‘Hey You’….Bobaflex along with locals 3130 and Vita Nova electrify Harry’s Hideaway in Lima, Ohio.

As I said in my preview of this show, it had been four years since I last visited Harry’s Hideaway in Lima, Ohio. Although there were some slight changes, the place was still quaint and a perfect venue to watch a rock-n-roll show. However, I would like to make one suggestion to the owners of the club (and it’s a selfish one at that), an upgrade to the stage lighting would be great. As a photographer, it was a tough place to shoot, other than that everything was grand. The sound system was top notch and the staff was fabulous from the ticket taker at the door, to the security and the bar maids. They were all professional and did an outstanding job at whatever they were doing. Kudos, to all of you!

Bobaflex as always were on top of their game. Even when there was a slight technical malfunction during the playing of ‘I’m Glad You’re Dead’, they worked their way through it just fine and proved why they are one of the best and hardest working touring bands around.

Marty and Shawn McCoy are two of the most energetic front men (as well as guitarist) I’ve seen. They careen across the stage with the tenacity of the old Looney Tunes character, The Tasmanian Devil. Meanwhile bassist, Jymmy Toland, and guitarist extraordinaire and superb vocalist, Dave Tipple, do their share of bouncing around as well. Tommy Johnson is the only one who is stationary, but the sounds that waft throughout a venue when the man is sitting behind his kit, makes you understand why the band’s tune, ‘Losing My Mind’ is setup by Shawn saying “this song is about their drummer”. Johnson, in my opinion, is undeniably underrated when it comes to rock stick men.    

Bobaflex at Harry's Hideaway in Lima, Ohio on February 25, 2017.

The quintet laid out a lot of their older hits like the aforementioned ‘I’m Glad You’re Dead’ and ‘Losing My Mind’ as well as ‘Chemical Valley’, ‘Bury Me With My Guns On’ and several others. They also sang a couple from their newest compilation “Hey You” including the title track which is a cover of the Pink Floyd monster hit.

After a dozen or so songs, as always the band stuck around to greet their fans, shake hands, take pictures or just bullshit with them as if they had known them since they were growing up in West Virginia. But if you’ve ever been to a Bobaflex performance you know that I’m not telling you anything new. That’s the way they have done it since day one.

If you have the chance to catch a stop on their current tour, you need to do yourself a favor and do so. Make sure you bring camera phones because there will be plenty of opportunities to rub elbows with some of the best dudes to grace a stage. And all of that after taking in an outstanding live rock-n-roll show!

There were two local bands, Vita Nova and 3130, who entertained the masses before the Mighty Bobaflex came out. It was the first time that I had ever seen either one of them, and both groups put on an excellent show leaving me and others impressed.

Vita Nova, out of Columbus, had a sound similar to another gang out of the state capital area, Dread Engine, who are, one of my favorites. The comparison comes from the fact that they have a terrific clean vocalist in Cory Pletcher (rhythm guitar) who blends well with the growling sound of Stephen Parent, much like the work that Sam Stockdale and Rick Kaercher join forces to do for DE

Alex Emerson handled the lead guitar with perfect precision while Alec Ward (bass) and Tony Rocca (drums) were masterful in their roles in the rhythm section.

Combined, this five-piece band that formed in 2014 should be on must-see-list. They were impressive indeed.   

Vita Nova and 3130 at Harry's Hideaway in Lima, Ohio on February 25, 2017.

In between the headliner’s and Vita Nova was the quartet from Wapakoneta, 3130. The foursome had a great sound, whether it was performing their own material off of their debut album, O.K.C., or doing a Limp Bizkit cover, this metal/hardcore band, was in the audience’s face with some heavy hitting grooves and a whole lot of deep growling. 

Matt Hull was the man doing the vocal work and he did so with conviction. Hull was an absolute beast with his mic and a pleasure to listen to.

‘Jab’ took care of things on bass while ‘Ponyboy’ tickled the twine of the lead six-string. Both were outstanding with their weapon of choice. ‘Whiteboy’ was a total brute on the skins with a sound comparable to jackhammer on a busy New York City street.

Like Vita Nova, 3130 is a band that deserves your attention. Once you hear them I’m sure you’ll be a fan. I know I am.

Well there you have it, the bands were terrific and Harry’s Hideaway was everything I remembered it to be. I’ll be back in Lima for another show soon, and I guarantee that there won’t be a four year hiatus before then.

Until next time this is Big L saying ‘keep those horns up and rock on’!! \m/ \m/

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Larry Ritter About Larry Ritter

Hello my name is Larry Ritter, or “Big L” to most of my friends. I’m a production supervisor for a major manufacturer of auto parts here in northwest Ohio. I received an Associate’s degree from Owen’s Community College where I graduated cum laude honors. I have a true passion for music, sports, photography and riding motorcycles. My love for these things are surpassed by just one thing, family, which includes two sons, a daughter and eight grandchildren.

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