This past weekend, I posted an article on Dayton Most Metro’s website about the annual Urban Nights event that took place on May 11th.  For those who haven’t read the piece yet, it’s an event that takes place one time in the spring, and the other time in the fall.  The event highlights Dayton with music, art, dining, retail, and the urban living.  I talked about the bands HeyThere Morgan, Dan Raridan & the Calientes, and Ape The Ghost.

Due to the fact that I took in a lot throughout the night, the article would have been the size of a novel.  So, here is what was omitted from the piece on DMM.

For most of the evening, my friends and I spent most of the night at the Yellow Cab Company building over on East Fourth Street.  There, the building hosted the ‘The Sideshow Lucky No. 7’.  The event featured over 50 artists that included paintings, photography, and sculptures.  It some of the best artwork that I have seen.  The photography on the walls told stories of life, good and bad.  The artwork was expressive, wild, free.  Most of the work being shown talked about being yourself, and being positive.  It also talked about being kind to one another.  One of the coolest things that was featured at the event was a photo of the globe.  On it was marked of different places scattered around the world.  Places labeled were ‘Nirvana’, ‘Neverland’, ‘Camelot’, and ‘Garden of Eden’.  The purpose of the piece was to show where you are from, and where you want to go.  It was fun to see where everyone was wanting to head.  For those who care, I wanted to go to ‘Nirvana’.

As we walked up to the stage, we noticed that The Fair Shakes were about to start their set.  The band had an interesting set up to their show.  A lot of times, you will bands use props, pyros, etc.  This band didn’t have any of those.  What they did have was a child singing with the band.  And you know what-it was pretty damn cool to see.  The band was everything you feel in love with the punk bands of the ‘80s.  Influenced by The Clash in many ways, The Fair Shakes were a welcome surprise to the evening.  They weren’t playing anybody’s rules.  They were brass and confident.  They had a kid singing punk, which made me smile.  As being a kid from the ‘80s and ‘90s, I grew up listening to not The Clash, but also The Ramones, The Replacements.  The Fair Shakes are a band that people should see if you are a punk historian.  Trust me on this one when I say that they take you to the days of old.  When the music was about rebellion, and not doing what conventional wisdom tells to do.  I hope that next time I see them, the kid in the fedora hat is ready to make some noise with a great band.

After seeing Dan Raridan & The Calientes perform after The Fair Shakes, my friends and I went to the Trolley Stop over at the Oregon District to see the Ape The Ghost do their set.  Then we traveled back to the Yellow Cab Company building to catch Jasper the Colossal.

Having just watched a few of their videos of the internet, I was excited to see the all-girl band live and in person.  I recently sat down with them a couple of days prior to their set at the Sideshow event, and they are going to be releasing their first full-length album, Liar.

The band came out and just totally destroyed any doubters that were the crowd.  There were a few people who immediately gave these ladies no chance in hell…that is they started to play.  Jasper played with intensity.  They mentioned to me during a meeting that their songs include catchy hooks.  They were correct.  They had a rock sound, injected with punk.  They had chemistry with the crowd that was untouchable.   The rabid fan base erupted with each song.  It was fantastic to see the band for the first time live.  They were energetic.  They had their sense of style.  They set their mark on the stage that night.  Truly, Jasper the Colossal is one of the best bands to check out in Dayton.

The night in whole was an experience that I never forget.  I have heard for years just how great Urban Nights is.  Well…all of them were right.  I truly hope all of you will attend the next Urban Night this fall…


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