The University of Iowa University of Iowa

Kevin Morby: Bringing hair metal energy to an alt rock/folk show (Mission Creek 2023)

Seeing Kevin Morby in the Englert on April 8 is something that I will not forget. Mission Creek was the second to last stop in his tour, and it did not disappoint. He walked onto the stage ready to perform and had no hesitation.

Opening his set with the title track “This is a Photograph” grabbed the audience right away and even got us dancing, if only for a brief moment. From here, we stood for the whole show. Morby often got the audience to dance even if his music doesn’t quite lend itself to it.

Photo by Johnny Eastlund, via The Press Democrat.

Morby took a sharp turn by going right into “Bittersweet TN”. Not only was this an amazing performance, he even brought Erin Rae on stage to sing with him. Each song built into a beautiful bang of a conclusion, getting the audience jumping or at least swaying by the end of each song.

At one point he even threw his guitar backstage and Mission Creek staff caught it without hesitation. This goes to show both how cool Morby is and how on top of things the Mission Creek staff is. Another highlight from his show was “Piss River.” Getting the audience to scream “Oh My God” with him was beautiful, and sounded even better with the Englert’s acoustics.

He ended his set with “Harlem River”, a much-needed chill track to wind the audience down and let us take everything in. Each one of his band members brought high-energy performances, with his saxophone player being a highlight of the performance. Morby and his band brought hair metal energy to a folk show that was very refreshing to see. Seeing Morby with a band behind him was a very unique and fun experience that I would highly recommend if you get the opportunity.