If there was ever a doubt that the local music scene in Columbus, Ohio was stagnant, one had to look no further than the Alrosa Villa this past Saturday night to know that it is quite to the contrary.
Dubbed as a “Dreadful Night of Chaos”, the Villa was alive and kicking with a raucous crowd who came out in droves to witness Dread Engine’s CD release party for their newest compilation entitled “Deception by Design”.
Not only did the bill feature the headliner but also three other prominent Capital City acts including Scars Like Mine, 8LB Pressure and the Tom Cline Project. Oh yea, I’d be remiss in failing to mention a welcoming guest appearance from long time local rockers, Strikken.
Among the packed venue were other local musicians who were there to support the brother in arms. You had members from Grindhouse, One in the Chamber, The Lost Boyz and Ironhead Inc. just to name a few. I’m sure there were others and to those I apologize for not mentioning you by name but just know you have my total respect.
99.7 The Blitz was in the house as were a handful of photographers including John Payne of Payne Productions, Jeremy Moore from ZTP Magazine, Chicks in the Pit’s, Misty Rayburn and Lauren Rankin of Electric Perception.
In other words, it was a big to-do and if you weren’t present you missed one hell-of-a-good time.
Beaire opened the night off with a great set of original material. The young man, who just turned 18 years old, is as talented a musician as you’ll find. He had the audience eating out of his hands as he serenaded them with his smooth as ice voice and phenomenal guitar playing.
While it’s not the hardcore rock-n-roll that followed, Beaire’s act is pure musical bliss that even a diehard metal fan should appreciate; he is just that talented.
Dread Engine definitely has a love for Beaire. He has been on many of the bills that they have played since first seeing him perform at last year’s Ink in the Clink. As DE’s lead vocalist, Sam Stockdale, pointed out, “Chase is a unique talent that is going to replace us all one day” while badgering him on stage about his birthday.
No matter what genre of music you’re into, Beaire is a must see. If you see his name in lights, I highly recommend you take the time to check him out. I guarantee it’ll be worth it.
Speaking of talent, Tom Cline has been a staple in the local scene for many years. The former front man for Noise Auction can wail with the best of them and that was prevalent again on Saturday. This was the first opportunity that I have had to see his latest collaboration known as Tom Cline Project. It was well worth the wait as Cline has gathered an array of fabulous musicians who combine to put forth a true old-time rock-n-roll feeling.
Cline is as charismatic a performer that you’ll see and his love for playing music is always present. Check out his video for “On My Own” from his solo release and you’ll see just what I’m talking about.
Add to Cline’s skill set with that of lead guitarist, Dave Parks, and the six string sound is in great hands. Parks was a virtuoso with a melodic sound that was truly impressive. Rounding out the foursome were Joe Long (bass) and Carlos Torres-Ortiz (drums) who were not short on talent by any stretch. Together they had me wondering what the hell took so long for me to take in one of their shows.
Next up was the first surprise one of the evening. I’m referring to the five-piece ensemble out of the Cincinnati area that call themselves The World I Knew.
Obviously it was the first time that most in attendance had ever seen them including myself. But I can say without a shadow of a doubt that it will not be the last for me.
These heavy hitters from the 513 absolutely rocked the house with a sound that would compare to what you would get if you through Attila, Parkway Drive and Hollywood Undead into a vat and mixing them up.
Front man, Wesley Merritt, had a flare for the dramatic with an absurdly fresh sound that caught your attention and held it. He was the epitome of what a lead vocalist is supposed to be.
Alex Guerrero and Wesley Davis had their guitars cranking out mind-blowing riffs and licks with a spellbinding effect while Jared Saleski (bass) and Max Guerrero (drums) had the brick and mortar vibrating with their brutal assault on their weapon of choice.
Remember the name, because these guys have everything that is needed to make it to the next level.
8LB Pressure have long been one of my favorite local acts out of the Columbus area. Not only do they provide their fans with an energetic performance that is second-to-none, they are also just down to earth regular Joes who enjoy being on stage. They are and always will be one of the hardest working bands around.
Brandon ‘Sin’ Seymour has a diverse vocal array whether it’s producing the band’s own material or taking on the challenge of doing a cover. He’s all about the fans which was evident with his constant playful banter with the Alrosa crowd on this night. Once again he was superb as were the rest of the band.
Brian Kuhn is more than capable of beating a set of skins into submission and I’m not sure but I believe I heard the kit crying from the whooping he was laying on them Saturday night. Rhythm mate, Rob Mutchler, provided just as much ear-pounding sound with his bass.
Roman Martinez and Shaun Hale are a formidable tandem on the guitar that bring the best out of each other and there work was a sheer delight to witness.
As a whole 8LB Pressure did not disappoint, not that I thought they would.
