Skip to content

Rogue Wave Washes Over the District

“Thanks for coming out on Monday night,” singer Zach Rogue saidbefore the encore at the decidedly not packed Black Cat last night(Nov. 5). “Because we’re better than football.” Better than football?Combine that statement with the tattoos and the loud guitars, and you’dthink Rogue Wavewas out to destroy the very fabric of what it is to be wholesome andAmerican — but then he went in to a solo acoustic version of “CheaperThan Therapy,” from recent release Asleep at Heaven’s Gate (complete with campfire sing-along), you realize that there’s nothing but good intentions here.

Afteran exciting set from banjo enthusiasts and fellow Oaklanders PortO’Brien (think a softer Two Gallants, another screeching indie countryband from the Bay Area), Rogue Wave brought it loud for much of theset, most notably on “Chicago x 12,” which made pain anthemic, and”Lake Michigan,” which brought forth tribal beats born of beating onbeer bottles. It was on the softer material like old stalwart”California,” though, that the appeal of Rogue Wave became clear: it’sa beating heart with a (slightly) harder edge, or Death Cab turned up.Rogue dedicated “Ghost” to his daughter (who may or may not have beenthe baby with headphones on backstage), showing that lullabies can beaccompanied by drums and guitars.

We asked:Rogue Wave just covered “The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight,” and old What other song would you like to hear Rogue Wave cover, and why?