Preview: Alive Summer Music Tour

From the 08/03/2011 edition

After hopping from Grandview to Olde Towne East to the Short North, Alive's monthly Columbus concert series stops at Campus hotspot Kobo for its final installment Saturday. There you'll encounter a mind-blowing assortment of the city's best musical acts, and your $5 cover charge will benefit Columbus Music Co-op.

Seriously, have another look at that lineup. We're sending this series out with a bang.


Considering their consistent radio love, a novel's worth of scribbled accolades and a ceaseless parade of high-profile shows, some might call Phantods overexposed. But really, Columbus is just recognizing what this band has pulled off, honing their far-flung influences into one of the most potent pop-rock juggernauts this city has ever seen - call it Paramore for grownups. They'll headline the showcase at 1 a.m., so plan to stay up late.

The Compressions

I used to play guitar and sing in this band. Now I just sing their praises. Since stepping from behind The Slide Machine's drum kit to flex his singer-songwriter muscles, Mark Himmel has become an expert at his craft, and he's assembled just the right cast to broadcast his joy and pain in glorious, rough-and-tumble hi-fi. Plus, word on the street is they might be covering Kanye West, so you really don't want to be absent when they take the stage at midnight Saturday.

Twenty One Pilots

Hybrids are tricky. Any competent musician can work comfortably within a strictly defined genre, but crossing boundaries without making a mess requires a glutton's voracious appetite and a chef's deft touch. Twenty One Pilots are masters of amalgamation, combining indie rock, pop-punk, hip-hop and Passion Pit-style synth pop into one post-millennial party. Keeping up would be tough even if they didn't treat their concerts like track meets. See them in action at 11 p.m. Saturday.

Feature Films

At the heart of Feature Films is the lovelorn indie-pop that made Sam Craighead's previous band, Heavy Mole, so instantly relatable and so immensely affecting. The difference this time is that those thoughtful lyrics and melodies are clothed in an atmospheric swirl of guitars, keyboards and vocal harmonies, as if the sky opened up and this music poured out. Members of Audion, The Cinema Eye and The Blue Revision contribute to the glorious bluster. Witness it yourself Saturday at 10 p.m.

Monster Rally

Monster Rally will set the mood at 9 p.m. sharp Saturday - and this is mood music, for sure. Ted Feighan's surrealist sample collages and their accompanying video clips make for one of the city's more immersive and inspiring media experiences. Since Feighan's music began to trickle online last summer, he's developed a devoted underground following from coast to coast. He's played Brooklyn's elite Glasslands Gallery, released music on California's Gold Robot Records and garnered props from influential Dallas blog Gorilla vs. Bear.