“And Now For Something Completely Different…”
I can generally figure out what to expect from most shows on the iOnGreenville music calendar. Even if it is someone I am unfamiliar with, the internet generally offers some kind of sneak peek into a band’s sound and one can imagine what they might sound like live. This week, however, The Radio Room is bringing out a show that I can hardly wrap my mind around and I could not be more intrigued.
Friday night they will host Craig Owens and Geoff Rickly, two artists that I admittedly had never heard of but, after doing a little homework, I am surprised to have not come across them in the past. Both artists have had long and accomplished musical careers but neither is anyone that I would expect to see doing an acoustic performance at The Radio Room. The fact that they are doing just that as part of a national tour is all the more interesting to me.
For his part, Craig Owens is best known for his time as the lead singer of the post hardcore punk band Chiodos which enjoyed a 15 year run beginning in 2001. He has also recorded with a variety of rock supergroup side projects such as The Sounds of Animals Fighting, Isles & Glaciers, and DRUGS (Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows), as well as his own pop-punk outfit Cinematic Surprise. He is currently performing as badXchannels which, to my ear, is his most modern rock sounding material to date.
As for Geoff Rickly, he is the lead singer of Thursday, a band which is credited as one of the early pioneers of the “screamo” genre. If, like myself, you have never heard of such a thing, screamo is a subgenre of the hardcore emo scene of the late 1990’s. Each of the band’s five albums have ranked on the Billboard 200 chart with their 2003 release War All the Time peaking at number seven. After a few hiatuses over the years, the band is currently scheduled to perform their first live show in two years with an appearance at next month’s Riot Fest in Chicago which will be headlined by the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Smashing Pumpkins.
As I sit here listening to Chiodos, badXchannels, and Thursday, I simply cannot imagine what either of these two artists has planned for an acoustic set this Friday night. Their typical music styles – as varied as they are – are so brash and in your face that I have no idea how it translates to a solo singer/songwriter type performance. I do know that this is exactly the sort of thing I love about music as it is great to see artistic talent step away from their traditional sound and mix things up a bit. The fact that these two artists are touring the country on a tour devoted to just that is amazing to me.
One thing that should be important to note is that, as COVID cases are back on the upswing, The Radio Room is asking all patrons to act responsibly. While they are not requiring proof of vaccination or masks, they are encouraging both and, generally speaking, basic human decency. That said, what they do require is a $22 advance ticket or $25 at the door on the day of the show which, for my money, is a heck of a bargain to see this level of talent put on a rarely intimate performance such as this one. As always, stay safe and enjoy the show.