Staff Pick: Eric Bachmann living room show

Joel Oliphint
Eric Bachmann

In October of 2017, when Eric Bachmann came to town for a living room show, I showed up a little late and ended up seated on the floor about a foot away from the Crooked Fingers/Archers of Loaf frontman’s left shoe. He sat in a chair, alternating between a banjo and an acoustic guitar, both of which looked a bit like toys in his large frame.

“When You Were Mine,” a Prince cover from Crooked Fingers’ 2002 Reservoir Songs EP, became a call-and-response duet with the small crowd. Others became full-throated sing-alongs, filling the Upper Arlington living room with a chorus of voices. 

I know this is sacrilege to Loafers, but I’ve always been a bigger fan of Bachmann’s solo and Crooked Fingers material, and these living room shows are the perfect setting for those songs, which tend to be more intimate and lend themselves to stripped-down, acoustic arrangements. But the surprise to me in 2017 was how well the Archers of Loaf songs translated, too. Often Bachmann would start a song, and the criss-cross-applesauce crowd would listen and wait intently, not immediately sure what the plucking or strumming would become. Then you’d see smiles break out across faces as they realized he was putting a new shine on a song from 1993's Icky Mettle or other now-classic records.

But even if Bachmann keeps the set list more recent, his last two solo records, 2016’s self-titled album and 2018’s No Recover, have plenty of excellent material from which to draw. Whatever the set, don’t miss this chance to sit at the foot of a rightly revered songwriter in someone’s living room on Wednesday, July 31 (tickets still available). And don’t be scared to sing along.

Living room show

8 p.m. Wednesday, July 31

Columbus, 43220