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Music » Sound Stories & Interviews

Sound Check Goes to Oz

Sound Check goes to Poor Man's Whiskey's Dark Side of the Moonshine.

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Sound Check spent much of Saturday night not really looking at Poor Man's Whiskey, but more looking around the band at all the lasers, movies, lights, fog and the brightly colored wigs of our fellow concertgoers who'd packed into a sold-out Domino Room. Oh we saw the band - adorned as the characters of the Wizard of Oz, which included guitarist Eli Jebidiah's gratuitously short Dorothy dress (or not-so-gratuitous, depending on how you feel about the male thigh) - there was just a lot going on.

The show was the band's first-ever Bend performance of "Dark Side of the Moon Shine," the Bay-Area band's live take on the Pink Floyd classic, which was billed as a "bluegrass interpretation" of the record. But here's the thing, the entirety of the Sound Check crew thought it was much more than a mere bluegrass rendition, but rather a brilliant right-before-your-eyes rehashing of the integral piece of psychedelic art that included plenty of rock, space-age sounds all tied together with acoustic picking and countrified hoots and hollers. As we mentioned on the Blender blog, the show is very much the act of PMW kidnapping the UK-made classic and dropping it in middle America, where it somehow finds a home on the other side of the cultural divide.

With a first set dressed as farmers as the black-and-white opening of Oz was projected on an entire wall of the venue, Poor Man's Whiskey served up a full course of bluegrass standards and originals before taking a break. They soon returned in costume and launched into "Breathe" as bright green lasers shot from the balcony, illuminating ample fog to create a ceiling of green. Other hits were hootenanny version of "Time" and a sing-along take on "Brain Damage." When Dark Side was wrapped up, the band invited the 4 Peaks Music Festival organizers who had put on the event on stage to dance as they played a set of more electric and more jammy originals, as well as a cover of "Shakedown Street."

Throughout the night, the mostly dancing crowd couldn't resist but raise its hands through the lasers. Luckily, these weren't the sort of lasers that cut off hands. That's good, because we want to have both hands when this show (hopefully) comes back to town.

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