The Pines w/Seth Wenger – CSPS Hall – Cedar Rapids, Iowa – Saturday, November 26, 2016

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It was an evening filled with evocative and haunting songs as Seth Wenger opened for The Pines. Eastern Iowa has been home to both, and The Pines, especially, have a strong following in Cedar Rapids. So it was a packed house that rewarded the musicians with enthusiastic applause and plenty of encouraging shouts. In return, the music was augmented by banter about how much they players love Cedar Rapids, and CSPS Hall.

I’ve seen The Pines a few times at CSPS Hall, and always love their mix of alt-rock and folk tinged with a bit of country. It was the first time I’d seen or heard Seth Wenger, and I was left wondering why I hadn’t had the pleasure before. His songs are the kind that reach inside of you and grab something you may not have realized was there. His set left me feeling like my own set of songs I’ve worked on are Just.Not.Quite.There. (Maybe that’s why I photograph musicians instead of perform?) The Pines always have a way of making some people ask “HUH?” when on stage.

Aside from the music, the backdrop they brought was, as Mel Andringa noted, sort of a cross between “holiday cheer and Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds'”. It certainly added a unique visual appeal to the show. 

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