Our Annual Bands to Watch showcase takes place at Skully's Music-Diner on Saturday, Jan. 28, and features performances by DANA, didi, Nes Wordz, Cherry Chrome and Many Rooms.

There are plenty of bands to watch in Columbus. Every weekend and some weeknights, talented local acts of different stripes play their hearts out on local stages. But each year at Alive, we set aside an issue to highlight a particular group of Bands to Watch. The designation means we not only like what they've done; we're also excited about where they seem to be going. We think you should listen now, and you should continue to listen as more songs are released and more gigs are booked.

Chances are you'll find something to like among the five bands selected for this 2017 class, which reflects the diversity of styles in Columbus' ever-morphing music scene. There's the sonic assault of art-punk quartet DANA, the multifaceted hip-hop of Nes Wordz (who shares a Toledo upbringing with DANA's Madeline Jackson), the fractured, acoustic confessionals of Many Rooms, the youthful indie rock of Cherry Chrome and noise-pop stylings of didi.

As is our custom, Alive will host a free show at Skully's Music-Diner with performances by all five of this year's Bands to Watch inductees, and, as always, it won't cost you a thing. Read on to learn more about the 2017 Bands to Watch.

Bands to Watch through the years

2016

Mary Lynn

Nuclear Moms

The Fallen

Correy Parks

Playing to Vapors

2015

All Dogs

Damn the Witch Siren

Dominique Larue

EYE

The Sidekicks

2014

Angela Perley & the Howlin' Moons

Bummers

Cliffs

Counterfeit Madison

Post Coma Network

DJ set: DJ Giovanni

2013

Cadaver Dogs

The End of the Ocean

Forest & the Evergreens

The Girls!

The Saturday Giant

DJ set: George Brazil

2012

The DewDroppers

Freaky Franz

Monster Rally

Meechie Nelson

Sundown

DJ set: Bruni

2011

Alleyes Path

P. Blackk & Fabrashay A

The Town Monster

Way Yes

The Wet Darlings

DJ set: Self Help

2010

Andrew Graham and Swarming Branch

Saintseneca

Shin Tower Music

Struck By Lightning

Nick Tolford & Company

DJ set: roeVy

2009

Couch Forts

The Crimson Armada

The Main Street Gospel

This Is My Suitcase

Tin Armor

2008

Fly Union

Rosehips

Sinkane

The Slide Machine

Young Wise

2007

Brainbow

The Catalyst

Blake Miller

Outer Spacist

Paper Airplane

2006

Heavy Mole

Pretty Weapons

Psychedelic Horseshit

The Squares

Zero

2005

Envelope

Necropolis

Sweetheart

Terribly Empty Pockets

Times New Viking

2004

The Blue Revision

The Cinema Eye

Deadsea

Diet

Illogic

2003

The Means

Monster Movies

Silencio

Teeth of the Hydra

Two Cow Garage