Dillinger’s Event Center in Bucyrus has played host to many national acts over the past year-and-a-half including acts like Bobaflex, Tantric and Moonshine Bandits. Although those shows were great, the local ensemble that gathered to entertain the masses last Friday night could stand toe-to-toe with those acts on an energetic and talent level.
Scars Like Mine out of Columbus headlined the St. Paddy’s Day bash which also included Autumn Burning out of Millersburg, Dread Engine from Columbus, Marion’s The Years Between as well as an acoustic performance from the young and talented Chase Beaire out of Mansfield.
Opening up the show was The Years Between. Jon Marquiz was at his usual position as one of two front men where he was teamed with Michael Bushatz, a fill-in for regular member, Jarod Morgan. The two combined to put on a vibrant performance with their screams and growls as the musicians behind them were just Kyle Ballinger and Johnny Thomas were titillating while tickling their six-strings. Mike McClain was an outstanding axe man with Johnny Roberts crushing the drums like King Kong pounds on his chest. It definitely a positive send off to what would be an incredible evening of rock-and-roll.
TYB are worthy of taking in a live show and while you’re at it you should add their “Now and Then” CD to your collection.
Autumn Burning provided a boost to the festivities with their raw power and the wonderful vocal work of Mike Morehouse. Morehouse is a mountain of a man who has tremendous range and a silk like delivery. I’ve seen AB perform on several occasions and not one time have I heard a bad outing from the man. He is an incredible talent a sheer delight to listen too.
Jared Blazer was on top of his game with the lead guitar role while Blake Darling was impressive as always on rhythm and backup vocals. The two were in perfect sync with each other and gave the St. Paddy’s Day crowd a truly professional effort.
Justin Smith reigned supreme from his perch above the band as he unloaded a brutal attack on the skins. Smith handles the sticks with grace much like Edward Scissorhands wields his hands when carving an ice sculpture; things may fly but the finished product is a thing of beauty. His rhythm section brother, Jeff Welch, was solid with his backup vocal work while turning beast mode on his axe.
Collectively, Autumn Burning is a must see if you ever see their name on the flyer or marquee in your area. They are also a great reason to make a road trip. They’re cohesion and stage presence is something to behold.
Dread Engine was next to grace the Dillinger stage and as always they were nothing short of spectacular. I know it may be getting to sound like a broken record but DE is one of those local acts that are just bursting at the seams, ready to take it to the next level.
Sam Stockdale and Rick Kaercher are in perfect harmony when it comes to the vocal portion of the bands presentation. Stockdale, with his long flowing locks, and Kaercher both are energy personified. They bounce back-and-forth, up-and-down, across the stage like the metal balls of a pinball machine. All the while delivering a vocal performance worthy of comparison’s to any national name. They are, that good together.
Combine the duos talents with that of the group behind them and it’s a recipe for major success. Jay Coughlin was and is as strong a stick man as you’ll find while rhythm partner, Jonathon Collins slapped the bass as if he was using a crop on the winning horse during the final stretch of the Kentucky Derby. That is; he uses raw power when needed, yet knows when to let up to bring out a more mellow sound with relative ease. Both Tommy Sartin and Jake Spears delivered stirring performances on the guitars, unloading some heavy riffs and smooth licks for the rising band.
Scars Like Mine, the night’s headliner, followed with a rambunctious energy-laden performance. In just over a year’s time, SLM has gone from a new entity to signing a record deal with BFX Records and producing a pair of videos, “Convicted” and “Death of Me”. It takes amazing talent to be that productive in a twelve month span and Scars Like Mine has that in aces.
Jake Cary is as charismatic a front man as you’ll find. I liken him to Saving Abel’s Scott Austin. Both men are extremely slim in nature but become giants once the bell is sounded and they’re in front of an audience. Cary commands the fans attention and gets it with boisterous voice that rivals any national act’s lead man. He is truly a unique entertainer and definitely has the makings of leading this five-piece group to the next level and beyond.
Of course one man doesn’t make a band and Cary is not alone as he is joined by four outstanding bandmates.
Joseph “Bro Bobb” Roberts has unique look when playing his bass but there is no one that can outshine the thumper from Delaware. The dread-wearing Roberts has been around a long time and for good reason; he is a virtuoso on the four string. They don’t get much when it comes to playing his weapon of choice.
Branden Wilson can chop the wood like Paul Bunyan from his seat behind the kit. He has untapped skills that display not only brute force but also the grace of a New Orleans Street Rhythm.
Former Autumn Burning guitarist, Ryan McRobie, and Josh Brammer (fill-in) proved to be formidable duo on their respective six strings.
Finally closing the evening was Beaire, who slowed things down with a superb acoustic set. The young man from Mansfield is extremely impressive especially being all of 17 years old. But don’t let his young age fool you; he’s been playing for nearly a decade plays like a grizzled veteran. His talents were a nice way to conclude an amazing St. Paddy’s Day gig.
Until next time this is Big L saying ‘keep those horns up and rock on’!! \m/ \m/