Legbone & The Jackalopes bring Halloween mayhem to South Park Tavern
By Kyle Melton
Rock ‘n’ roll can provide an excellent outlet to shake off one’s mundane reality. Likewise, the Halloween season serves similar outlet, allowing people to don costumes and alter their personas for a time. For the members of Legbone and The Jackalopes, Halloween provides a perfect backdrop to their inherent love of costumes, horror, and a good party.
Although dormant for several years, the Jackalopes reunited in 2009 and continue to make occasional appearances. For frontman Chad Wells, a Halloween show is an obvious opportunity for the band to get together.
“The Jackalopes had a preoccupation in our lyrics and imagery with a Horror and B-Movie sort of aesthetic so it often happens that we get a little misty for this time of year and that always leads to a Halloween show,” Wells explained. “We used to try to do these kinds of shows at far larger venues and they were always a success in that capacity but I think that the pomp and drama of a large show in a large venue is the antithesis of the reason we like to get together and play music nowadays. We’re here for the family reunion aspect of playing these days — to get together and share an evening among our fans and friends. No better place in town to do that for us than South Park Tavern.”
As an original member of the Jackalopes and currently serving with long-running Dayton punk faves Legbone, bassist GeeGee Bradley finds Halloween shows to be one of the most satisfying events of the year.
“As long as I’ve been playing music, since I was a teenager, I’ve always played some sort of Halloween show every year,” said Bradley. “I live in Columbus now and the rest of the boys are married with kids so this is our Halloween party. Its just a fun excuse to get together with friends & have a good time.”
While both of these bands cater to a raucous strain of music lovers in the Dayton area, they admit that the Halloween show is a special occasion.
“It’s a part of the weird Mardi Gras that Halloween has become for people,” Wells said. “They want big costumes and big parties and a big reason to let go of their inhibitions and live in an alternate universe for a little while. The better job a show or venue does of creating the vibe the better the reception will be.”
For fans of Dayton punk, this will be their first opportunity to see both the Jackalopes and Legbone on stage together in over a decade.
“When the Jackalopes first ‘relapsed’ a few years ago, I had a lot of friends, bar owners and promoters ask me to do a Legbone/Jackalopes double-bill,” explained Bradley. “Honestly, I just didn’t want to for purely selfish reasons: I didn’t want to do double-duty! Being on stage for two full-sets makes for a long night for any musician but its especially taxing when you’re downpicking fast punk rock songs and jumping around like a crazy person. It’s a workout! When Legbone booked this Halloween show, it just seemed like the logical choice. The Jackalopes traditionally rear our ugly heads around Halloween so I finally gave in & said, ‘What the Hell? Let’s do it!’ I recruited Mitch (Lawson, Legbone’s guitarist) to play with the ‘Lopes so Mitch has to endure the marathon right along with me.”
Having these two local punk favorites sharing the stage at an intimate setting like South Park Tavern is certain to provide an excellent backdrop for a night out celebrating Halloween.
“Know that we’re there to have a good time and celebrate a long history in both bands of providing an escape from the daily grind,” Wells said. “Both bands, though we can seem aggressive or angry at times, are in essence party bands.”
“Halloween is a time of year that a lot of us look forward to, especially living in the Midwest,” said Bradley. “It’s the last hoorah before the stress of the holidays and winter sets in. Its an annual opportunity to forget all your woes, dress up, be whatever you want to be & have a blast!”
Legbone and the Jackalopes will perform on Saturday, October 29 at South Park Tavern, 1301 Wayne Ave. Admission is $5 for all ages. For more information, visit www.legbone.com or myspace.com/thejackalopes.
Reach DCP Music Editor Kyle Melton at MusicEditor@DaytonCityPaper.com and read his blog at thebuddhaden.net.