Concert Review: Project 86 at Orange Friends Church (Lewis Center, OH)by Ryan G on Aug 12, 2012 • 12:20 am No Comments
Following the weird show that defined Project 86′s last stop in central Ohio, they decided to try again at a new location, on the heels of the release of their new independent record Wait For the Siren. Many adjectives describe the evening, but weird is not one of them.
Local band To Kill a Monster opened the show in the church’s auditorium with a hardcore tinged set of otherwise straightforward rock n’ roll. Frontman Joey Lawson exhibited great stage presence. It should be noted that an area friend has been bugging me about this band for a long time, and at the conclusion of their set he exclaimed smugly “I told you!” Yes, Chris, you did tell me they were good. And you were very, very right. Hard to believe that at one point in time these guys had The Devil Wears Prada and the like opening for them.
Scarlet White of Michigan followed up with a short set of driving songs. They sounded like an early version of Red or Decyfer Down, but with better vocals. All of the guys had the pipes to produce consistent, ear-shattering screams and growls. Like To Kill a Monster before them, they were very tight and balanced with cleans and growls. It’s always good to see blossoming talent be picked up by these tours.
SONS took the stage in their second performance in central Ohio in a month. In case there was any doubt, yes they can still bring it! Aaron Newbury led the quartet through a driving set complete with all my favorites, including “Masters of Flattery,” “Doubt,” and “Keep Quiet.” They even shot a live music video for “Doubt,” so look for that soon! The videography for that was in the hands of Jake Rinehart (ex-This Love), I was told after the show. Undoubtedly the band won over many new fans that night.
Project 86 roared onstage to “The Spy Hunter” and the pit came alive like it hadn’t the entire evening! Schwab and co churned straight into head bobbing numbers “The Butcher” and “Evil (A Chorus of Resistance)” with classic fervor. Schwab paused a bit to talk about the new record before leading the audience in the dulcimer-accentuated “Fall, Goliath, Fall.” New heavy tune “SOTS” got the audience even more riled up (this might be my favorite of the new songs as they are performed live). The unquestionably BA “Destroyer” followed which yes, is every bit as fantastic live as you might imagine. Old favorite “Me Against Me” reminded the audience of the inner spiritual battle we are all born into, or a “conspiracy” as Schwab put it. Then, Schwab selected some audience members celebrating birthdays and gave them the choice between 4 songs to decided the next tune in the set. The choices were “Stein’s Theme,” “Little Green Men,” “SMC,” and “Illuminate.” After some indecision, with the help of the audience “Stein’s Theme” it was! Two more new songs followed, “Omerta’s Sons” and “The Crossfire Gambit” (both which were solid, the latter which feature’s Brian “Head” Welch of Korn and Love and Death on guest vocals) and the main set ended with the classic “Safe Haven.” The inevitable encore got the audience riled up once more with “Sincerely, Ichabod.”
Props to Orange Friends Church for running such a good operation. What I assume was their youth pastor gave a brief but good message to the crowd prior to Project 86′s performance, and all of the volunteers were friendly and helpful. It’s been quite a while since I’ve been to a show hosted by a church, but I would go back there in a minute given the opportunity to cover a similar show. Project 86 is still at the top of their game, catch them on tour if you can! For your entertainment below is a photo of Andrew Schwab with yours truly and an old friend (I’m on the right).