Canadian indie-group Wild Rivers rocked a sold-out show at A&R Music Bar in Columbus, with special guest Corey Harper, on Friday night.
Corey Harper took the stage at 9 PM to a jam-packed crowd ready to rock. Based in Los Angeles, but originally from Portland, OR, Harper’s alternative pop/rock set was a crowd pleaser. He opened with “Charlotte’s Wine” and made sure to play favorites like “On the Run” and “Blind.” Harper explained that this was only his second show back after the COVID-19 pandemic kept him off the road and he was thrilled to be back in the live music scene.
Harper covered Taylor Swift’s “Exile,” which sparked a new energy in the room. He even went on a blues-y rock interlude on his D’Angelico semi-hollow body electric, proving that his talents don’t just lie in his vocal prowess. Ever the gentleman, Harper took pictures with fans from the stage after his set and prepared the way for the main attraction.
Just before 10 PM, Wild Rivers took the stage at the first sold-out show at A&R Music Bar since reopening after the pandemic. It was only the second stop on their latest world tour, Sidelines, which will take the group across the US, Canada, and Europe through Spring.
“What’s up, motherf*ckers?!” was Khalid Yassein’s greeting to the crowd as he strapped on his instrument and took in the scene before him. As vocalist and guitarist for the group, he took center stage, flanked by bandmates Devan Glover (vocals/guitar/piano) and Andrew Oliver (guitar/bass). They opened up with “Left Off” and jumped right in to one of their biggest hits, “Wandering Child.” Third on the setlist was their latest single, released on January 14, “Bedrock.” Despite its youth, fans sang along to the mellow rock tune as if they’d known it for years.
They kept the momentum building with more songs from their upcoming album, such as “Weatherman” and “Amsterdam,” and Glover moved from guitar to piano seamlessly for songs like “Pink Shades.” The energy of each song varied, keeping the night dynamic and fans not knowing what to expect. The harmonies created between Glover and Yassein were flawlessly executed and blended together effortlessly. The band danced their way through the night, defying the 15° weather outside and creating a room full of heat and love for Wild Rivers.
Closing out the set was perhaps their biggest hit, “Thinking ‘Bout Love.” With thunderous applause from the crowd to close, the show was very obviously one of A&R’s best in a while.
Wild Rivers‘ highly-anticipated sophomore album, Sidelines, is out on February 4.