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Lovedrug @ Musica -11/25
Lovedrug @ Musica -11/25
11/28/09 at 11:51 AM by topher465

It's a fair question to ask what the barren landscape of east central Ohio has to offer on a dry Thanksgiving eve: Akron itself is a doldrum of a town that hides it's music gem Musica down an alley.

It's a hometown show for Lovedrug, a band that has suffered as victims to both burglars and arsonists, and to the music industry itself. With a stolen and burnt trailer and van combo years behind them, the band has returned to the bare-bones approach of doing-it-yourself: no-label, no problem.

Poised behind a merch table that's selling the bands discography at a horrifyingly low price of ten dollars, James Childress and Thomas Bragg chat with fans and with each other, in a room that feels more like a coffee shop than a music venue. As I sit on the rail, pondering the band's set-list, word arrives that this will the band's longest set of their careers at seventeen songs, operating under a "Have It Your Way," theme for fans -- they get to help choose. Pre-emptive blog posts on myspace suggested a return to the Pretend You're Alive era, which could have meant both a baptism for the band as they turn the corner as a new entity, and a nostalgic return to an album that haunted and pleased in harmony.

When the band finally took the stage at about 10:15, the opening chords to "Skeleton Jill" seemed to universally confirm to the crowd to much of the material that had rested on the band's shelves had finally come life, with textured guitars swirling and pushing forward in waves. Followed by "The Monster," my brow soon became furrowed at the eerie and haunting story told by Michael Shepard -- who was all smiles. "Blood like" and crowd-favorite "Pretend You're Alive" were both intimately honest, acting as a pleasing segway into a slew of new songs, such as "Pink Champagne", "Dead In The Water", "We Were Owls", and "She's Disaster", staggered by the angelic "Ghost By Your Side" and "Rocknroll". It was evident the band had breached a different ground with the new material, ground that isn't as gloomy or cynical as the band's previous release, The Sucker Punch Show. Indeed, the crowd was pleased and sung along, having evidently taken up the band's offer to download a set of the new music on the band's purevolume page.

Closing out the set with three songs from Pretend You're Alive, Childress slips up on "Blackout", causing the band to stop playing with Shepard jokingly questioning Childress' performance: "What are you doing? We've been playing this song for seven years." With a roar from the crowd the band picks back up without reserve and closes out the set with "Spiders," and "Radiology," culminating with Shepard and Bragg on their backs on the floor.

After a brief intermission, the band returned for the nightcap with "The Narcoleptic," and "Down Towards the Healing," the crowd taking the lead with "let the thunders take me under, break my legs tonight," pleased, and with stomachs full of rich artistry and pure sentiments, wondering how they were to eat Thanksgiving dinner the next day.

Set List:

1. Skeleton Jill
2. The Monster
3. Blood Like
4. Prentend You're Alive
5. Pink Champagne
6. Ghost By Your Side
7. Rocknroll
8. Dead In The Water
9. We Were Owls
10. She's Disaster
11. Borrowed Legs
12. Doomsday and the Echo
13. Blackout
14. Spiders
15. Radiology

16. The Narcoleptic
17. Down Towards The Healing
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