Concert Review: Bang the Gong Tour

A week ago, the “Bang the Gong Tour” made a stop at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus, OH in the form of CD101 (our local alternative station)’s $5 “low dough” show. This featured up and coming bands Neon Trees, Civil Twilight, Paper Tongues, and Evaline. I’ll admit that I attended this show mainly for Paper Tongues, and didn’t know much more than a song or two by the other groups.

Around 7 PM, Evaline, an alt-rock group that vaguely reminded me of MuteMath went on, giving the audience a show of ambient rock sounds fronted by a charismatic vocalist. He jumped into the audience several times, at times grabbing people by the head and staring at them. This group even had a freak out session in their last song with several band member banging on various forms of percussion and the frontman playing around with a distortion pad. His final attempt to crowd surf proved to be in vain (looking rather uncomfortable from my balcony vantage point) and he made his way to the out the back as their set ended.

The 2nd band of the night was Paper Tongues (see my album review below) and easily the highlight of the night. Much like their

Paper Tongues

show opening for Switchfoot, they kicked things off with the anthem “For the People” followed by their current radio hit “Trinity”. Frontman Aswan North emerged in a black leather jacket and shades, sporting a look that could almost be considered a modernized 80s Michael Jackson look. “What If” and “Everybody” followed, and through the remainder of their set the audience’s enthusiasm for this still relatively unknown band just kept growing and growing.  After an interlude type song, the group ended their set on a high note with “Get Higher” and “Ride to California”

The second half of the concert began with co-headliners Civil Twilight, hailing from South Africa but now based in Nashville. The trio showcased a sound that had kind of a mellowed intensity to it. I found myself getting kind of sleepy during their set actually, but this wasn’t a bad thing. I enjoyed the mood quite a bit. They ended things predictably with their radio hit “Letters From the Sky” eliciting screams from the crowd.

Neon Trees took the stage after a short set change. Unfortunately it was getting late and I could only stay for a few songs at that

Neon Trees

point. They opened with a song I later determined to be “Love and Affection”, and I left during “Your Surrender”. I didn’t get to hear “Animal” but overall I was satisfied with the evening. Neon Trees exhibit a stage that is at once classy and glamorous. I was reminded of the Killers a bit (even though I’ve never seen them live). The lead vocalist was prancing around, adorned with a weird maestro outfit of sorts, a black mohawk, and a flashing red headband. Had

it not been for an early morning drive to Cedar Point (how unfortunate, eh?) I would have happily finished out the set.

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