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Photo Credit: Larry Ritter/The Rust Belt Chronicles.

Drawing an assignment to review a show at Dillinger’s Event Center feels like stealing.  The bartenders and security staff are friendly, attentive, and professional, and the drink prices are irresponsibly cheap.  The physical layout of this spacious venue provides excellent visibility to the stage with no obstructions from any angle, and the stage itself is enormous with an elevated riser for the drum kit.  The sound system is second to none and expertly manned by the sound engineers.  This commitment to excellence is not for nothing as the Bucyrus/Mansfield area is packed with musical talent and their loyal supporters who know how to party.  This evening was exceptionally epic as The Mountain State Madmen Bobaflex initiate more border crossings than an Obama Executive Order when they perform within a three state radius of West Virginia.  A co-mingling of Hopped Up Hilljacks and the local rabid rock and roll contingent on a quad band bill was destined to be a show in itself last Friday evening.

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Photo Credit: Larry Ritter/The Rust Belt Chronicles.

Marion, Ohio based Noizflor (take the colon symbol : and place it vertically above the second O in Noizflor as I’m technically incapable of pulling this off) was the opening act.  This band had my attention before lead singer Tracy Shepherd sung a note as they had the biggest road crew since the Van Halen Party ‘Til You Die Tour in 1981.  Further piquing my interest was being witness to their sound check.  After their army of roadies set up, the four members of Noizflor took the stage and broke into a number that catapulted my head out of my notebook and riveted my eyes to the stage, but in an instant it was gone and so was Noizflor.  That snippet of material was enough to validate my streak of covering shows with unusually good opening acts remained intact.  What was not known at the time was Noizflor has been playing together for 30 years and a sound check was more ritual than necessity.  This band is led by the Flying Gaffney Brothers, Rob and Pat.  Rob plays bass, Pat is on the drums, and both provide back up vocals.  Truly outstanding back up vocals that provide a contrasting compliment to the rugged but rhythmic vocals of Shepherd.  Add the blistering riffs of lead guitarist John Retterer, and the end product is a  power funk metal band (forgive me if yet another Metal sub-category has just been created)  with a smooth, polished delivery.  Rob Gaffney is one of the best bass players and back up vocalists we have seen perform.  Click the link below to access their website and download their recent offerings.


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Photo Credit: Larry Ritter/The Rust Belt Chronicles.

12357248_10153119756122890_8761040208909280779_o8 Lb Pressure made the trip from Columbus, OH as did an entourage of their followers.  I met these charming gents as they enjoyed a pre-performance pizza feast on their Tourt (retrofitted Short into Tour) Bus.  With rivets the size of silver dollars and Coke bottle thick smoked glass windows, I wondered in silence what needle moved fastest on the trip north; the speedometer or gas gauge.    After supper this quintet hit the stage with a full tank of adrenaline and kept their foot on the floor the entire performance.

Their heavy handed groove rock sound is spearheaded by vocalist Brandon Sin Seymour.  Mike Grund and Jerry BearJew Stamper share guitar duties with Rob Mutchler on bass and The Mayor Brian Kuhn manning the drums.  Their follow up EP Vol. 1.5: FRACTURED is available as a physical CD or download on their website.  Do not miss this band perform live, and you will get your chance if you live in Ohio as they push that Tourt Bus to its limits all around the state.

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Photo Credit: Larry Ritter/The Rust Belt Chronicles.

TRB.COM writer/photographer Larry “Big L” Ritter was in attendance and provided the wonderful  photos for this review.  Larry previously covered the third act in the lineup Impending Lies and gave them a rousing endorsement.  Having performed with the likes of Staind, P.O.D., Godsmack, and Shinedown, Impending Lies is expanding their audience from a regional to national level.  James Skrtich and Davo Bilick provide dual guitar play and back up vocals. Drummer Mark Peddle and bassist Nick Rescina complete a sound somewhere between hard rock and heavy metal .  The versatility of vocalist Matt Hayes makes it even more difficult to pigeonhole IL into a specific genre.  Pick up their recent EP Believe and give them a listen.

boba_0541 (2)Benjamin Franklin did not believe in patents and encouraged others to profit and improve upon his work.  Bobaflex concerts cultivate an atmosphere unduplicable by any other band, yet the formula is basic and bare to the world for infringement.  On numerous occasions during shows bands and musicians thank Bobaflex or one of their members for supporting their efforts.  Appalachia’s Ambassadors of Rock and Roll, Shaun and Martin Roy McCoy, are brothers from Pt. Pleasant, WV who started the band in the late ’90’s.  Their history is one of perseverance and determination virtually unmatched in the music industry.  Their appreciation of and accessibility to fans, willingness to share knowledge, experiences, and opportunities with up and coming bands, and overall work ethic form the foundation of a unique concert ambiance.

bob_0121 (2)boba_0624 (2)Another facet of a Bobaflex performance is the McCoy brothers share lead vocal duties.  Continual tweaking of the set list to stay fresh and share new tracks with their audience adds another element of energy around their shows.  Shaun began the set with Start A War, the first track from their recent release Anything That Moves.  Pray To The Devil and Mama (Don’t Take My Drugs Away) were two additional cuts Shaun performed from their new effort.  The video supporting Mama is an instant classic as Paul Cunningham of Cool World Photography expertly directs the acting performance of the year by Shaun McCoy.

You Don’t Wanna Know and Dry Your Eyes were songs from the new CD sung by Marty.  Two numbers that highlight the excellent back up vocals of guitarist Dave Tipple and harmonizing talents of the group are their cover of Sound of Silence, and a brand new release played at the show, A Spider In The Dark.  Check with 99.7 BLTZ Columbus for an early January release of the song.  Chemical Valley, Never Coming Back, Home, and I’m Glad You’re Dead were but a few of the other songs  performed, and the set closed with Bury Me With My Guns On.  The gracious members of Bobaflex include Tommy Johnson thunderously pounding the drums, with Jymmy Tolland completing the bass line and adding back up vocals.

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Kudos to TK Booking and Promoters for assembling these acts on one bill, and Dillinger’s Event Center staff for another flawless performance.  The Bobaflex faithful and Bucyrus/Mansfield area music fans who always make the show even better must be mentioned.  Dillinger’s Event Center, located at 144 Washington Square Bucyrus, OH (419)-562-0114 is a great place to see a show with ample parking, friendly and attentive staff, and great drink prices.  Check in with The Rust Belt Chronicles for their next event.

Gallery Photos : Larry Ritter/The Rust Belt Chronicles.



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Mike Silliman About Mike Silliman

West Virginia natives Mike and Tricia Silliman reside in Pickerington, OH. Mike is a retired high school teacher/coach and Tricia is a former executive assistant for a heartless, greedy corporation who shall remain nameless. Married for 22 years, they have an 18 year old daughter Sadie, a dog Maggie, and cats Rocky, Jet, and Phoebe. The owners of Mo’s Old School Audio, they specialize in the sales and service of vintage electronics, media, and memorabilia. Traveling extensively in search of vintage stereo gear, concert t-shirts, and other music related items, they strictly adhere to the Jim Morrison philosophy of getting their kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames. They look forward to contributing to The Rust Belt Chronicles on a variety of subjects.


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