J. Roddy Walston and the Business were the perfect band to headline the second edition of the CD102.5 and PromoWest “Trust Us” Series. If you’ve never seen J. Roddy live, his shows are just insanely fun, as he and the band put everything they’ve got into their shows, and it’s frankly a mystery how J. Roddy’s piano survives the pounding it takes each night. So, for a mystery headliner, where not everyone in the crowd may have been familiar with J. Roddy’s music, the atmosphere he and the Business create is so infectious that the crowd simply cannot help but have a great time.
The first “Trust Us” series show was put on back in July, and featured the great Wolf Alice as a headliner, but that show was held at The Basement, requiring only about 300 tickets for a sell-out. This second edition was held on the indoor stage at Express LIVE! which holds around 2,200 - a huge step up, but the music fans of Columbus did come through and the show finally sold out the day before the show, allowing the performers’ identities to be revealed.
After being introduced by CD102.5 DJ and Program Director, Lesley James, J. Roddy Walston and the Business kicked off their high energy set with “Sweat Shock,” off of their
most recent album 2013’s Essential Tremors. Next, J. Roddy took a seat at his piano and began banging on the keys as the band jumped into fan favorite “Don’t Break the Needle” from their 2010 self-titled album. For J. Roddy, playing the piano is a full-body activity, where he is constantly in motion, swaying side-to-side and front-to-back rocking his stool, head banging causing his long hair to fly everywhere, turning each way to look at the audience, and throwing his hands in the air when they’re not striking keys - basically making it look like Jerry Lee Lewis was playing classical music back in the day.
A live performance by J. Roddy Walston and the Business is their recorded music kicked up at least 10 notches - making everyone in the crowd dance, sing, clap, and party along with J. Roddy. Throughout the set, the band covered songs from each of its three previously released albums, as well as sharing three songs, “Ways and Means,” “The Wanting,” and “You Know Me Better,” off of their forthcoming album, Destroyers of the Soft Life, which is set to be released on September 29th. The band closed out the night with their highest charting song to date, “Heavy Bells,” giving the crowd one last opportunity to let themselves go, while head banging and screaming along with J. Roddy. Don’t miss J. Roddy Walston and the Business next time they swing through town, you’re guaranteed to have a great night whenever they step onto a stage.
Sleepwalkers took the stage before J. Roddy and played a solid set of rock ‘n’ roll. The band, hailing from Richmond, VA, has a throwback type sound that is reminiscent of 1970s era rock, but with a subtle influence of southern rock as well, but doesn’t feel old or out-of-date at all. The band is lead by brothers Michael and Austin York, and released their first album, Greenwood Shade, back in 2014.
Columbus band, Bummers, kicked off the night and put on a killer set as the crowd was filling in. The band got the crowd engaged right from the start with their psychedelic, surf-rock, beach-fuzz feeling jams and confident stage performance. With lead vocalist/guitarist Jeff Pearl’s long blonde hair swing around, the band seemed like they were made for the stage, and were clearly not intimidated by the size of the venue or sold-out crowd. Their performance was worthy of many headlining acts, and not just a local band chosen to open for a national act. The highlight of the set was their performance of “Sweet Sixteen” off of their most recent EP, Dolores, which was released back in April.
Setlist - J. Roddy Walston and the Business:
Don’t Break the Needle
Full Growing Man
Take It As It Comes
Ways and Means
Pigs & Pearls
Brave Man’s Death
I Don’t Wanna Hear it
Used to Did
Use Your Language
You Know Me Better
Check out the photo galleries below for all three bands.
More photos can be found over on our Flickr page.
J. Roddy Walston and the Business: