Note: this article first appeared in the March 16th, 2017 issue of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune.
If you felt the ground trembling Saturday night, it wasn’t a repeat of September’s earthquake – it was North Half rocking the socks off the Oroville Grange.
The Okanogan band played for a family-friendly rock and roll dance, hosted by Joseph Enzensperger and the rest of the Oroville Grange. Flanked by towers of speakers, North Half let loose hours of high-energy classic rock, R&B, and blues. The floor was shaking all night, both to the roaring music and the beat of dancing feet.
All throughout the band’s array of well-loved cover songs, lead singer and guitarist Todd Matthews gave an impassioned performance, ably channeling the spirit of singers as diverse as Neil Young, James Brown, John Fogerty, and Stevie Wonder. On keys, Jon Gee tore through solos while bassist Mike Danielson kept the groove flowing. Steve Blackler held it down on drums, firing up the band and crowd alike.
The evening mixed high-quality musical entertainment with a comfortable, family-style vibe – a combination signature to events at Oroville’s Grange. While North Half rocked the upstairs hall, downstairs patrons could partake of home-cooked food, including an outrageously delicious and fresh pasta sauce provided by Grange Master Joseph Enzensperger.
Throughout the night, North Half had folks jumping out of their plush seats to hit the dance floor, which was especially perfect for those of us looking to work off a little bit of our heaping seconds of pasta. While the crowd on the dance floor ebbed and flowed, it was always an eclectic mix of fun and smiles – from bouncing kids to swaying couples, and from kicked-off-shoes to snow boots.
If you missed out on North Half last weekend, you won’t have to wait long to catch them next. This Friday the 17th, North Half will be playing a St. Patrick’s Day show at The Hideaway Grill in Oroville, scheduled to take the stage at 8pm, after a 3pm performance by the Harley Hunks.
St. Patrick’s Day will be filled with even more live music events, as the Okanogan gears up for its abundance of springtime entertainment. Friday’s musical offerings also include The Notorious 3 performing traditional Irish folk music – with a hefty dose of laughter – at Esther Bricques Winery at 6:30pm, as well as Bent Intent rocking the Sit N Bull Saloon in Conconully at 9pm.