Review: Stephanie Garber
Photos: Kimberly Rottmayer
Interview: Piper (Kids Interview Bands)

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It was a vibe of sheer giddiness that filled the Newport as Frightened Rabbit’s devoted followers crammed the pit Monday night.  People were fairly frolicking in their anticipation for the Scottish electro-folk-rock five-piece to make their arrival onstage. 

Known for lyrical emotional highs and lows and painting a gloomy landscape, the upbeat crowd (and sound) was juxtaposed throughout the night; songs with sparse, staccato beats you could sway and sing along to contrasting with the well-known, cathartic Frightened Rabbit lamentations.  A deep, violet-blue stage washed the band with darkness as the pulsating electronic opening notes of “Get Out” sprung to life – (as did the crowd), then swelling into Pedestrian Verse’s well-loved “Holy” as the driving guitar surged under singer Scott Hutchison’s blunt admission:  “I don’t mind being lonely, so leave me alone.”

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COC tickets

Saturday night should be a rocking one in the Capital City. The rain will relent, temperatures will rise into the 70’s once again. The stage will be set for a good night out in the Arena District, and the return of Corrosion of Conformity with vocalist/guitarist Pepper Keenan at Park Street Saloon. Pepper hasn’t toured with COC in many years, choosing to focus his efforts on the Phil Anselmo led supergroup Down while his other bandmates continued to tour and record under the COC name as a power trio. Perhaps it was Down frontman Phil Anselmo’s recent troubles that prompted a return to his former band, but whatever the reason might be, we are the benefactors of Pepper teaming back up with Woody, Mike and Reed to celebrate their classic heavy sound once again.

I haven’t seen COC since the In The Arms of God tour over a decade ago, so I will definitely relish the opportunity to hear them play selections from their entire catalog, including the timeless Deliverance. Plus, it should be fun to see the Arena District invaded by the black t-shirt hesher set on a Saturday night. Starwood Presents is bringing this show to the Park Street Saloon along with Four String Brewing and 99.7 The Blitz. Local heroes Lo-Pan open along with Rat Bastard Syndicate. Tickets are $20 in advance or $23 day of show (if they last that long) and are currently available for purchase at brownpapertickets.com. Physical tickets are available for purchase at Records Per Minute, cash only.

 

 

cavemanColumbus Calling friends Paul and Mike traveled to Iceland in 2013 to check out the Iceland Airwaves music festival and both sang the praises of one of the acts they caught, Brooklyn’s Caveman. The six-piece band blends a number of influences, from ’80s synth-rock to more heartland singer-songwriter stuff ala Springsteen and Petty. It makes sense that they’ve been invited to perform on festival stages like Sasquatch and Bonnaroo while doing smaller venue dates opening for Jeff Tweedy and The War on Drugs. Caveman’s third album, Otero War, is due out in June but the band’s hit the road to try out some of the newer material while delivering tracks from their first two albums including “In the City” (the video of which featured actress Julia Stiles). Caveman will open for Scotland’s Frightened Rabbit at The Newport Music Hall on Monday night. Tickets are $16 in advance, $18 at the door.

On his way to a gig in Milwaukee, Caveman’s lead singer Matthew Iwanusa gave me a call from the tour van and we talked about bad traffic, the ’80s influence on the new album, the cinematic qualities of the band’s songs, and arcade games, among other things.

(Download MP3; right-click on link and select “Save As …”)

Check out this great story about how the album cover came to be by artist Marc Ericksen.