself.
Perhaps the vibe won’t be quite as viscerally life affirming when Oh My God returns just a month and a half after that electrifying MidPoint show, but maybe it should be.
Keyboardist Ig, a veteran of playing behind icons like Buddy Guy, Van Morrison and Junior Wells, will still be conjuring guitar-like emanations from his organ, inspired more by the Punk fury of Husker Du and the beautiful distortion of Wire than the Prog Rock majesty of Yes or Deep Purple. Bassist/vocalist Billy O’Neill and drummer Bish will still be constructing the perfect bottom for Ig’s bombastic ministrations, as solid as Stonehenge and as slippery as an eel with instinctive rhythm. And the trio’s combined forces will still result in stunning rings of New Wave/Classic Rock/Art Pop rippling through the room with a pervasive and heartbeat-altering power.
It may be seen to a more cynical eye as just another show by an out-of-town band with a gimmicky lineup, but Oh My God will clearly never forget what they almost sacrificed on their way to Cincinnati in 2007. We, as a grateful audience, would be well served to acknowledge their passion and fortitude and determination in coming back down that eventful highway in order to entertain us loudly and well.
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