On August second, I walked out of Webster Hall, having just witnessed the concert of the year. Hands down, there was no way it could be topped. Sleater Kinney, had delivered a passionate, forceful and devastatingly brilliant show, their last New York show. Saturday, I walked out of the Bowery Ballroom, reconsidering my August second proclamation. Okkervil River put on a commanding and passionate show, led by lead singer Will Sheff. The air was thick with excitement as the band hit the stage. The sound was great, Sheff’s voice was superb, and the band was tight in all aspects. All forces were pulling in one direction, and that direction led to a memorable show. Highlights of the night were The President’s Dead, Last Love Song For Now, and Kansas City. Before Kansas City, Sheff announced this was the last time they would play the song live. What a shame, because the last half of the song had the Bowery Ballroom bouncing with excitement. The intensity and sense of urgency was present from beginning to end, with the only glitch coming, in what has to be the most absurd moment of the year. A friend of the band, sprinted across the stage and did a Carl-Lewis-long-jump into the crowd. As he was floating in the air, the crowd parted like the red sea, and the poor guy landed with a loud thud on the Bowery Ballroom floor. Sheff, explained to everyone, that when someone jumps into the crowd, you catch them. I couldn’t stop laughing, neither could the drummer, it was so absurd. (By the way, no humans were hurt.) My attention snapped back quickly, which is understandable, when you have a charismatic and earnest front man leading the way. Sheff was appreciative of the crowd support and was in genuine awe of playing the Bowery Ballroom. Also, the band was recording the show, so we might get a DVD in the future. The concert wasn’t better then Sleater Kinney at Webster Hall, but it was just as good - and saying it was just as good is no slight, considering one band was playing a career defining show, while Okkervil, was hitting up another stop on a long tour.