Another Saturday, and another epic CD102.5 Day show at EXPRESS LIVE!. Like Side A last weekend, Side B also featured five bands, with Local Natives (pictured above) headlining this week, along with Run River North, Deap Vally, The Regrettes, and Zoo Trippin’.
Columbus band, Zoo Trippin’ (pictured left), kicked off the night with an inspired performance of their blues/funk style rock. Singer Tony Casa jumped and danced all over the stage, even jumping down into the pit, and was clearly having as much fun as anyone in the building. Zoo Trippin’ kept the energy high throughout their set, and were a perfect way to start off a great show. They are set to drop their first full-length album, Purple, at the end of June.
Next up were new L.A. based band, The Regrettes. The teenage punk/pop-ish four piece, featuring Lydia Night (lead vocals, guitar), Genessa Gariano (guitar), Sage Nicole (bass), and Maxx Morando (drums), recently released their first album, Feel Your Feelings Fool!, which is full of lyrics expressing Night’s feelings and experiences. Night, who came out on stage drinking a juice box, noted that CD102.5 was the first radio station in the country to play their hit, “Hey Now.” The Regrettes’ high energy stage performance and great stage presence belied their age, and evoked many positive similarities to Bleached, another L.A. pop/punk band. This was the band’s first time playing in Columbus, but hopefully they’ll be back soon for their own headlining show.
The third band of the night was the more experienced duo, Deap Vally (pictured above), who released their latest album, Femejism, last September. During their first song, lead singer/guitarist Lindsey Troy experienced problems with her pedal board, which lead to two excellent extended drum solos by Julie Edwards. Once the technical issues were resolved, Deap Vally went on to play an awesome set filled with their bluesy/garage style rock. It felt like Troy was speaking for everyone through the song “Smile More” off of Femejism: “Stranger in the bar tells me to smile more // I look at him and I ask, what for? // I am happily un-happy man // And no, I don't wanna shake your hand”.
Next up was Run River North, which was added to the show after British pop-rocker Declan McKenna had to withdraw. Run River North released their second album, Drinking From A Salt Pond, early in 2016 which featured the hit single “Run or Hide.” CD102.5 has also had “29” in heavy rotation recently, which was re-released on the band’s new EP, Superstition, in January. The band put on a spectacular performance, and most definitely gained some fans who may not have been familiar with them besides “Run or Hide.” One of the highlights of their set was their excellent acoustic cover of “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers. Lead singer Alex Hwang, in thanking CD102.5 for their support, noted that while traveling around the country there are just a few radio stations that you really “click” with as a band, and that CD102.5 is one. Run River North was the only act of the night to attempt some April Fools’ Day humor, with Hwang telling the crowd first that he was Steve Aoki and that this band was his side project, then that he was the cellist from the Avett Brothers (Joe Kwon), and finally that he was Jackie Chan.
Finally, headliners Local Natives took the stage to much enthusiasm from the crowd which had been swelling all night leading up to this final act. The L.A. indie rock band, fronted by Taylor Rice and Kelcey Ayer, released their third album, Sunlit Youth, last September, and started off the show with the album’s first single “Past Lives”. In its relatively short time as a band, Local Natives has gained a devoted fan base, demonstrated by the large numbers of people singing along to every song, cheering when the first chords of each song were struck, and recording video of their favorites. In addition to the hits, like “Fountain of Youth” and “Wide Eyes,” the band pulled out several deep cuts, including “Bowery” off of 2013’s Hummingbird along with a cover of Kanye West’s “Ultralight Beam.” During their performance of “Dark Days,” which was recorded as a duet with Nina Persson of the Cardigans, guitarist Ryan Hahn flawlessly stepped up to take on her part. Bright days definitely seem ahead of Local Natives.