Enter the creepshow

I Died Trying plays cross-media event in Miamisburg

Tony Goff playing his guitar with a Pee Wee Herman doll. Photo: Mike RItchie

By Mike Ritchie


The one-man band I Died Trying will play a special cross-media event at Miamisburg’s Plaza Theatre Saturday featuring an opening 75-minute set, preview reel, and the theatrical screening of Creepshow.
Tony Goff explains why he wanted to open for a movie, “Its’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid.” His first theatrical experience was Friday the 13th Part 3 in 3D. “That’s a testament to how cool my mom was.” He’s always enjoyed the ritual of going to a theater.
Goff’s been equally influenced by film and music, “I never did the visual side till I went solo,” he says. “I’ve opened for all my favorite bands for the most part. So, maybe now I’ll open for some movies that influenced and inspired me.”
Goff’s visuals usually portrayed on flat screens will be projected on a 31-foot HD movie screen. “It should be extremely powerful, probably overwhelming for some people.” Goff got lucky and was offered the 300-seat, one screen theater.
He’s a big Stephen King and Creepshow fan, “That’s my favorite Romero movie.”
He wanted to do the original Black Christmas, but couldn’t get the rights. Creepshow was a good plan B. Father’s Day is Goff’s favorite story. “That’s the one that stuck with me since I was little.”
The set list will be five songs; three on the new record, one from the first, and one from the second.
The event is multi-purpose including a George Romero tribute, the DVD release of Goff’s Encore show, the first cross-media theater event, and the 10-year anniversary of Goff’s father’s passing. He’ll open with “Somewhere Beneath the Sunshine,” a tribute to his dad.
The DVD will have extras, “There’s a lot of extra footage,” from rehearsal, pre-show, intermission. It’ll play like a concert film with opening and closing credits.
You’ll see the raw, live experience, “It was originally supposed to have four cameras,” Goff says. “I only had three, during the first act only two were going. It’s good, I’m happy with it. It’s raw, but suits the feeling and sounds decent.”
Goff’s leaving it as it was, “This is for the people there to relive and for people who couldn’t be there.” The footage captures the grit and raw experience, nothing polished. “I’m leaving everything in, giving a multi-angle, visceral experience. When it’s out it’ll be something I’ll be proud of.”
The collective emotion of the evening was captured, “Absolutely, I wanna present it as close to being there as possible, with visuals blended into the experience. Things went well. Looking at the footage, I was worried. Can I convey that? It’s there in the footage and the sound.”
Goff can’t put the experience in words; “I’ve played over 1000 shows in my life over 25 years. I Died Trying will be 16 years old in February with 700 shows played. It was my favorite night on stage ever. There’s never been a night where I played and felt that emotionally connected to the room of people. Everyone there wanted to be there. It’s hard for me to put into words.”
People still talk about it, “It was a room full of different people and everyone loved it. I’m confident I’m representing it as accurately as possible.”
Goff rehearsed for five weeks prior, five days a week, going through the paces, “I hadn’t been on stage in four years. Certain things happened. So many things came back to me. Without a doubt during “Purple Rain” and “Swallowing Swords.” Swallowing was the only song not on the new record. That whole song was extremely surreal for me. As soon as the opening sample started, it was like 15 years of all the times I played it, the rehearsals and stages…it was very visceral for me.” A flashback of band members and where his life was then and where it is now.
“It was unbelievable, all this stuff hitting me at once and you see it on the DVD. It’s prominent in my face and everything that’s going on during the song.”
One of the handhelds died and the DVD may not exist without Goff’s friend Matthew S. King thinking on his feet during the second act. “He saved my ass. Without it I wouldn’t have had enough footage for a DVD. He went above and beyond.”
Goff took a while to recover, “Two days later, emotionally, I was good. I cleansed a lot of stuff. Physically, I was pretty beat up for about two weeks. I’ve never played that long in my life.” His nervous system suffered the most lingering effects.
Anticipation surrounds the concert release, with a first run of 150 copies, “Two-thirds of everyone there wants one and who knows how many who didn’t get to go.” Goff is old-school preferring the physical form but will release a digital version later. There’s already a demand for pre-orders. Goff will slam-pack it full of footage of the most memorable night on stage of his life.

Saturday, Dec. 30, I Died Trying performs at the Plaza Theatre, 33 S. Main St. in Miamisburg. Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets are $15. Creepshow screens afterward. For more information please call 937.247.5980

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Reach DCP freelance writer Mike Ritchie at MikeRitchie@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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