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Concert Reviews: Dexter Freebish

Dexter Freebish, Will Hoge and Capitol Air
The Chameleon, Lancaster, PA
July 16, 2001
By Lauren Jonik

There is something powerful about watching people pour their hearts and souls into what they do. In a performance at The Chameleon in Lancaster, PA on July 16, 2001, Dexter Freebish, Will Hoge and Capitol Air demonstrated what happens when passion, energy, and musicianship converge.

Local band Capitol Air, who opened the show, had a sound reminiscent of The Sheila Divine. Playing such songs as Phony and Slowly I Turn, they added a sense of humor and fun to their set with between song banter.

Nashville, Tennessee native Will Hoge and his band brought to the stage a sweeping intensity and a brand of down-to-earth rock and roll that was all their own. One of my favorite elements of seeing a band in a small, intimate setting like The Chameleon is getting to watch up close the way band members interact with one another. One such moment came during Rock and Roll Star from the album Carousel when lead guitarist Brian Layson glanced over to lead singer/guitarist Will Hoge and smiled. Bassist Tres Sasser noticed and looked back to drummer Kirk Yoquelet. Suddenly, in that instant, the band connected with each other and the audience on a different level, reaching the place where they weren't simply playing music, but becoming it- while loving every minute of it.

With explosive energy and the lyrics "I just wanna sail the seven seas and hide behind the sun and never close my eyes..." Dexter Freebish began the title track from their debut cd A Life Of Saturdays. Months of constant touring has allowed them to hone their skills and become a truly great live band, one whose performance gave the illusion of looking almost effortless. Lead singer Kyle, lead guitarist Charles Martin, bassist Chris Lowe, guitarist Scott Romig and drummer Rob Schilz played almost all of the album's 11 tracks, including Higher, Tomorrow, My Madonna, and Wonderland. They included a rockin' cover of Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline, and the crowd pleaser, Pretty People. The crowd shared in the joy of singing along to Leaving Town, and was treated to a new song called Stranger.

When bands dedicate themselves fully to the art of playing and the craft of songwriting, it shows in the strength of their performance. It will be a joy to watch as these bands continue to grow in the coming years.