The Wood Brothers @ The Hamilton, Washington DC - 20 February 2014.
The Woods began their set with "Neon Tombstone", in which singer/guitarist Oliver Wood announced his desire to "be sent back to try, try again" upon dying. As an opening line, this declaration perfectly suited Wood, whose vocals give the sense of a man who's persevered through troubles unmentioned yet humbly expects something better to come his way.
His playing meshes flawlessly with brother Chris Wood, who demonstrated outstanding versatility on his upright bass. Despite the Wood Brothers' considerable chops, their instrumental flourishes (from Chris Wood's funk inflections to percussion ranging from light accents to forceful stomps) were performed in the service of the songs.
The brothers' harmonies were also locked in throughout the set, especially impressing on "Who the Devil". All these elements came together on the live staple "Luckiest Man", which, along with "Postcards from Hell", showcases a man doing his best to deal with unrelentingly dire situations.
By the time they finished "One More Day", buoyed by Jano Rix's insistent drums and Oliver Wood's guidance to never give in, there was no doubt that keeping on keepin' on was the Wood Brothers' only option.
Photo Credits: (1) The Wood Brothers (unknown).