Concert Review: Swervedriver @ Skully’s, Columbus, OH (9/2/15)

Well, mark this one off the bucket list. I came late to the Swervedriver appreciation party, discover Mezcal Head via an early review we did on Dig Me Out. Since then, I’ve slowly ingested their entire catalog, but really Mezcal Head has been the one that sticks with me, somehow the perfect combo of dreamy 90s shoegaze with muscular guitar riffing.

When the concert at Skully’s here in Columbus was announced in support of their newest (and really good) release, I Wasn’t Born To Love You, I knew I had to go. It was a weeknight, and since my wife is a school teacher with an early alarm, I knew I’d be heading out alone. I figured there would be a familiar Columbus music scene face, but alas there was not so I ended up getting their way too early, sitting around and getting really bored waiting for the band to go on. After a solid set by the opening band whose name I forget, Swervedriver came out and did as expected to a 99% middle-aged male audience (hey, I was in good company) – played really loud.

I had initially positioned myself among the hundred or so people there to the left of the stage (not stage left, theater people!) right by lead singer/guitarist Adam Franklins guitar rig AND HOLY SHIT WAS IT LOUD. Stupidly forgetting my earplugs, after one song I was pretty much deaf and mildly nauseous, so I made my way to the back and then balcony for a respite from the volume, where I took in a pretty great set, filled with classic tunes from the catalog, plenty of stuff from the new record, and luckily heavy on Mezcal Head tracks. I also got to spy Adam Franklin’s massive guitar pedal setup, which was multiple rows deep and shaped like a half-circle. I can only image how many years it has taken him to accumulate so many pedals.

I ended up leaving after the main set and skipping the encore because it was past 11pm and I’m old.