Dex Romweber Duo

New Year’s Eve 2011
The Earl Smith Strand Theatre, Marietta, GA

from Bloodshot Records official photos

Dex Romweber Duo were the 2nd openers for the Gem City Hall of Fame inaugural event, the 30th reunion of Guadalcanal Diary. While I’ve played songs from the two most recent DRD records, Is That You in the Blue? and Ruins of Berlin, I have not seen Dex live since Flat Duo Jets days. I’ve heard stories from friends who have played with or opened for him over the last few years, so I had no idea what to expect.

The biggest surprise for me was Sara Romweber, who I haven’t seen live since Let’s Active . That woman can play the drums. She was amazing. I like songs with driving or memorable drum beats, but I’m not an aficionado like Neil Peart fans or anything. I want a bass line or beat that makes me move, but I’ve never paid much attention to the skills of the drummer–until I saw Sara play. I think I might have to call this my first “purely professional girl crush.”

Sara’s awesome, and not just because it was an 80’s indie jangle pop-fueled night. Dex is a wildcard, stopping mid-song to tune his guitar, ending a song in the middle of a repeated chorus, facing the amp for entire songs…but Sara stays right with him. From my basic knowledge of recording music, usually the drums keep the rhythm and the music fills in accordingly, but I don’t think that would work for Dex. Instead, he drives the timing, and Sara keeps up with him. The music might be more “perfect” if it worked in the traditional method, but only those who really paid attention even noticed that she changed her timing to keep up with him–flawlessly.

I’d like to catch Dex Romweber Duo when they are the headliners and see and hear what they’d do with a full set or even a couple of sets. I heard that they rocked the house a couple nights before in Athens, GA. I always thought that I wanted to chat with Dex some time, but now I know that Sara is the one I really want to interview.

(Totally my opinion of the night. Take it or leave it for what it is, but let me know what your thoughts are if you’ve seen DRD lately or “back in the day.”)

Here’s the review of the same performance from the Atlanta Music Examiner.