Show Review

Aaron George
One thing about Musica in Akron is that they get some pretty good bands to come through. For me personally the place is a bit too clean and needs a few more years to really be broken in as a venue, but as the main place in town to go see music from other parts of the world they do a good job of getting a diverse array of styles through the doors. The show I saw their tonight was no exception, hosting acts that were both seasoned vets as well as completely fresh faced.

First up for the night was Australias Travis Caudle. Caudle played a brief handful of acoustic songs that, while not exactly jumping out and biting anyone, had a nice feel and set an overall good pace for the beginning of the night. Caudle reminded me of David Gray in his method and over all presence, but with a voice more in line with that of Rob Thomas from Matchbox Twenty.

After Caudle was finished The MoonMen took the stage. If I had to guess (which I do) The MoonMen were the local act for the evening. The reason I have to guess is that they never mentioned where they are from and, for possibly the first time ever, google has failed me on any info about them. Regardless of where they are from though these guys played a great show, and on top of that they claimed it was their first ever time playing out. This may have been a joke, but the fact that I can’t find anything about them leads me to question it. Either way they have a sound that could be compared to early Cold Play (especially the vocals) with a whole extra helping of groove thrown in.

Next up came The Spinto band with their nerd pop du jour. Spinto has been around for over a decade and was my original motivation for going out to the show. Before they even started playing things got delightfully geeky courtesy of a short video game contest held on a big screen TV to the right of the stage and MC’d by the bands guitar player/singer Nick Krill. The game was Super Smash Brothers and the contest was between two members of Spinto and two Members of Miniature Tigers. In the end, after a very heated battle, Miniature Tigers won and as a consequence the bass player for Spinto, Thomas Hughes was forced to wear a Lebron James jersey for the entirety of their performance. Apparently this was something that had been building up for the entire tour, and with Akron being the second to last stop they decided to duke it out here.

Before the show started I was talking with The Spinto Bands drummer, Jeff Hobson and he told me that for whatever reason the band never seemed to have good shows when they played Ohio. If that was the case then I would have to guess that this show was the end to all that as the music was on point and the theatrics were in full swing. This is a very energetic group of guys, and for the entire show they proved that by being all over place. They played about ten songs, two of which were from a new album that is still in the works. For me the highpoint of the performance was when they played Directly to Helmet, but there really wasn't much of a downtime to the show.

I haven't been to many shows this summer, but The Spinto Band was probably the highlight for me. They sounded great, they had a good dynamic, and they kept their show fun. Another interesting point of the show was the interaction between The Spinto Band and The Miniature Tigers. Both groups played requests that the other band had made before the show began, and throughout the night the two groups interacted almost like they had toured together several times.

Miniature Tigers closed out the evening with a solid performance in celebration of their new release, Fortress. Tigers is something slightly psychedelic and in many ways reminiscent of the 60s, while still having a modern flavor thanks to, among other things, a decent smattering of synth. For me personally, having never heard the band before, I had my attention drawn by a few seconds of fuzzed out bass, and was happy to hear the noisy mash-ups that followed.

Tigers also put on a great stage show, at one point lead singer Charlie Brand hopped off stage and danced with the audience, and several times the members of the group switched over to each others instruments without missing a note. Near the end of the set The Spinto Band came back out on stage and helped Tigers close out...well actually they just sort of danced around with rain sticks and tambourines, but it was an awesome way to end things. After this Tigers came out and did a three song encore, much to the delight of the audience.

From here Miniature Tigers and The Spinto Band are on their way to Boston for the final show of the tour. It almost goes without saying that they will one day be back in our neck of the woods, and if they do I highly recommend going if you like your indie/pop music spiced with video games and general nerdy behaviour.