Home » A+E » ‘Innovative’ Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band to bring improvised sound for Next@Wex

‘Innovative’ Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band to bring improvised sound for Next@Wex

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Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band is set to perform Nov. 21 at the Wexner Center Performance Space. Credit:  Courtesy of Constance Mensh

Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band is set to perform Nov. 21 at the Wexner Center Performance Space.
Credit: Courtesy of Constance Mensh

A band coming to Columbus on Friday looks to break the concert mold.

“We don’t actually do a show,” said Chris Forsyth, guitarist and composer for Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band. “The set list changes every night. It’s a living, breathing thing.”

Forsyth said the amount of material available from two full albums as well as solo material from the other three members of the band allows them to change it up every night.

However, the band is not limited to its pre-existing material.

“Sometimes we literally just make things up on the spot,” Forsyth said. “There are things that aren’t rehearsed at all.”

The band is set to play as part of the Wexner Center for the Arts’ Next@Wex series, a concert series that features artists and musicians who are under the radar but on their way up, said Erik Pepple, spokesman for the Wexner Center. The artists are sought out and recruited by the Wexner Center’s performing arts director, Chuck Helm.

The series has brought in bands or artists including Vampire Weekend and St. Vincent in the past.

Pepple said Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band is in line with what the Wexner Center looks for.

“They are very much a fit for our series — great, innovative work,” Pepple said.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Helm said finding the band did not take too much digging.

“I pay attention to trends within the indie rock scene,” Helm said. “Chris is getting press all over the world, and we always have our ears out for buzz in the music world.”

Helm said he felt the band would make for an exciting performance.

“They are a dynamic band live,” Helm said. “They stretch out on songs, have a really exploratory sound. I want to see where they’re going to go.”

Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band is a Philadelphia-based band formed after the release of Forsyth’s album “Solar Motel (Paradise of Bachelors).” Forsyth said he recorded the album with an ad-hoc studio band, but then sought to assemble a band for a tour.

“I knew I had to put together a band to tour, so I linked up with people I knew from the Philadelphia music scene,” Forsyth said. “It just clicked. It was just like meeting new friends. We met and the relationship worked.”

Other members of the band include bassist Peter Kerlin, drummer Steven Urgo — formerly of The War on Drugs – and guitarist Paul Sukeena.

The stop in Columbus is part of an 11-day, nightly performance tour going as north as Minneapolis and as south as Louisville, Ky., Forsyth said.

Pepple said fans of great guitar work and experimental rock would find the show appealing. He compared the band to bands such as Television, The War on Drugs and the Grateful Dead.

However, Forsyth said a much broader audience would enjoy his work.

“This would appeal to fans of good music,” Forsyth said. “Music created by people playing together creatively and spontaneously.”

Forsyth said what makes his performances unusual in many eyes is actually what is normal in the history of music.

“This is more traditional than what people are accustomed to seeing at a concert,” Forsyth said. “We’re actually making music. That’s what’s been going on since the dawn of time.”

The concert is the final one for the Next@Wex series in 2014. The 2015 lineup is set to be announced in December.

Tickets for the concert are $15. The show is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. on Friday at the Wexner Center Performance Space.

 

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