Ryan Bingham and Milk Carton Kids (with Weronika Kobus)

Written by Live Reviews, Music

Last Wednesday the 29th of January at the Tyne Theatre and Opera House, we went to see Ryan Bingham, an Americana singer and guitarist who was opening for the Milk Carton Kids. 

At first, the casual and warm performance seemed out of place in a theatre covered by the names of classical musicians like Mozart and, which stage was crowned by Shakespeare’s. Whilst at first Bingham’s performance would seem more fit for a venue where interaction with the public was easier; The Milk Carton Kids made it obvious that the Opera House was the perfect place to sing acapella and impress the attendees. 

With a raspy voice and harmonic guitar riffs, Bingham marked the concert with interludes before each song used to narrate and describe his life in southern Texas. The short monologues sparked some laughs through the public while introducing the meaning of each piece. Yet, his biographical lyrics are in some occasions blunt and basic, almost as if taken out of a country music textbook. 

In our opinion, however dull the lyrics were, Bingham’s identity really came from his guitar playing. Although classical, Bingham’s talent is noticeable in the way he gives his music a personal touch, especially with his more upbeat songs. These songs had more body to them and felt more complete, even without the percussion, which seemed to be missing in the more melancholic tracks.

After a short intermission The Milk Carton Kids took the stage, and from the very beginning charmed the audience with skilful guitar work and beautiful vocal harmonies. Their performance felt intimate even in such a big venue, all thanks to the Milk Carton Kids restricting their instrumentation to just two guitars and a single microphone. Their set included some of their older songs as well as one from their latest release “Only Ones.” 

Overall it was an evening filled with hauntingly beautiful music and brilliant chatter form the performers, who left us curious to further explore the americana music.

Last modified: 17th February 2020

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