Oddbody’s Celebrates Two Years with Smile Empty Soul

Oddbody’s Celebrates Two Years with Smile Empty Soul

Two years ago the building formally known for decades as McGuffy’s abruptly closed its doors leaving a large void in the Dayton music scene. Under its former name, the venue had been home to local bands bringing in national names and crowds from the early ‘80s to present day. The building that went from the House of Draft to the House of Rock held its last show on New Year’s Eve 2013.

For several months it remained closed while bands played other venues and fans went elsewhere for their music fix but the void of empty space was definitely felt.

The venue reopened in July 2014 as Oddbody’s  bringing in more diverse talent, along with rock and metal catering to country, rap, hip hop and blues, even male reviews. The community embraced the reopening and Dayton had its music room back.

To say thanks, on Friday July 22, co-owner Neilson Hixson and staff gave Dayton a free show to celebrate two years of a new beginning, continuing the building’s history.  Risen from the Fall, The Everyday Losers, Beitthemeans, Romantic Rebel and Smile Empty Soul played to celebrate the occasion.

The show began early with Dayton’s Risen from the Fall. With members formally of War of Change, they’ve returned with a new three song EP and a continuing message of hope, inspiration and help through every day struggles and temptations of life. Mirroring the sounds of Pillar, Evanescence and P.O.D. they’ve fueled their instruments and voice’s with the power of positivity and renewal.

“On the Inside” was a solid rocker capturing personal change and not surrendering to lingering temptations of the past. “Knot in Vein” went dramatic with piano and streaming guitar, vocalist Johnny Angel got mellow, tranquil and serious, reminiscing and remembering the treacherous and redeeming voices inside.

Angel and female vocalist Emily Schulte had some sharp stage chemistry. Like a modern day version of Operation Mindcrime. Angel, played the tortured soul to Schulte’s tainted but consoling Sister Mary.

“Total Exposure” got technical and industrial hitting with a heavy, volatile guitar hammer, with traces of Fear Factory, Halestorm and Sass Jordan.

From Washington, IN The Everyday Losers showed up to play a bit of punk, some rock n’ roll with some good ole garage band elbow grease.  Playing with working man’s war paint, they cranked out seven tunes with a mix of grunge and blue collar rock. “Scream” soaked up some Sponge influence. “You’ve Got War” came forward with straight ahead force with some snazzy blues soloing.  “Outta My Head” spoke of unwanted mental enemies spiked with Nirvana temperament and lyrical struggles.

From Birmingham, AL The Beitthemeans  brought the southern charm along with some space aged blues rock. The enchanting nighttime bayou fog called with its vibrating stringed spell.  “Six Steps” started with some diesel dipped honky-tonk groove. With a touch of occult rock, a touch of ‘80s sleaze and a good helping of down home cooking and backyard potion-making.

A low key “Doomsday,” scenario was painted out, singing the song of the well-traveled, worn down road. Better to ride into the sun, than oblivion.  If southern prog is a thing then “Tyrants” had it, mixing Deftones with Tool. “Drinking from A Skull” was a cry for southern pride and the devils drink leading to the dark side.  “The Black” was melodic yet scratched like Faster Pussycat on the bathroom room. “Mr Devil & The Black Widow Woman” was a mix of spandex and dangerous turns with the Ouija board that went south quick.

Chi-Town’s direct support Romantic Rebel came onto the scene from humble beginnings and their basement in Illinois. Siblings KT Paige and Alex Vincent started small and with one record and a new single out, the band’s traveling the roads, playing the shows, road warrior style. Dressed in black and leather they held a slight resemblance to the decadent ‘80s but played with a modern young energy.

The rip roar of “Nothing Left to Say” started things as Paige came out leather clad with Lita Ford attitude and the riffing notes of Vincent’s guitar.  “Found You Out” exposed the truth of people with something to hide.

Guitar notes whaled and sizzled on “Believe.”  “Too Far” cranked out the new material. Then, it was time to “Disappear” from the crowd and go your own way. Better a loner than one of the blind sheep.

Smile Empty Soul came out headlining the Shapeshifter tour, celebrating album number seven. The tour that started in mid-July spanned the country going to Mid-September from St. Louis to Hollywood. They’ve toured and endured, releasing music from the late ‘90s to present day.  Guitarist, vocalist Sean Danielsen played the set pouring emotion and conviction into the mic. They payed homage to Nirvana, ‘90s rock, punk, grunge and the raw sounds of the garage days.

The other worldly elements of music in the “Afterlife” were explored. “Nowhere Kids,” yelled of young rebellion at the status quo. A generation lost in TV and useless role models. The opening guitar notes of “Silhouettes” poured over the crowd like a welcomed friend explaining the virtues of exceeding the life of the generation that raised them.

They took a page from Primus mid-show playing “Southbound Pachyderm.” The slow, hypnotically-swampy guitar sound on “All in my Head” played the beginning sounds on the new Shapeshifter release.

The seductive melodic chords of “Don’t Ever Leave” spoke of the addicting qualities of bad relationships. “Walking Away” had a nice pace you could either bounce or bang to. The angst and everyday struggle of “Bottom of a Bottle” came late in the set to collective crowd approval.


Images by Mike Ritchie

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