Last Friday night, Other Lives celebrated their 200th show in support of their 2011 breakthrough album, Tamer Animals. The Oklahoma quintet has clocked a lot of miles, and it shows. Onstage at SOhO, they delivered tight, nuanced, and a few downright epic numbers, each of which seemed to grow to life under the deft hands of the band’s players.
Together, frontman Jesse Tabish, bassist Josh Onstott, cellist/vocalist Jenny Hsu, drummer Colby Owens, and multi-instrumentalist Jonathon Mooney beautifully expanded upon much of the Tamer Animals track list, with a few newbies thrown in for good measure. “For 12” brought with it a sweeping cello intro that bled into a galloping percussive beat; later, Tabish’s haunting vocals pushed “Tamer Animals” to impressive heights.
Still, Friday’s program was not without its hiccups. Hardly four songs into the set, the band’s newfangled lighting gear decided to call it quits. Like seasoned pros, they took it all in stride; as they attempted to solve the light problem, Tabish picked up the acoustic for a sweet solo serenade. And when the issue wouldn’t resolve itself, the whole band jumped in without missing a beat. It was the kind of musical moment that rarely happens among young acts, and one that spoke to the kind of grace and fluidity that develops among good players after long stints on the road.