May 22, 2017

As soon as Warpaint took the stage at the Newport Music Hall on Friday, the night turned ethereal. Maybe it was the lighting, maybe it was way Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman’s vocals weave in and out of each other, maybe it was the thunderstorm filled day, or maybe it was the single candle burning behind the band, lit for Chris Cornell whose death was hanging over the whole music world, and Columbus especially on this night. Whatever it was, Warpaint’s set transformed the Newport to another place, a place where for that time the music was all that mattered.

The band opened with the upbeat title track from their 2016 album, Heads Up, before jumping back to “Krimson,” off of their 2008 debut EP...

May 10, 2017

Lewis Del Mar, the experimental alt-pop duo from Rockaway Beach, NY, was back in Columbus last night, headlining a show at A&R Music Bar. The duo features Danny Miller on lead vocals and primarily acoustic guitar, and drummer/producer Max Harwood. For their live shows, the band is joined by bass and electric guitarists, and a keyboardist. Last time the band was in Columbus, they played downstairs in The Basement, but on this night they played before a nearly sold-out crowd upstairs.

The band opened their set with “Such Small Scenes,” the first track off of their self-titled 2016 debut album. Like most of Lewis Del Mar’s lyrics, this song is deeply introspective and illustrative of Miller and...

May 9, 2017

White Reaper, along with opener No Parents, made it a night full of raw, intense, rock ‘n’ roll at The Basement last night. White Reaper, the Louisville, Kentucky based garage punk/rock band, was back in Columbus for the first time since the release of their second full-length album, The World’s Best American Band (released April 7). While the new album offers a more slightly more polished and mature sound than the band’s 2015 debut, White Reaper Does It Again, White Reaper is still tearing things up on stage.

On this night, lead singer/guitarist Tony Esposito was sick. So sick, that apparently there was blood coming out of his mouth/nose earlier in the day, and some sort of medicinal shot to...

May 8, 2017

It was a chilly Sunday night in Columbus, but the Pixies provided all of the heat necessary at Express LIVE! to warm up the crowd.  Coming out to a dimly lit stage, the band started the show with David Lovering providing a steady beat on the drums and Paz Lenchantin playing a driving bass line, before Joey Santiago began adding in faint strains of melody on guitar, and then with Black Francis bringing the slow buildup to a close by launching into “Gouge Away,” from 1989’s Doolittle. This was the perfect tone setting opening track for the venerable alt-rockers, showcasing Black Francis’ trademark scream as he sang.

The Pixies, who play each night without a prepared setlist, then launched into...

May 7, 2017

I’m a sucker for a band that enjoys performing . . . especially without pretense.  I’m a bigger sucker for a band that feeds off the audience and uses that energy to shift into an even higher gear. For both of Jamestown Revival’s shows at The Basement in 2014, the foregoing absolutely occurred. But, two-and-a-half years later, could they accomplish that again at the A&R Music Bar (on a night when Todd Rundgren was playing next door)?Fortunately for the sold-out crowd, the answer was an unequivocal, “Yes.” If Jamestown Revival is jaded to any degree after three years of constant touring, I did not catch a whiff of it.  

I was first exposed to Jamestown Revival in 2014 when I hea...

May 7, 2017

An outdoor concert in Ohio is always a bit of a risky proposition, even during the summer months, and Friday night at Express LIVE!, the xx brought some of the finest English weather with them to Columbus, but the gamble was still worth it. The temperature was a balmy 40 degrees and the ever-present light mist throughout the evening served as a reminder that things could always get worse. At least is wasn’t freezing, right? Despite the miserable conditions, the xx gave those who braved the conditions a heartfelt set. They addressed the crowd intermittently to thank them for turning out despite the weather (and many did turn out), to relate an anecdote from their last trip to Columbus, or to...

May 2, 2017

As advertised, it was an evening of poignant piano ballads and refreshingly catchy pop tunes with Fran Litterski at the Bexley Public Library last night. Fran, playing solo on this night, is involved  in no shortage of musical projects these days. She serves as co-lead vocalist, playing keys/ukulele for Columbus indie band Fields & Planes, provides keys/ukulele and vocals for indie pop-rock band Kid Runner, and is a touring member of national act, Magic Man, playing keys and singing backing vocals.

But this night was all Fran, in the spotlight, with just a piano and ukulele, playing and talking about her songs in an intimate setting, much different than the venues her bands usually play. She...

May 1, 2017

After touring in support of their Danger Mouse produced EP, Turning Into Water, since it’s release last April, Maybird gave the crowd a taste of some new music last night at the Big Room Bar. The band is planning to release a new EP this June, this time around with songs produced by Patrick Carney of the Black Keys. Maybird’s brand of psychedelic-tinged rock just seems to wash over the listener, swirling around the room, pulling you in, and making you hope that each song never ends - the perfect sound for a Sunday night show, bringing the weekend to a close

From the aforementioned new EP, Maybird previewed three tracks, “Bluebird Flew Away,” “Grace,” and “Keep in Line.” The latter is the firs...

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