In going to see this show, I learned about a little club I didn’t even know existed just twenty short minutes from my house. Howard’s Club H is smack in the middle of this area’s college town – Bowling Green, OH. Right under my nose, it has been this little dingy, hole in the wall. (Don’t even get me started on what kind of social diseases must be crawling all over the bathroom.) But somewhere beneath the grime and the gloom seems to be the perfect venue for the music I was about to hear.[ADBLOCKHERE]
I arrived about twenty minutes before the show started. As I mentioned I had never been to this club before, let alone knew it was even there, but I expected it would be a mostly college crowd coming out to hear the hard and driving sounds of these grunge and emo-punk groups.
Around 10:30, the first act, The Perfect Addiction, took the stage. Self described as an Ohio Christian grunge band, they quickly had the rather small college crowd drawn into their loud and driving music. My first thoughts had been that the small crowd would detract from the style of music, but I was wrong. Though it was intimate, it was charged and enthusiastic about the show.
At its heart, the music is powerful and strong, but the sound in the small club wasn’t nearly what it could be, and it distracted from the quality. I would say a good part of the problem was the large, partially empty brick room. Not even close to an ideal environment for good sound, but that wasn’t the entire problem. The sound itself was just off, almost painfully so, which was a real unfortunate disservice to the band. As I said, at its heart the music was good, solid, and delivered well; it was a shame to have technical issues mess with the delivery.
They announced early in the show that it was their drummer’s first performance with the band. Had it not been mentioned, I certainly wouldn’t have guessed. He was unquestionably in his home element, not missing a single beat.
Other songs worth mentioning in the forty minute set were “Apart Together” and “The Purest Suicide. Having heard MP3s of these two songs, I was looking forward to hearing them performed live. Perfect Addiction delivered, but the bad acoustics were distracting and disappointing.
The highlight of the band’s set was their final song, “My Life in a Poem.” A song that any artistic soul can relate to, it’s a three minute ode to pure emotions funneled into a confession. It speaks of the unique trait that not only songwriters, but all writers have of stripping themselves to the bone and displaying not only their happiest of joys but their lowest despairs.
Put my life into a pattern; write it down for all to see
Look at my life, in a poem
It reveals what I could be.
The Perfect Addiction gave an impassioned and extended version of the song that capped off their set in the best possible light.
MP3s, tour dates, a blog, and upcoming releases can be found at the artist’s Myspace page.
Around 11:20 the band I had come to see, Ever We Fall, took the stage. The emo-punk band that hails from Portland, Oregon has a youthful energy and exuberance that just gushes from them and pulls their audience into the show. Immediately asking, then begging, for the small but enthusiastic crowd to move closer to the stage, there was absolutely no way they were going to let it be anything less then a totally interactive experience.
The opened with “Last Night Dance Party” which is an energetic and fun song that brought the already keyed up audience to an even higher level of zeal. I quickly observed a contradiction to the “emo” label they embrace; the songs are anything but whiny or dark. A welcome change to the genre, there is an uplifting energy that they use to deliver the songs. I felt they bore a slight resemblance to Green Day, my nineteen-year-old niece likened them to My Chemical Romance — but neither is a completely accurate comparison. They are unique.
Many of the songs they performed were from their upcoming CD We Are But Human, an album that lead vocal and guitar player, Adam Brazie, later confided to me has been more then a year in the making. They are very excited to finally have the project completed and are anxiously awaiting its street release next month.
It can sometimes be overwhelming hearing songs for the first time in a live situation, or maybe it’s better said that the experience of hearing music live is most enjoyable when you’re familiar with the song, but several of the cuts from the upcoming CD burned a favorable impression on this first listen, including “No Words to Describe,” “G,” and “State Bird: The Mosquito.”
Drummer Matt Szklarz gave more then his heart and soul, pounding out the driving beat that is the backbone to most of the songs, while also giving an entertaining performance. I’m sure this young man must have sweated away at least ten pounds with the extreme workout he gave in the forty-five minute set. Not to be outdone, Adam was also into every song with a passion that can only come from delivering music that is a piece of your very soul.
As I mentioned previously, the lousy acoustics and set-up of this hollow brick room was a hindrance to say the least. Ever We Fall, however, made up for it. Their sound was cleaner and clearer then that of Perfect Addiction, and the personable way they reached out to the crowd and drew them in more then made up for the situation that was out of both bands’ control.
I was so impressed with the band’s set I picked up their six song EP, Endura and am looking forward to getting my copy of We Are But Humans