The 8th Annual HoliDayton

Mark McMillion and Poppy of The Story Changes Mark McMillion and Poppy of The Story Changes

The Story Changes liven up (Holi)Daytonites

By Kyle Melton

Mark McMillion and Poppy of The Story Changes

Within the Dayton indie music community, there are a handful of events that seem to punctuate the ebb and flow of the year. With the close of another calendar year, the annual HoliDayton show presented by local punk duo The Story Changes serves as a yearly reminder of the camaraderie and passion within the Dayton indie music community.

For those unfamiliar with one the Dayton music scene’s most popular annual events, here’s a quick synopsis of the event: originally envisioned by The Story Changes, HoliDayton made its debut at the now-defunct Elbo’s in December 2003. In 2006, the event moved over to the former Nite Owl. Blind Bob’s stepped up to host the event in 2008 and 2009, and will host its third consecutive HoliDayton in 2010. The fundamental premise of HoliDayton is two stages featuring bands and solo performers that provides a stark departure from a typical local rock show.

At the core of HoliDayton lies two of Dayton’s hardest working touring musicians, guitarist/vocalist Mark McMillon and drummer Poppy of The Story Changes. As the gracious hosts/organizers of the annual HoliDayton show, the duo seek to create an event that gives them the opportunity to reflect on their achievements of the past year and also to share the stage with many of their Gem City compatriots.

“It seems like everyone – audience and bands alike – are genuinely excited to see a good mix of live music, unwind from the stress of the holidays and see a lot of friends all out on the same night,” said McMillon. “We feel very honored that Dayton has sort of embraced the show and people genuinely look forward to it. We’re just trying to put on a fun show and hopefully live up to their expectations.”

Throughout 2010, TSC has toured nearly non-stop, much of their road time spent opening for fellow Dayton natives, Hawthorne Heights, throughout the U.S. and Europe.

“We’ve been on the run full-steam all year,” admitted McMillon. “It’s going to be nice to catch our breath at home and embrace Dayton music and see what everyone’s been up to. We’re so lucky to have so many talented friends in our hometown and have always been able to put together really solid lineups. I think this year is no exception.”

Since opening in late 2008, Blind Bob’s owners Bob & Lisa Mendenhall have shown unwavering support for the local indie music scene and their hosting HoliDayton stands as testament to their dedication.

“Blind Bob’s has been great to us,” McMillon said. “They have been really cool about accommodating and helping to keep things running smoothly. We can’t thank them enough for all their help. Bob’s has been a very important piece to the local music puzzle since they opened and I think people are happy with our choice of hosting the show there.”

With this year’s lineup for HoliDayton, McMillon and Poppy have culled an intriguing cross-section of the current Dayton crop which should appeal to a wide variety of musical tastes. Audiences will have the chance to listen to the eclectic acoustic stylings of David Payne, JT Woodruff [of Hawthorne Heights], Brandon Hawk and Father’s Day [a new outfit featuring Joe Anderl and Kris N.], in addition to the boogie guitar histrionics of C. Wright’s Parlour Tricks, the muscular instrumental jazz/rock explorations of Kuan, the indie power-pop of Smug Brothers, the grinding post-grunge of Invitation to a Bullfight [featuring members of Devil Wears Prada], the dynamic indie newcomers Roley Yuma and of course the Midwestern punk of hosts The Story Changes. As in years past, the selection of performers for HoliDayton is always a challenge for TSC.

“There is so much talent in Dayton,” said McMillon. “If we could fit 25 acts on the bill, we would still have a hard time picking who to play. Having the stripped down acts along with the loud rock bands creates an ‘anything goes’ mentality when selecting the bands to play and gives us room to do whatever we want with the lineup.”

With so many people coming home for the holidays and things slowing down a bit for those in Dayton, HoliDayton traditionally serves as an excellent way to close the books on another year and share in an appreciation of the variant homegrown music that the Gem City has to offer.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to travel the world playing music and nowhere has impressed me more with local talent than Dayton, Ohio,” McMillon said. “Come celebrate it with us and discover some new music. I’m sure we will continue throwing the show for years to come. We have a blast putting it together every year and feel honored that Dayton has embraced it with so much support.”

The 8th Annual HoliDayton show will take place Thursday, December 23 at Blind Bob’s, 430 E. Fifth St. Doors open at 8 p.m. and admission is $7 for 21 & up. For more information, visit

Reach DCP freelance writer Kyle Melton at  HYPERLINK “”

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