Few singers put on such passionate performances as Okkervil River’s Will Sheff. You wonder how he can go through so much onstage catharsis night after night. He and his remarkable band delivered a typically intense show in the second night of a two-night stand at Schubas, including some new songs alongside fan favorites. I like the way the other members of Okkervil River, even the ones without microphones in front of them, sing along or mouth the words of Sheff’s songs. Even the guys who are ostensibly just there to play drums or bass obviously love the songs just as much as the fans do. At the end of the night, Sheff introduced “Kansas City” by saying, “This is the second-to-the-last time we’ll ever play this song.” He said he meaned it, but I’m hoping it was a joke.
Opening act Elvis Perkins seemed pretty good. Given his glasses and sweater and the name Elvis, I couldn’t help thinking of Marshall Crenshew as I listened. He was much less rockabilly than I’d imagined from his name. His song about the moon was excellent.