The Mighty Oaks put a spin on Indie Rock

On Saturday, Sept. 17, The Mighty Oaks, an indie/folk rock band with inspiration for their songs coming from growing up in the Pacific Northwest, and Lydia Ramsey, an acoustic solo artist whose powerful lyrics resonate with the listener, played a show at the Neumos concert hall on 10th and Pike at Capitol Hill.
Neumos is a concert venue for primarily indie rock, folk rock, country and other assorted genres set up in a club like fashion, complete with an upper viewing area with tables to sit and enjoy the music. Overall, the venue was nice. It’s centered around the stage, unlike some other venues which have cluttered messes on stage and very little room for the band to move around on. However, when viewing from the upstairs area there were plenty of obstacles preventing you from seeing the show. There were giant speakers in the way, support beams and poorly placed tables which attracted loads of people who weren’t even interested in the music, but still got in the way of those who wanted to watch the performance.
The crowd, consisting of fans, friends, and family of the lead singer from the Mighty Oaks, acted quite disrespectfully to Lydia Ramsey during her set by loudly talking over her something I have never seen before at any concert I have been to. Despite this Ramsey still gave a chilling performance complete with wholesome love songs, songs about life’s uncertainties and songs that truly made anyone listening to them feel like they miss someone. Her vocal range during the performance was astounding as she managed to bring her voice up from almost a whisper, to a gripping crescendo of pure emotion and heartfelt feelings.
I came into the event only having heard her on Spotify and thinking she is just another dime-a-dozen acoustic artist playing the same old songs as all those before her. However, this was not the case at all, for she managed to capture the full attention of those who listened to her and kept the audience captivated until the very end of her short set, making myself feel spoiled to have gotten tickets to this event for only around $12.
After a short 15-minute intermission, the Mighty Oaks were welcomed by a roar of applause from friends and diehard fans of the band when they opened with a beautifully orchestrated piece utilizing such instruments as a mandolin, a piano and the traditional bass and guitar combination. From the very beginning The Mighty Oaks came out strong and didn’t let that level of energy lower the entire concert.
Each song seemed to connect to the next in a beautiful transition, with explanations from the lead singer as to what each song meant to them when they were writing it and how the music shaped their lives. The most impressive part of the concert was when the band did an unplugged acoustic song for the half-filled venue and still managed to sound the same, if not better, as they did in the recording studio. The true musical expertise of everyone in the band was demonstrated by the constant switching of instruments. For example, the backup guitar player would play his guitar on one song, switch to the mandolin on the next and then sit down at the piano and play flawlessly before getting back on his guitar, taking it into the crowd and shredding out a guitar solo in the middle of cheering fans.
Overall, I would highly recommend that anyone interested in indie, folk or even regular rock listen to The Mighty Oaks and Lydia Ramsey as they both proved to be exceptionally skilled performers and musicians of their own crafts.