The Tin Roof
The Outervention's show at Tin Roof didn't push boundaries or melt faces. The group didn't set out to prove something. Under the black lights on the low-slung stage, the four experienced musicians might as well have been in their garage, passing PBRs around, and welcoming the crowd as unexpected guests.
"I'm having a damn good time," lead singer and guitarist Jeff Kozelski announced before launching into the final song well after midnight. By that time, the bar patrons were well acquainted with the four-piece Charleston band's alt-country-rock twang, vocal harmonization, and funky guitar interludes. It was a night for snaking your arm around your girlfriend's waist and swaying to the beat — or, if you were alone, enjoying a nice slow dance with your beer.
Kozelski, ever the country gentleman, never let his drawling vocals snarl or veer off into an all-out backwoods holler. A veteran of the Carolina music scene, he's spent eight years helming Columbia band King Hippo, filled in with Darius Rucker and Danielle Howle, and co-written songs with members of Band of Horses.
Kozelski is the kind of dude who dances with his guitar and lets it take the lead. After starting the show stock-still and hunched over his black and white Telecaster, he quickly loosened up, quivering with every vibrato and arching his back with every bend of the string.
Kozelski and guitarist Ian Grimshaw's musical relationship goes back to high school, and the bromantic tension was palpable every time Grimshaw took the high part in the sunny vocal harmonies. Bassist Robert Hogg and drummer Alan Brisendine had a different sort of chemistry. Hogg's all-is-well grin and constant head bobs served as a counterbalance to Brisendine's furrowed-brow pounding on the skins.
The setlist was peppered with covers, from a world-weary rendition of Ryan Adams' "Everybody Knows" to a rip-roaring run through Led Zeppelin's "Sick Again." The original songs were unabashed, unpretentious Americana.
The Outervention seemed perfectly at ease, chugging through extended solos without hardly breaking a sweat, but at times the casual confidence came off as indifference. Once, Kozelski actually yawned while asking Grimshaw for a capo. Their attitude was not one of practiced cool or ironic distance, though. It was a longsuffering love of song, tested by the road and emboldened by the night.