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Review: Neutral Milk Hotel proves ageless with fresh sound

July 21, 2014
“You should put into your article that these guys are the only hipsters to ever melt people’s faces off.” This opinion by the man next to me seemed to be one the rest of the audience at the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion shared, as Neutral Milk Hotel took the stage amid thundering applause Sunday night. Earlier in the evening, though, as the people trickled in and I staked out my spot on the lawn, the Columbus band Connections opened the festivities for the 2014 Next@Wex Fest, a show put on by PromoWest Productions, the Wexner Center for the Arts and alternative Columbus station CD102.5. Given the picnic-like vibe on the lawn,… Read more

Review: New melodic mold awakens in Rise Against’s latest effort

July 20, 2014
Fans of Chicago outfit Rise Against eager to listen to the band’s latest record will be welcomed by a mix of the band’s edgy, older sound, a newly minted blend of backup vocal harmonies and guitar harmonics. “The Black Market,” the punk rock band’s seventh studio album and first since 2011, was released Tuesday and features 12 new tracks. The instrumental work is what has always made Rise Against’s brand of hardcore tick fundamentally, but lead singer Tim McIlrath’s vocal delivery has been the calling card that has differentiated the band from other crowd-rousing modern takes on punk rock. But “The Black Market” could be a sign that points to… Read more

Gallery: Band of Horses, Midlake take the stage at LC Pavilion

July 20, 2014
Band of Horses with special guest Midlake performed Friday at the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion. Band of Horses, a Seattle-based rock band, last released a studio album in 2012 (“Mirage Rock”) and recently put out a live disc of a two-night gig at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. The band is known for singles “The Funeral,” “No One’s Gonna Love You” and “Is There a Ghost,” among others. Denton, Texas-based Midlake is a folk rock band whose latest effort, “Antiphon,” came out in 2013. The band’s known singles include “Roscoe,” “Young Bride” and “Acts of Man.”  … Read more

Review: Brand New exudes intimacy but fans disappoint

July 12, 2014
There’s something about Brand New that exudes intimacy. Actually, there are a few things. Its song lyrics. Its overall sound. The way it manages to feel like a band you discovered even while it plays sold-out shows. I’ve loved Brand New for years — it’s one of my favorite bands. But that intimacy made me avoid going to its concerts in the past. It was mostly my fear of losing my personal connection to it by standing in a crowd full of people who knew all the words as well. When a few months ago I saw the band was playing at the LC Pavilion, though, I decided to go.… Read more

Review: Openers become one with headliner on Say Anything’s stage

July 10, 2014
“We’ve got shirts in the back if you’re punk enough, and friendship bracelets if you’re friendly enough!” The simple merchandise promotion by Alex Levine of The So So Glos, the second opening band for Say Anything Wednesday night at the Newport, seemed casual and impromptu, but it really captured and set the tone for the entire Say Anything concert: friendship and punk music. No band ever played alone. Whether it was Max Bemis of Say Anything (the headlining band) joining the very first opener for vocals or everyone from the previous acts on stage for Say Anything’s last song of the encore, someone was always lending a hand, trumpet or… Read more

Gallery: Motley Crue, Alice Cooper rock the Schott

July 10, 2014
Hard rock band Motley Crue’s final tour, with the appropriate slogan “All bad things must come to an end,” stopped at the Schottenstein Center Tuesday evening with rocker Alice Cooper in tow. The Los Angeles-based band, including Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee and Mick Mars, saw its heyday in the ‘80s and is known for hits “Girls, Girls, Girls” and “Dr. Feelgood,” among others. More than 30 years after its 1981 start, the band signed a formal “Cessation of Touring Agreement” Jan. 28, consenting to the band’s official breakup following the last performance of the summer’s tour.… Read more

No unfriendly heat between Paramore, Fall Out Boy in bands’ summer tour

July 9, 2014
Fall Out Boy and Paramore are set to share the stage this summer — but no kind of “Misery Business” is to be had between the two biggest names in alt rock. “Any competition is friendly competition,” Hayley Williams, the lead singer for Paramore, said in a media press conference call. The bands are slated to park their co-headline Monumentour at Cincinnati’s annual Bunbury Music Festival Saturday, playing back-to-back slots on the main stage. Pete Wentz, bass player for Fall Out Boy, said in a separate media press conference call that the tour will be different for the band, as it’s their first co-headline tour in a long time. “(Both… Read more

Review: Neon Trees crowd surfs and sings its way to connect with crowd

July 2, 2014
When the Utah-based, pop-rock band Neon Trees took the stage in Columbus, the crowd was ready to go. In a 20-song, 1 ½ hour set (give or take on both quantities) Monday night at Newport Music Hall, Neon Trees played off the energy of the crowd. The band even went a little further than a classic “O-H-I-O” shoutout to don Ohio State hats for the occasion. And the energy started from the beginning. When Neon Trees took the stage, all of the lights in the venue dimmed. Spotlights then shone on a white cloth that was draped in front of the stage. Neon Trees played half of its first song,… Read more

Gallery: ComFest 2014

July 1, 2014
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The 42nd annual Community Festival, known as ComFest, graced the grounds of Goodale Park Friday through Sunday. The festival is the largest volunteer-run and administered fest in the United States. This year, the fest tributed its 2014 zeitgeist, aiming to raise awareness of marriage equality, medical marijuana legalization and labor movements through musical performances, workshops, shopping, speakers, comedy and dance. Funds from the sales of food, beer, wine and craft vendors that are not used to offset the festival’s cost are spread throughout the Columbus community.… Read more

R. Kelly, O.A.R. set to perform at Fashion Meets Music Festival in Columbus

June 25, 2014
Chicago R&B singer R. Kelly and Maryland band OAR will headline the first ever Fashion Meets Music Festival in Columbus August 29-31, according to a press conference earlier today. R. Kelly will perform Aug. 29 at Nationwide Area and OAR will perform at McFerson Commons and will be free. Other unannounced gigs will take place in Huntington Park, organizers for the festival said. Tickets are tentatively set to go on sale July 2, spokeswoman Melissa Dickson said in a Columbus Dispatch article. The festival plans to showcase fashion alongside concerts by nationally recognized bands. Fashion brands announced include Columbus designers Celeste Malvar-Stewart of Malvar=Stewart and Rox and Royalty. The festival… Read more