Following Seymour and gang to the stage was Scars Like Mine. I was anxiously waiting for this particular performance because I had absolutely no idea what to expect. Well that’s not exactly true, I was positive that Joseph “bro bobb” Roberts (bass), Branden Wilson (drums) and Ryan McRobie (guitar) would leave nothing on the stage when they were finished.
But unfortunately the talented trio have been without a lead vocalist due to personal reason for a short time and I wasn’t sure who would be standing in.
That, set-up surprise number two, which was a cast of local-vocalist all-stars who showed their willingness to help out a band of brothers in need when the chips are down. Among those were Dread Engine’s own, Sam Stockdale and Rick Kaercher, Seymour, Davey Bee (As the Smoke Clears & Monkey Punch) and Chris Roberts.
Combined, this quintet teamed with the three original members of SLM to form an awesome set that didn’t lack in energy or quality.
Joseph “bro bobb” Roberts was gracious to those who came out to help Scars live up to the old adage ‘the show must go on’. He humbly thanked all five throughout the set.
I’ll give a tip of the hat to all involved and give thanks to a group of individuals who worked together to present a performance that was more than could have been expected. I have witnessed something similar to what transpired on Saturday the past two years of being on Shiprocked. The cruise includes two weekly sets from a group of who’s who in today’s rock world for an all-star extravaganza. Each set has become a fan favorite and is perhaps the highlight of the week.
Although it might not have had the same magnitude of that, the collaboration of this vast array of talent was quite refreshing and signaled a total harmony among the Columbus local music scene.
Strikken’s special guest appearance would be the third installment of the unexpected. Josh and Mike Enyart were at the top of their game playing old school band material while also introducing some new. Current Dread Engine bassist and former bandmate of the Enyart’s joined them on stage for the one-night resurrection.
Finally it was time for the mighty Dread Engine to move front and center to unveil tunes from “Deception by Design”. To say that the music was met with open arms would be a major understatement.
Stockdale and Kaercher did what they do best, and that’s get a crowd amped up with their high energy. The dynamic duo have an uncanny ability to work a room as they feed off of each other. The comradery the tandem show is truly a pleasure to watch.
“Apex Predator” was the opening song and featured Stockdale with his patented in-your-face approach with Kaercher providing his low growling specialty. All the while Jay Coughlin (drums) and Collins were peeling paint with hard hitting power.
Guitarist Tommy Sartin and Jake Spears were definitely prevalent throughout the rendition of “Guillotine”. Things start a little slower on “The Devils Den” but pick up rapidly with Kaercher unloading a thrashing scream from somewhere down deep. The song is a highlight track of the entire bands talent.
Somewhere in there Collins’ adrenaline got the better of him as he broke a string on his bass which according to Stockdale was a first.
If the slight delay brought the audience down it definitely wasn’t noticeable as they continued to build a frothy frenzy during the playing of “Survival of the Richest”, “Heart of the Locust”, “Depersonalize”, “Ebb and Flow”, “As Good As You Say” and “Hello My Dear”.
All the head-banging, death screams and flat out aggressive riffs and licks led up to the finale, which could be considered the fourth surprise of the night. “Escape” is a song that delves beyond anything that I have heard from Dread Engine.
“Escape” is a slow presentation that shines the spotlight on Spears who usually is heard in the background. Spears used a variety of pitch and tones to create a beautifully done piece that highlighted his mostly hidden capabilities. It was a perfect fit to end what is sure to be a album with teeth.
While Spears brought the live version of “Deception by Design” to a close, Dread Engine added the ultimate icing on the cake with the final song of the night.
As if it hadn’t already been evident; in a show of solidarity, Stockdale not only invited all of the members of the bands who had performed back up on the stage, he also beckoned those individuals from other bands, who were there to show support, to come up and join them as well.
With the stage jam-packed full of local talent, DE and their guests united to unleash “Coward” the bands hit song from their self-titled EP.
It was a thing of beauty to see as this eclectic assemblage standing as one and performing another local bands material. As DE puts it ‘Many Parts, One Engine’!
KUDOS to Dread Engine for throwing one helluva a party! I had a blast as did everyone else. Oh yea…”Deception by Design” is a KICKASS release so make sure you get out and get your copy today!!
YES INDEED, the local rock scene in the state capital is thriving at the present time. Do yourself a favor and get out and support the bands whether it’s Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Toledo or small-town, Ohio. If you see a flyer, invite a friend, get a date, just get out and back these talented souls who do what they do for the love of music. Who knows, you may witness a Godsmack or Disturbed in the making.
Hopefully you’ll see this big guy while you’re out and about. as well. Until then this is Big L saying ‘keep those horns and rock on!! \m/ \m/