Friday, October 19, 2007

Calendar For Preston

I never skip an opening band. Part of that is practical – you want to get a good spot and plant your feet in preparation for the headliner. But mostly it’s because there’s often a gem in the muck that often accompanies the band whose name is on your ticket.

Case in point: Calendar For Preston. Formerly a cover band by the name of Vinyl, the local boys were added at the last minute as an opener for VHS Or Beta last night at the Newport. They were a perfect match.

Calendar For Preston was new to me. I’d heard of Vinyl, but I really don’t pay a whole lot of attention to cover bands, so I was clueless that they even changed the band name, let alone what that name was. But there’s more than just a superficial name change going on here – now they’re writing and playing their own songs. And they do it well. Pairing equal parts of melancholy and clever lyrics, the band delivers songs that are very listener-friendly and not too emo to be fun. Although some of the songs Calendar For Preston played last night were very similar in notes and sounds, I came away with a sense that maybe Columbus isn’t quite big enough for these guys.

With shades of Panic At the Disco and At The Drive-in, Calendar For Preston creates a smooth alt-pop-rock mix that takes from several recognizable influences but is still able to retain its originality. Lead singer Stephen Jordan is a great front man. His voice is perfect for the music that blends immaculately behind him and he’s got an onstage energy that keeps you intrigued in what the band is playing, regardless of whether you know the song or not. But that’s not to say that the rest of the band is only back-up for Jordan. Ryan Harris on drums, Joey Sexton on guitar, and Tom Gutman on bass and keys were musically tight and without their obvious talent, Calendar For Preston would be just another local band destined for obscurity. And as it stands now, I don’t see the word “obscure” anywhere in their future.
Calendar For Preston MySpace page

[I picked up a copy of their EP last night at the show, so I'll posting a review of it this weekend.]

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