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Concert review: The Oh Hellos bring high-energy folk and quirkiness to Newport Music Hall

The Oh Hellos brought their folk-rock talents to Newport Music Hall Thursday night. The brother-sister duo played tracks off all six of its albums, including its latest work “Eurus.” Credit: Ron Valle

There was a sense of completion after the Oh Hellos Columbus show Thursday night. With a wide array of instruments, the folk-rock duo was able to make a variety of instrument changes not just in the span of the show, but in each individual song.

The Oh Hellos is a sprightly group that brought the energy of a typical rock show while still keeping its folk roots.

Hard strumming, drum hitting and bass thumping were not the only elements of the show bringing energy. Strong, loud vocals from the band members were also shining through, reminiscent of Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up.”

The Oh Hellos played a mix of all of its six albums including tracks off its most recent work “Eurus,” which was released last month.

The sibling duo stayed pretty consistent to the sound in its albums. In fact, Maggie Heath, one half of the brother-sister duo, sounded the same live as she did in the recording studio. Her voice soothed the crowd through the small moments of minimal sound being played by the band, and when she needed to bring out her vocals, she did.

One half of the Oh Hellos, Maggie Heath sings along with the crowd at the group’s show at Newport Music Hall Thursday night. Credit: Ron Valle

During a few songs, the energetic touring band backing the Oh Hellos was able to get the crowd on its feet. The crowd hit its peak during “Soldier, Poet, King,” a song that really captures the duo’s high-energy nature, vocal beauty and biblical-style lyricism.

The Oh Hellos closed the show in a way I didn’t expect, with the quietest song of the night –– which had the largest crowd interaction by far. “I Have Made Mistakes” was not just sung by Maggie Heath and her brother Tyler Heath, but every voice at Newport Music Hall was singing along, too.

The band’s quirkiness was evident when it addressed the crowd, such as when the duo asked about the signs being held throughout the crowd. The other half of the Oh Hellos, Tyler Heath offered his opinion, “My favorite sign is ‘The Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri.’”

Opener Lowland Hum, made up of husband and wife Lauren and Daniel Goans, was a fun duo to watch, but they didn’t quite match the same style of the Oh Hellos. Even Daniel admit the duo wasn’t the main attraction.

“The Oh Hellos are the main entree, like a steak, we are a light delicious salad,” he said.

It was a quiet group, but its crowd interaction, along with its hilarious tangents kept me in awe. At one point Daniel went crowd surfing while no music was playing, followed by him singing a song about the first time he crowd surfed.

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