On Saturday night something special took place at the Memorial Opera House. For the fifth concert in the Imagine Music Concert Series, Ohio-based band Over the Rhine took the stage to spend the evening with the audience and they put on a wonderful show because of that fact. The band, who took the stage after opener Charlie King, welcomed their “Valparaiso debut” and the people who came to see them.
Over the course of the year Imagine Music puts on a certain number of concerts. For 2015’s lineup they have already hosted country up-and-comer Will Hoge and Byrds founder Roger McGuinn - among others - so they have already had a long line of amazing performers ahead of Over the Rhine. A few of the attendees for the show were season ticket holders who have seen all of the past shows, but others were first timers who were drawn by the night’s act. Trista Hudson, who attended the show out of curiosity, said that she was ready to be impressed by the band.
“Some friends had invited me and it was perfect because I’m really excited and interested to see Over the Rhine,” Hudson stated. “I’ve been to concerts here at the Opera House and it’s always been intimate. The atmosphere and the acoustics are great as well. Tonight should be just as amazing as before.”
With expectations high leading up to the three-man band walking out to the stage, opener Charlie King hooked the crowd with his original work and an unsuspected cover of an Alice and Chains song. After he walked off, Over the Rhine took the Opera House’s attention. Husband and wife duo Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist - along with instrumentalist Bradley Meinerding - kept a grip on the stage and the audience’s attention.
Throughout the night they stopped to talk about their songs, what they meant, how they came to be, and even stopped to make some jokes about being here in Indiana where the time zones constantly change. Eventually, after some jabs on the subject in between the songs, Detweiler stated that, “Whatever time zone it is, you all are alright.”
The connection from the artists and the people in the theater seats really left an impression on everyone in the room. There was no barrier between the stage and the floor, it was an open conversation. Along with their incredible music and abundant talent as musicians, Over the Rhine left some of the people who attended the show saying it was the one of the best Imagine Music concerts yet.
Heidi Detweiler, who is a Valpo resident and came with a family member that happens to be a first cousin of band member Linford Detweiler, said that the show exceeded her expectations.
“The show was absolutely great tonight.” Detweiler stated. “We’ve heard of the band before, of course, and we couldn’t wait to come and see them live. I’ve never been to a concert at the Opera House before but it was great. Everyone in the audience was a little more casual and that let them get involved, which made the night even better.”
Rob Harkel, co-founder of Imagine Music, agreed.
“I thought tonight was awesome, and it was a lot different than the shows we usually put on.” Harkel explained. “All of them have great voices and all work well together on stage. There were only three people up on stage but it had a really full sound. It’s a different dynamic as it’s a husband and wife team, but it’s important for us to switch things up a bit.”
Over the Rhine certainly left an impression on the people who came to see them, and it will hold a top spot as one of the concerts at the Opera House that really hit a high note. There’s only one concert left before Imagine Music focuses on the 2016 lineup, and they’re bringing back a Valpo favorite - Willie Nile. That show will be on November 7th, but it is predicted that it will be a sold out show, so make sure tickets are bought soon. You won’t want to miss it.