Friday, December 8th, 2006
The Opolis, Norman, OK
Ryan Lindsey is ubiquitous in the Norman scene – and yet, I’d never managed to see him. I’d even planned to go to two shows where he was set to appear, but I missed both of them for lame reasons. Third time’s the charm, though, and I watched his set with enthusiasm.
The first noticeable fact about Ryan Lindsey is his wonderfully quirky dry humor. It took a few between-song exchanges for the audience to warm up to the stark delivery of semi-ironic humor, but once they did, chuckles were had throughout. His music didn’t take any getting used to, though – a charming indie-pop mix full of layered instruments, his set passed quickly and with much enjoyment. It seemed that the more layers he had the better, as several songs ended in a cascade of vocal lines, piano ditties, and guitar chords that gave off a little bit of a Sufjan Stevens vibe. Lindsey’s songs are more straight-forward then the intricate, ornate Stevens creations, but the “more is good” attitude with which the songwriting was approached seems the same. The fact that Lindsey accomplished the performance of all these layers with only his two hands and looping pedals is extremely impressive in its own right – it made his setup a little complex, but it looked cool in the end with all those microphones everywhere.
All in all, Ryan Lindsey is a great showman – knows how to work the audience, knows how to put on a performance, and knows how to write a song that you’ll hum for a good long time. I look forward to getting to know his material more.