When Family Force 5 closed the show Friday at the Newport Music Hall the sweat slicked malodorous mass of humanity that stumbled out of the mosh pit needed a nap and a hose to recover. This being the next to last stop on the AP Tour it seemed more like a frat party than a high profile multi-band show. Members of The Maine were out onstage with 3OH!3 and most of 3OH!3 rocked out on stage with Family Force 5.
While the theme of the evening was rock it came in many different packages.
The tour kicked off with Hit the Lights and Rocket to the Moon. When The Maine
hit the stage the gaggle of teenage girls in the Newport went supersonic. While
the bass player is very talented, and the lead singer has an amazing vocal range,
this pop infused rock band has yet to truly find their sound. One of the oddest
moments of the evening was when John O’Callahan climbed atop the massive
speaker and performed a lecherous cover of an Akon hit. It was rancid fun, but
the skinny legged white boy in stretch pants definitely put a different twist
on the song.
3OH!3 opened their set with Punkbitch and Starstrukk. The electronic punk rap group with their gangly leaders obviously has fun on stage. The audience throbbed with energy as Foreman and Motte slung some lyrics. The set had a few slow moments and the pace seemed awkward at times. These boys do not take themselves too seriously, having contests to see who can kick inflatables the furthest into the crowd. The highlight of the set was Colorado Sunrise, a surprisingly complex and at moments sweet, homage to the band’s home state and what it means to be yourself.
Family Force 5 took the stage in teal shirts, plaid pants, and vests looking like rejects from an American Bandstand appearance. Their sound is a mix punk, pop, and rock with a little disco and metal thrown in. With stage names like Chap Stique Crouton, Fatty, Nadaddy, and Soul Glow Activator they too know how to have fun. Always a band that almost parodies genres and music trends their stage show is a parody of a parody. A giant Simon Says –esque “Family Force 5 Machine” is a lighted, interactive drum machine that consumes the left side of the stage. Different band members played it during the set, as well as members of 3OH!3. They have a gawky blonde fro-haired stage hand that is their “full-time dancer” called Zanadu. When a large Elmo doll was flung onstage lead singer Solomon Olds scooped it up in one of his boxing gloved hands and used it as a musical bouncing ball to encourage the audience. The set was choreographed; faux boxing matches, Karate Kid style crane kicks, and even Zanadu getting in on the synchronized dancing. Supersonic rallied the lagging crowd and once a cardboard dance floor was thrown out into the center of the mosh pit things really got crazy. Break dancing turned into a pre-teen dance party as Zanadu brought a throng of girls onto the stage. With Love Addict the show reached a fever pitch as half of the bands crowded onto stage with pulsing dancing and celebration as they “put a little love in it.”
An odd conglomeration of bands and fans made the night a surreal success. This sold out show had a kids, teens, and adults alike on their feet and went strong for 5 hours: The AP tour was a great start to the summer concert season in Columbus.
Review by Linsey Griffith
Photos by David Heasley