Authenticity is making a comeback.
This isn’t to say it ever left, but in today’s music scene, which often seems polarized between affected showmanship or aloof indifference on stage, certain bands are shifting their focus back to the basics. On January 24th, Ohio Sky embodied this notion, bringing a more condensed, streamline incarnation to the stage in celebration of the release of their fourth album The Big Distraction.
During the weeks leading up to the show, Ohio Sky spoke about the process of developing The Big Distraction. A common thread discussed was of the band honing in on precisely what they wanted; how they deftly realized their vision and sound. It was apparent that many details were considered in planning the album and show. The album itself is a thunderous tomb that builds a space both familiar and heart wrenching. When listening on your own, it’s your space to build and you’re on one side of a gigantic wall.
On the night of their album release, the audience was invited to the other side. Ohio Sky hosted their event at the House of Blues Cambridge Room—a venue more akin to a living room than a concert hall.
Taking the stage to open the show were Columbus’ own EYE and Cleveland-based band Nights. The selection of these openers again felt like considered moves before the final act. EYE brought its distinctly raw and psychedelic brand of rock, complete with vintage organ fuzz and neon echo-scapes. They were the first layer of dark atmosphere that evening. Nights followed, bringing a more modern focus to the spacey layer EYE laid down. With dreamy melodies and guitar swells, Nights colored the space with an articulate energy both explosive and delicate, expanding the pocket that was soon to be filled.
Ohio Sky performed last, and as they say, the stage was set. Both venue and audience were primed to climb behind the wall of sound and into the vast space the band is known for creating live. As the lights fell, people were shown exactly what laid beyond the wall—a white, turbulent mass of energy amidst the dark. Ohio Sky roared through their set with only a pattern projection behind them. It drew focus on the music and less on the performers. The experience was crafted as such to invite everyone into their sound. The brawling hits were that much harder, the crooning lulls that much more ethereal. It matched and visualized the album—immersive, powerful, and intimate.
Everything leading up to this show was a decision made to fully realize the music as Ohio Sky saw fit. And anyone in attendance would be hard pressed to say otherwise.
The Big Distraction is currently available from Cellar Door Records.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/168428286″ params=”color=ff5500″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]