Surfer Blood, Boots Electric and Cake
LC Pavilion, Columbus
Somehow every time I go to Columbus, hassles overtake my plans and usually ruin my day. The same thing happens in Cincinnati because all roads seem to lead to Over-The-Rhine and the accompanying unwelcome advances from streetwalkers. I digress. On Friday, August 12, I packed myself and four of my hipster friends in my beat-up Honda Civic with the Guided By Voices bumper sticker for the hour-long trek to our state’s capitol to see Surfer Blood, Boots Electric and Cake perform at the Lifestyles Community Pavilion. My friends insisted on purchasing Sparks for the ride so by the time we arrived in Columbus, my car smelled like a frat house floor. The day was sunny, but not too hot until you began to dance and get rowdy, or as my friends like to say – “get buck wild.” Turns out the rest of the crowd was too cool to dance and be free, they’d rather stand around, bob their little emo heads and stare at us as if we were somehow interrupting their quiet little rock concert. And quiet it was. The sound guy, it seems, forgot that the bands were playing rock ‘n’ roll, not classically-inflected folky shoegaze bhangra. That said, Surfer Blood sounded good, probably because they’re young, energetic and engaging. However, when Boots Electric, aka Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal debuted his new solo act, the results were less than spectacular. Hughes seems to be imitating himself these days, crafting clichéd, Justin Bieber with power chords “rock” songs that would gather no attention if not for his already established fame. The singer also appeared to be under the influence of a certain substance (allegedly), causing him to pace about anxiously and constantly wipe his nose with a handkerchief. Amid amen shouts to the devil and wannabe-Elvis hip thrusting, Boots Electric seems burnt out, and honestly, not too healthy. We didn’t even stick around to see Cake.
— Benjamin Dale