I first discovered Lo-Pan when they opened for Weedeater at the Southgate House Revival this past year and I saw them again, opening up for Vista Chino, last fall. I think they just get better every time I see them. Normally I would roll my eyes at the gimmick of putting the drummer out in front with the singer standing behind him, but I like the setup for Lo-Pan. The drummer just beats the shit out of his kit the whole time and it's all extremely entertaining for some reason. He hits so hard that I can't believe he doesn't go through like 50 sticks every night. The singer doesn't move around anyway, so it's good that he's hidden in the background while he belts out his soulful vocals that go so well with the music. Seriously, I wouldn't like those vocals in 99% of bands, but I wouldn't have it any other way for Lo-Pan. Perfect match. The bass player is a monster, inducing incredible growls out of his Rickenbacker bass and dominating the fretboard like a bass boss. He's one of those guys that makes me want to go straight home and practice until my fingers bleed. I hate guys like that. Why do you have to be so much better than the rest of us, man? Then you have the old Jerry Garcia dude over on the other side of the stage, just lost in his own world of fuzzy riffs. I have no idea how Lo-Pan came together, but I like to think that guy just showed up one day with a Les Paul and some Ampeg cabinets and they let him stick around because he's such a badass.
I like all of Lo-Pan's studio work, but there's just nothing like seeing them live. Check them out for sure, if you ever get a chance (I heard a rumor that they'll be in the Cincinnati area this fall). They're one of the best stoner metal bands in the country. I'm glad they're fairly local so I can check them out as often as I have. Tight, heavy and catchy. Can't ask for much more than that, unless you're not talking about music.
I had never heard of Whores before this show was announced and I didn't do my homework on them before the show. Major mistake on my part. Those dudes had some of the thickest, sickest, heaviest tones I've ever heard come out of an amp. The songs were good, too, so that's always a bonus. I picked up a double EP at the show, so I'll be reviewing these guys shortly. From what I can tell, they sound like a stoner metal version of Helmet, and that's a good thing.
The singer from Fuck You Pay Me inexplicably emptied a full garbage can in front of the stage in an effort to get some attention, and that's about the extent of what I have to say about those guys.
I really liked Ruby Tuesday as a venue. The sound was awesome, the crowd was into the music and they don't charge for Diet Cokes (take notes, Kentucky venues). 80% of the crowd was going with the shaved head, beard and glasses look, so I guess I would have to hang out there if I lived in Columbus. I already have the uniform. Fun night. Thanks to Lo-Pan and Whores for making the drive and the 45 minute parking odyssey worth my while.