Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Agalloch at The Waiting Room Lounge

Omaha, July 7, 2014

Agalloch played The Waiting Room Lounge in Omaha last night, and I had the distinct pleasure to attend. The short answer is, it was worth the two-and-a-half-hour round trip to see them. I also managed to take a decent live video (embed at the end of the post).

This was my first time at this venue, and I was impressed with the layout. There was a separate area for the merch table, and plenty of room to see the band, with high visibility. The sound was great as well.

I missed local openers Ezra, but if you're interested in their act you can read about it here. As I arrived, Thrones was playing. I was a little surprised to find a band on the bill that I'd never heard of, until I discovered it was a one-man ambient/electronic act. I use those terms loosely, because this was some heavy, intense music, and was far from boring. It didn't blow the crowd away; it did get some appreciative hoots, but I also overheard someone calling it "shit."

This might be a good time to talk about the crowd. There were about 75 people in attendance. Only a couple didn't fit the expected stereotypes--a guy in plaid and another just dressed as a regular dude--while the rest wore almost exclusively black T-shirts. The shirts I saw were all the big names of black metal, plus a few oddballs like Braindrill and Between the Buried and Me. The crowd was definitely into Agalloch's set.

Now I haven't been to a lot of metal shows, so I don't have a lot to compare it to, but it struck me that the style of their show was quite different from anything I'd seen before. They seemed perfectly in command on the stage, exuding confidence, but they didn't work the crowd like you'd get with Opeth. Don Anderson's gestures and Jason William Walton's expectant looks were the most you'd get. John Haughm barely spoke at all. But you didn't need it. The strength of their sound and their songs was enough.

They held the audience rapt with that, and it was excellent. They played for two hours, opening with the obvious live pick "The Astral Dialogue" and playing a good mix from throughout their career. A "pit" (really just two guys) broke out at one point, but mostly everyone was standing there, banging their heads and raising the horns in appreciation.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to stick around to find out whether they came out to meet and greet after the show, but I grabbed a shirt and had a great experience.

Here's "Falling Snow," from 2006's Ashes Against the Grain:


  1. And incidentally, this is my 2000th post!

  2. Glad you enjoyed the show, especially if you don't get to see many bands live.

    And happy milestone.

  3. Wow, 2000 posts. Congratulations Sir. We'll reach number 1000 in 3-4 weeks.

  4. And now I'm questioning myself on whether it was "The Astral Dialogue" or "Dark Matter Gods" to open. Ah, memory.