Diamond Days & Firenights
John Orr, AKA The Last Domino, began writing solo acoustic music in early 2005. The Romanticide EP was released soon after, showcasing songs that Orr describes as 'fictional accounts of people who die for reasons tied to love.' Most of the songs on Romanticide are quite dark and moody (think Ryan Adams meets Jeff Buckley), but John also shows his humorous side on the album with tracks like the Johnny Cash-esque 'Adventures In Whiskeytown' and the over-the-top Beatles pop of the hidden track, 'The One I Love'. The Last Domino did not perform live much in it's first year, due to Orr's desire to write more up-tempo songs, which would be conducive to putting on a live show with more variety. In late 2006, he began writing new material for a full-length entitled Seconds. As with Romanticide, certain recurring themes were peppered throughout the songs, which deal with 'second chances, second guesses, and the second hand itself,' as John explains. The music on Seconds is, in fact, much more lively than previous material and creates an energetic atmosphere at shows. As a solo act, Orr puts on a unique show that implements organic beats and guitar loops, which serve as the foundation for appearances from such unexpected instruments as the djembe and the saxophone. This all breathes a different kind of life into some of The Last Domino's already entrancing songs, but Orr also knows when to strip down to a simple guitar-and-vocal combination. In November 2008, Orr released his ambitious double album, Diamond Days & Firenights. With a loose concept behind it and a collection of songs that span a myriad of genres, Diamond Days is both the summation of and the glimpse into the future of The Last Domino's music. 'Let's Try This Again' and 'Loophole' are reminiscent of songs from past Domino albums, but incorporate full band instrumentation, which Orr now replicates live with drummer Dave Evans and bassist Matt Foster backing him up for even more powerful shows. John also stays true to his roots on the discs with singer-songwriter tracks like 'Definition Of Love' and 'Rift', featuring that signature saxophone. Immediately following the release of Diamond Days, The Last Domino was invited to play the 11th annual Jeff Buckley tribute festival in Chicago. Though Orr played this show solo and continues to do so when necessary, The Last Domino performs as a three-piece rock band as much as possible.