Michael Turnini/ The Paisano
On Monday, Oct. 6, acoustic singer/songwriter Koji (Andrew Koji Shiraki) performed at local South Town bar The Ten Eleven, for his 2014 Fall Tour. The small venue held a maximum of thirty people for the entire night, but the confined space did not seem to affect these performers whatsoever. Opening acts included local singer/songwriters Jacob Andrew, The SunsetDoctrine, The March Divide and tour mates Lee Corey Oswald and Chris Farren.
The night began with local musicians taking the stage to perform small sets to the slowly growing crowd. After the Alamo City natives finished serenading their San Antonio audience, Portland’s Lee Corey Oswald took over the small Ten Eleven stage.
With fast, driving drumbeats, fun guitar riffs, powerful bass lines andamazing guitar solos, Lee Corey Oswald had the crowd in awe. Despite the small stage, every member of the band was moving, jumping around and having fun.
This caused for several instances where the guitars became unplugged, but nothing could stop the band from plugging the cord right back in and continuing their set. With about 20 people in the crowd,Lee Corey Oswald finished their set with everybody excited for what the night had in store.
Chris Farren — notable front man for the band Fake Problems — who had just joined the tour the previous day, was up next. Taking the San Antonio stage for his first performance of the tour armed only with an acoustic guitar, Farren sent everybody through a musical journey that touched on memories of love, heartbreak, growing up and everything in between. Though quite a transition from the band that had previously played, the crowd received him very positively. As Farren performed his last three songs, people in the attendance were singing along to the two Fake Problems covers and listened in complete interest to his closing song, which Farren announced was new.
Once Farren had completed his twenty-five minute set, the crowd reached its maximum of thirty people for the night. It was at this time that the night’s headliner, Koji, took the stage. In the same fashion as Chris Farren, Koji faced the crowd armed only with an acoustic guitar and his voice.
Among the small crowd, it was clear that many were fans of the singer/songwriters music. Attendees were singing the lyrics back to Koji, which seemed to surprise even him. Mid-way through his set, Koji asked everybody to move in closer. With such a small crowd and the majority already knowing the lyrics, Koji gave the rest of the crowd a chance to sing along as well.
Towards the end of his set, Koji asked the crowd to sing thechorus along with him, which he announced to the crowd, asking them to repeat in the same manner. The small stage, and packed audience made for an intimate performance that everybody in the crowd enjoyed.
Every performer seemed to be comfortable and within their own element. Jokes were made, laughs were shared and stories told over the microphone connected everybody in the small room.
Small shows can take their toll on touring bands, but they undoubtedly make the best of it. It’s up to the touring bands and attendees to give it all they have. Through high-energy music, touching lyrics and singing along, all had a good time.
Catch Koji, Chris Farren and Lee Corey Oswald as they continue their 2014 Fall Tour:
Oct. 9 Crosstown Arts Memphis, TN
Oct. 10 Legends Covington, KY
Oct. 11 Strange Matter Richmond, VA
Oct. 12 The Leonard Scranton, PA