90s Reloaded multiple bands tribute show at Canal Street Tavern
By Nick Schwab
Do you hear that? It is the sweet sound of 1990s music coming back again. Glory! Glory!! Hallelujah!
The 1990s was a turbulent time for the art form that would forever change the face of the industry. It was also probably the first time that bands that often did not seem that accessible signed major label contracts after Nirvana’s success. It was also a time when hip-hop and rap became a voice of not just a minority culture and generation, but were essential to the very fabric of suburban, and even mainstream, society.
This era is now ready to ignite again with 90s Reloaded, an event that will come a second time to the Canal Street Tavern on Friday, Aug. 31.
The themed event will feature nine bands of many different 1990s styles doing a mixture of originals while providing their own take on well-known and obscure covers of this era.
There is an artist called NightBeast that is doing hip-hop, another act called The Flesh Pets that describes their music as a mixture of shoegaze and punk, as well as other artists that play alternative rock akin to Sublime and even grungers, too.
“When I book these shows I make sure every band is different from the others,” show founder and promoter Louie Wood, Jr. explained. “We move things quick to get people pumped for the next band that will (also) play a 30-35 minute set.”
Wood, who calls himself a huge fan of both 1990s and 1980s music, started doing these tribute shows at the Dayton Dirt Collective for 1980s themed music, but has since moved to Canal Street Tavern since its bigger space can fit a larger amount of people.
Wood originally thought to put these shows together because he felt that people around the area were uninterested in checking out bands that they haven’t heard of before.
“When you pass out a flyer for a normal show, people don’t care if they haven’t heard of the band,” he admits. “But if you pass out an event flyer with a theme, it is easier to get the people here. It’s like a party.”
He is also surprised at the feedback he has gotten around the area for these shows.
“People come out of the woodwork for them,” said Wood. “We have a lot of people who come out to these tribute shows that generally do not go see cover bands or new bands, but they come here to see these bands they do not know do songs differently.”
Wood says the main goal of these tribute shows is to get more people involved in the Dayton music scene and interested in original acts they normally wouldn’t take notice of otherwise.
“We have the bands do just as many of their originals as covers, or even more,” he said. “The spirit of the show is to expose these (artists) to new people.”
Frequent-tribute show attendee Richard Brown says he always enjoys the experience.
“There is always something going on at these shows,” Brown said. “You always get new bands, which is a very nice thing (and) it’s always very upbeat. You have a lot of people dancing. I am one of them.”
The acts that perform love the exposure to new audiences and are psyched about getting to expand and twist their style to fit past acts.
Nick Testa, of the comedy, hip-hop/electro project, NightBeast (www.thenightbeast.com) is one of these acts happy to be one of them, as he is playing this tribute show for the first time.
“We are a completely original band,” Testa said. “Doing covers is a foreign territory to us, but it is something I am welcome to. I think we can put our own spin on the songs that we love and do our original songs that we love too.”
The Flesh Pets (thefleshpets.webs.com) actually played their first show at the last Reloaded and member Brendon Broome is happy to be back.
“The atmosphere is always fun, and you can tell that there are some people there that are not familiar with Dayton shows,” Broome said. “Dayton shows have an aura about them, you can walk in and know a bunch of people like a reunion, and to the newer people the sociable atmosphere is really enamoring for them to see.”
Testa is hopeful about the night and atmosphere.
“Hopefully the people who come will be open to new things and into the same music that I am. I hope it will act as a good gateway for people who don’t see both original or cover bands around here.”
Despite the city of Dayton being awash with a tad too many Guided By Voices/Breeders acts, the area does have a deep music scene that people should be aware of.
“There are a lot of great bands around here. There is always something different,” said Broome.
90’s Reloaded is at Canal Street Tavern on Friday, Aug. 31from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Cover is $5 for ages 18 & up. Scheduled to perform are: A Shade of Red, The Flesh Pets, NightBeast, Broken Lights, Charge Scenic, Epistone, RustBelly, The Giant Steps and Hazy & The Rugged Child. For more information, visit canalstreettavern.com.
Reach DCP freelance writer Nick Schwab at NickSchwab@DaytonCityPaper.com.