All right, Admissions Office, you can stop trying to recruit people. Your job is done. Christopher Owens has us covered.
As you well remember, former-member-of-the-band-Girls-and-current-solo-artist Christopher Owens romanced a full-capacity audience at Memorial Chapel last Thursday, playing the entirety of his solo debut/mini-rock opera Lysandre as well as a handful of cover songs. The concert itself was extremely enjoyable, including the opening set by Mara Connor (Wes/Vassar ’13), though nobody could be quite certain what Owens himself thought about the concert, or the audience or atmosphere or mood or time of day— his sub-hour-long performance was incredibly short on stage banter, by which I mean he said “thank you” and nothing else.
Which was fine. His Cali-beach-rock sound and golden-haired-god image work well with a strong-but-silent attitude. The music spoke enough for the both of them.
If doubts existed about the ability of a rock opera to translate from the recording studio to the resonating acoustics of Wesleyan’s own Memorial Chapel, let them be dispelled. Christopher Owens, formerly of the indie-beach-punk duo Girls, brought along a posse of eight other musicians to perform the entirety of his recent solo album, Lysandre, to a full and surprisingly attentive crowd.
Mara Connor (Wes/Vassar ’13) opened the show with an enjoyable acoustic set, bringing Henry Hall ’14 to add electric guitar and some rock flair for a few songs. After Connor ended with a cover of one of Owens’ own tunes, the golden-haired Adonis himself came onstage to sing about, well, girls.
Lysandre, of course, is really only a rock opera in form, not length. Owens and company plowed through the album in little over a half hour. Although the 11 album tracks differentiate themselves well enough along the California pop-rock spectrum, the simple but versatile “Lysandre’s Theme” reprises throughout in the keyboard, sax, flute, and guitar parts. Album highlights “New York City” and “Here We Go Again” were the most energetic and successful performances, while the awkward am-I-a-bad-songwriter tune “Love Is In The Ear of the Listener” was the only down moment in the set.