For several years now, Two Cow Garage has seemed like the little band that could. Just some guys from Columbus, Ohio, who tour like hell and play loud, garage-y alt-country rock with a lot of passion. They have some loyal fans, but they’ve yet to really break through to a big audience.
They arrived at Chicago’s Subterranean last night (Aug. 1) with the groan-inducing news that their drummer, Dustin Harigle, had quit earlier in the day, just as Two Cow was embarking on a tour for its new record, III. Faced with the prospect of playing without a drummer, the rest of the band considering calling off the shows, but decided to go through with it anyway. And so, we unexpectedly saw what amounted to an unplugged Two Cow concert.
The evening was charged with emotion, as guitarist Micah Schnabel and bassist Shane Sweeney openly voiced their frustration and bitterness about Harigle’s decision, as well as their determination to carry on as Two Cow no matter what. They made it clear that they love doing what they’re doing, and that they’re in it for the long haul. Backed by a keyboardist, their songs actually sounded quite good in this stripped-down setting. It wasn’t the rock show that the audience had been expecting or that the guys probably wanted to play, but it was a cathartic way to announce that Two Cow survives.
…There were a couple of opening bands. I’ll just say, the less said, the better.