Rogue Wave, Back and Better Than Ever

June 24th, 2013

Rogue Wave – The Bowery Ballroom – June 22, 2013

It’s been three years since Rogue Wave put out an album, and with their latest, Nightingale Floors, released earlier this month, leader Zach Rogue returns to the melancholic sounds of his earlier albums. Over the years, the band has endured quite a few personal tribulations, from the tragic death of former bassist Evan Farrell to drummer Patrick Spurgeon’s kidney dialysis. But on Saturday night at The Bowery Ballroom, they returned stronger than ever with close to a decade’s worth of material. Donning a satin jacket that resembled the one Ryan Gosling wore in Drive, Rogue began the set with the band’s latest single, “Siren’s Song.” One overly excited audience member shouted, “Let’s stop this bullshit and get going.” On that cue, they followed with another from the new album, “S(a)tan,” during which Rogue fell to his knees as he shredded the concluding chords.

Curiously, the stage was dressed with just a white bed sheet for a backdrop, however when the vibrant lighting bars shone bright from behind on “Eyes,” the front row was certainly thankful for the fabric filter. In a cheeky move, Rogue precluded oldie but goodie “Publish My Love” with a rendition of Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does It Better.” Upon conclusion of the Descended Like Vultures track, audience members shouted out requests for “Bird on a Wire” and “California,” leaving no doubt that the venue was filled with longtime fans.

But instead of continuing down memory lane, the quintet opted for another from their latest, “Figured It Out,” and then “Sleepwalker,” a song from their previous album, Permalight. Not to deny their faithful supporters, Rogue Wave offered fan-favorite “Love’s Lost Guarantee,” and the frontman even provided a teaser of “California” before getting into “College.” Diving into another album in their discography, Asleep at Heaven’s Gate, a request was granted for “Chicago X 12,” and the band continued with the clap-happy “Lake Michigan” and “Harmonium.” The latter saw Rogue’s guitar give out, but that didn’t deter him from finishing the main set. Returning to the stage without his shiny jacket, the singer encored with a trio of tunes: “No Magnatone,” a cover of Screaming Trees’ “Nearly Lost You” and “Everyone Wants to Be You.” —Sharlene Chiu