Concert Recap: Boys of Fall in the Pizza Dungeon
For as long as I can remember I have been wired differently than most. As a child/teen I thought I was just really weird, and it kind of bothered me at times. However, as I got older I realized this was a good thing; it’s okay to think outside the box and walk to the beat of my own drum. In other words, I should be me. I shouldn’t be trapped inside some box, as no one should. The world needs individuals, not robots. I bet you are asking yourself what this has to do with the show to which this article corresponds. Well, I’m about to tell you. Most people get excited—even super excited—about tours that come through their cities/towns and the huge venues they are playing. That isn’t the case for me. I don’t think that has really ever been the case. I mean don’t get me wrong—I loved Warped, and anytime bands like Thursday, AFI, Jimmy Eat World, New Found Glory, and Deftones announce a tour. But at the end of the day what really gets me excited are local shows, stacked locals on touring bills, and small venues.
A few months back local booking company BravoArtist announced that the Boys of Fall tour with Oh, Weatherly and Never Loved would be coming to our fair city of Columbus. Ok sweet, not really bands I listen to, but I may go, as it was going to be held at my favorite venue, Donato’s Basement AKA The Pizza Dungeon. Over the years I have attended so many awesome shows at this venue that I will almost go to any show there. I just love the room and the staff there. It truly has become my second home. So, not being a fan of the tour itself, I was on the fence for a while. But then BravoArtist announced the local support: In Winds, You Vs. Yesterday, and We Are the Movies. Not one, not two, but three of my favorite local artists. Yep, this was happening. Ray was stoked as shit. This show was going to be epic. And nothing was going to stop me from going. I don’t know the last time I actually used the calendar on my phone for something, but I did for this show, even though the date was etched in my brain.
The few days leading up to the show were a little crazy as life happens sometimes, but I wasn’t about to let life get in the way of this night, as I planned to enjoy life for a few hours, the only way I know how: with my friends, at a show, at Donato’s Basement. Once home from work, I had one decision to make, how was I getting there? I went with walk, as I don’t live that far from the venue, and it was a nice spring day here in Columbus. The sun was out, the temperature was great, and there was a nice little breeze as well. As I left I put my headphones in and found music for my walk, I went with Emarosa’s latest album as it has a nice spring feel to it. It seemed to do the trick, as my walk was very chill, and I was able to take in my surroundings. It was nice to see people out and about doing things. As I got closer to the venue I heard my name, I looked back, and it was a friend, so we chatted at his car for a bit as I finished my smoke, and we walked in together but not before we ran into another friend, so we chatted some before we proceeded to all walk in together. Yep this was going to be a great night. Show hadn’t even started, and two awesome conversations with two awesome people were already had. On to the show we go.
The first act up was In Winds, which is a solo acoustic act of Dan Amaro. Dan is the former frontman for Michigan pop-punk band The Major/Minor. He moved to Columbus late last year and has immersed himself into our little scene, and he is doing a damn good job of it. He is a networking machine. Anyways, his music: I don’t want to repeat what I said in a review of his debut single, but he reminds of early Dashboard Confessional, and I love that. As a pop-punk kid, back in 2000 when I first heard Dashboard, I was like this speaks to me more than any pop-punk band has, and I was hooked. It was due to the fact that acts like that get really real and honest with their lyrics, and Dan does the same thing. This was my third time seeing him as In Winds and his performance was well received by the crowd on this night. At this rate he is going to become a huge fixture in the Columbus scene and even farther. Oh, and guess, what he closed the night with? Just guess, I dare you. Yep you got it, “Hands Down” by Dashboard Confessional. He even had Mike O’Leary from We Are the Movies join him. It was a thing a beauty. I may have had the same feeling the first time I saw Dashboard in 2001 in a room the size of Donatos.
The next act is one that I have come to really enjoy over the years. Dayton pop-rockers are no strangers to this writer or Donato’s Basement. I recently was curious about the number of shows I’ve seen at Donato’s, and at the time it was 114; it’s now 116. But anyhow, while counting I noticed a few bands kept showing up, and one of them was You Vs Yesterday. In their short history and them coming to Columbus since 2015, I think I have missed 2 YVY shows. This is a band I believe in, and you should as well. The drive and passion that these 4 guys have is unparalleled, and it’s going to take them far. Trust me. And don’t even get me started on the lyrics. That’s a huge part of my love for this band: they have some of the most relatable lyrics you will hear in music today. This night was already my 3rd time seeing them this year, and it was the best. I’m not sure what it was, but they brought their A game and boy did the crowd eat it up. Between the ones that knew the words and the ones that just danced along, this set was magic. While I enjoy all of their songs, anytime they play “Open Door Policy” I am sure to have a smile on my face the entirety of the song and maybe even dance.
The last local of the night was local favorite, We Are the Movies. If you are a regular reader of this blog or follow me on any social media, then you already know. These guys are the uncrowned kings of Columbus Pop-Punk. And I don’t see anyone taking their throne anytime soon. No matter how many times I see them, I always have a damn great time. I sing, I scream, I mosh, I dance, and sometimes I grab the mic. This is a band that knows how to get a crowd going, and they do it every single time they take the stage. Tim Waters is hands down one of the best frontmen in Columbus. He is an entertainer and he knows how to engage a crowd. And with the crowd on this night, I think he knew he had to up his game and he did. They were like putty in his hands the entire set. Tim is not alone here; guitarist/vocalist Mike O’Leary also is a master. Sometimes I think the band feeds off of him, as he is a Wildman on stage and is everywhere. WATM sets never disappoint, and this was no different. They always look like they are having the time of their life up there, and I love that. They are a band that leaves me wanting more every time they play.
The first of the touring acts was Never Loved, and sadly I missed their set as I was outside doing Cobra stuff. Sorry. But I can say this, I saw them last summer, and they absolutely killed it. The thing I remember most is their energy. So I would for sure recommend them. Next up was Oh, Weatherly. The last time they came through, I actually missed their set because I was outside doing Cobra stuff. But not this time. I caught their set and was impressed. I had fun during their set. I always for some reason thought of them as a Mayday Parade clone but nah, I was wrong. They are their own band, and I would 10/10 see them again. Last but least, we had Boys of Fall. And yes I’m going to mention Cobra stuff again. The only reason is I don’t remember them sounding the way they did, I’ve seen them twice before, at that same venue and I do not recall them being that heavy at times. They had the entire venue jumping at times and it was great. I loved it. Did they change their sound? Or was I doing Cobra stuff the first two times? Because I enjoyed their set, a lot!!!!! This is band you should check out for sure.
Overall I enjoyed this night and would do it all over again if I could. If you take anything from this, I want it to be this: go to local shows, support local venues, get to know your local bands, and have fun. Your scene is only as strong as you allow it to be. We determine that. Even if you don’t know the acts playing, go!!!!! You may find your next favorite band.