Concert review: Murder By Death with Fake Problems, Buried Beds and Mustache! at Orpheum, Ybor City (with photos!)

Murder By Death

Murder By Death is Adam Turla (vocals, guitar), Sarah Balliet (cello, keyboards), Matt Armstrong (bass) and Dagan Thogerson (drums, percussion).

Murder By Death Mosaic

Murder by Death Set List aka Hit List

Murder By Death didn't just play a setlist Thursday night, they rocked through their hit list, and the crowd sang their hearts out along with Adam.

Murder By Death is one of the best and most consistent bands on the indie rock touring circuit. They always deliver a well-rehearsed set with beautifully-staged ambient lighting. Don't underestimate the importance of these elements... it is what keeps fans coming out to shows each time a band hits their town. Adam guessed that this was probably the ninth time Murder By Death had played the Orpheum, and wistfully recounted the time their merch guy ended up falling through a window, and yet everyone still ended up smiling. There was much talk about the amount of alchohol that must be consumed in Tampa as multiple rounds of whiskey were sent to the stage... which made it even funnier when Adam asked about the interesting looking drink resting on stage which turned out to be my shirley temple with lime. However, my favorite story of the night was Adam recounting how a guy outside the club had asked to lick the bottom of Adam's boots... naturally, he didn't know exactly how to react to such a request but later wished he had thought to tell him he missed a spot. In spite of multiple rounds of shots from their adoring fans, Murder By Death didn't miss a beat.

Fake Problems

Fake Problems is Chris Farren (vocals and guitar), Derek Perry (bass), Sean Stevenson (drums) and Casey Lee (guitar). Hailing from Naples, Fake Problems has been a fairly frequent visitor to the Tampa Bay area starting with their shows at Transitions Art Gallery several years ago. As a result, they've won over a dedicated local fanbase. They played tracks off their new 2010 album, Real Ghosts Caught On Tape, but also dusted off a few old favorites.

Chris Farren can JUMP

Fake Problems' frontman Chris Farren definitely knows how to work a room and he had the crowd clapping and singing along throughout the set with able assistance instigating audience participating from Derek Perry. Chris received extra cheers based for his lead-in to "Heartless" ("This song is called ‘I can’t believe for all those years you wouldn’t let me smoke weed and then right when we break up you start smoking weed' ") -- much to chagrin of the parents accompanying their minor kids to the show, I'm sure! Casey Lee entertained the crowd with a joke and drew guffaws of delight during a brief interlude between songs. Throughout the set, Sean Stevenson kept things moving rhythmically at a slightly more up-tempo pace. I like a band that can take their recorded material up a notch in a live performance and Fake Problems definitely delivers on that front.

Fake Problems Mosaic 3.10.11

Buried Beds

Philly's Buried Beds started off the evening with a fun set ranging from traditional to saccharine sweet Americana. I am looking forward to hearing more from this band in the future.

Buried Beds



The special surprise of the evening was a rare and unique opportunity to see the elusive MUSTACHE!, which features Travis Falcontamer (the identical twin cousin of Adam from Murder By Death, pictured right) on guitar and vocals, and Jessie Grizzlebottom on drums. Usually they only play Mustache! at festivals, so it was an especially rare treat. Don't bring these guys a snake as a gift... they don't like 'em.

As an added bonus, Orpheum was smoke free for this show. I just wish things had kicked off earlier because the saddest part of the evening was when curfew hit -- right as Murder By Death started their set. There were definitely a lot of very unhappy kids leaving the Orpheum that night...

Please take a peek at the gallery below or check out the full photoset for each band:

or vist my complete live music photo anthology: Only Music Has The Answer. or my website Thanks!

One way to describe Thursday evening's show featuring Murder By Death, Fake Problems and Buried Beds at Orpheum is a boot lickin' good time (explanation below). Another is a night filled with storytelling, sing-a-longs and a few surprises.

Murder By Death

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