Concert Review: Gipsy Moon and The Barn Owl Band Come to Bluestem


Courtesy Of Gipsy Moon

Gipsy Moon performed alongside The Barn Owl Band Wednesday night at Zeke’s Bluestem Stage.

Jacob Beals

Lincoln Way is a central street for Ames when it comes to businesses and attractions.  One of those attractions is Zeke’s Bluestem stage. Wednesday night was the third show of their fall series with Gipsy Moon headlining and The Barn Owl Band opening the show. 

Bluestem is designed with a comfortable setting. Framed posters of past acts are visible on the walls. The stage is set up with bright lights, while a soundtrack of past acts plays in the background.

At 8 p.m. the show began and The Barn Owl Band kicked off the show with an instrumental medley entitled “Water.” The series of three songs mashed together got the crowd ready for the concert and excited for more.

The Barn Owl Band consists of Michelle Bell on violin, Marty Miller on bass, Roger Alexander on keyboard and squeeze box, Joanne Olson on mandolin and Jon Duvick on guitar. Duvick introduced all of the songs and frequently engaged the audience.  

The band played a variety of songs, ranging in genre from swing to waltz. One song that stood out was “Popcorn Behavior,” which featured a lot of fast finger movements and a loud thump at the end from the standup bass. 

After playing for about 45 minutes, Duvick announced their final song. A large sigh came from the audience, since they clearly wanted more. The Barn Owl Band ended on another upbeat song called “Catharsis”.

Following The Barn Owl Band, Gipsy Moon took the stage. The four-member band consists of Mackenzie Page on guitar and banjo, Silas Herman on mandolin, Matt Cantor on Bass and local performer Andrew Conley on cello. Page is the lead vocalist, while Herman and Cantor are backup vocals.

Gipsy Moon is a very unique group, combining the genres of bluegrass, folk, mountain music and even jazz. The group is from Colorado and according to Mackenzie Page that has a big influence on their music.

“Lyrically we are inspired by nature,” Page said. “We live up in the mountains in a pretty remote little town, 40 minutes away from civilization.”

The crowd’s excitement for the band was clear early on, with many loud cheers coming from the balcony above. Gipsy Moon was almost always seen moving to the music and smiling at the audience.

Having a good time on stage is a major goal of Gipsy Moon and Page wants their music to be able to help listeners eleviate the troubles of life.

“It’s almost healing in a sense that you can go to a show and leave with a better outlook on life” Page said.

The show had several changes in pace. Some songs were fast, like “Poison,” while others moved at a much more relaxed pace, like “Cloud Nine.” Gipsy Moon also performed a unique cover of the song “Clementine,” adding a dark style to the song. 

“Once in a Dream” is a new song that was performed for the crowd. It started out slowly and built into an upbeat tune, with the instruments gradually becoming more powerful and louder. Each instrument got to shine a little bit and the audience showed great love for the song.

Gipsy Moon closed the night with a peaceful lullaby and left many in the crowd wanting more.  Several audience members stuck around after the show to talk to the members of both The Barn Owl Band and Gipsy Moon.