This weekend I lost some of my hearing because of three, local heavy-hitter bands: Lo-Pan, EYE, and Struck by Lightning. Jacob Wooten, of Kobo notoriety was the man in charge of organizing the music for this year’s Independent’s Day, and I couldn’t have been happier. Sandwiched between two buildings at the Pearl Alley Stage, with the dark of night and the statehouse as a background, it was heavy, dark, and full of testosterone.
I last saw Lo-Pan last year during Columbus Alive’s Rocktoberfest. I remember the lead singer admitting to feel a little out of place with the diverse line-up but they were pretty solid. But the performance from Saturday solidified that I will make every effort to see this band again. The crowd was incredibly diverse. There are so many aspects of this band that appealed to so many people. People from different races and backgrounds all stopped to listen to the melodic and soulful voice of Jeff Martin and the aggressive pounding from drummer J.Bartz. This band is like a shooting off a cannon then blowing a kiss afterwards. Check them out.
Before stopping by the Pearl Alley Stage, I stopped by Ghetto Vintage and picked up a nice Priestess t-shirt. I told a person working there that I was on my way to see EYE, and he immediately lit up and said he was a fan of the band, as well as described them as metal Pink Floyd. I was instantly intrigued. The statehouse provided the backdrop to the monstrosity that is EYE. As if on some hallucinogen, the synth/organ player flipped his long brown hair in a trance motion as well as accurately headbanged circularly. The concept of this band is something I’ve never seen or heard before. Perfectly combining psychedelic 70s rock with metal, I was entertained only until the “jam band” parts of some of the songs, where it was obvious where improvisation of some music was not carried out in the best of ways. With that said, I am glad I finally tasted the delectableness that is EYE. “Thank you Columbus, Ohio, EYE motherfuckers!”
Starting five minutes early, Struck by Lightning was the perfect band to end Independent’s Day. There is a lot of hype surrounding this band, especially because of recent tour dates in Japan. I had high expectations and honestly they lived up to the hype; so much so, that while writing this piece I’ve been streaming their latest album, “True Predation”, on Spotify. I liked the fact that in each song there were opportunities for the band to get sloppy, and that just didn’t happen. There was a slight hiccup after someone broke a guitar string, but Struck by Lightning came back with a vengeance. The heavily tattooed guitarist/singer, Gregory Lahm commanded the audience with a fist high in the air, while the audience moshed about like rabid street dogs. I had to move to the side of the stage to move away from the aggressives as the music of SBL flowed into their ears and somehow into the veins of the gnarly gnarly spectators. The next opportunity to see this band, I’m there. Don’t miss it. Seriously.