I don’t need to tell you about the amount of great music that has come and gone in Dayton. Throughout the years, we have seen some of the most innovative, daring, and extraordinary artists and bands originating from the Gem City. It comes as no surprise to many when we see the acts go on and become more than just local idols. We take pride in knowing that we were the first to see what these bands and artists were capable of. Each of their shows would fill an entire bar up. Sure it is hard to move around, but you knew that you were in for a night that would be epic. You are with your friends, your lovers, your fellow fans. People who couldn’t get into the show don’t sweat it. They just light up a cigarette, take a puff, exhale and listen to the music outside while they lean on the walls outside.
Dayton Does Dayton pays homage to that vision.
On February 14th, Dayton Does Dayton will be kicking off its 4th year. Previously the show was located at Canal Street Tavern. This year, the music festival will be at another legendary location, Gilly’s. 21 bands and artists will bring their own unique style to other Dayton bands that have influenced them over the years, along with their own music.
Every act that performs will be certain to entertain. Here are 5 bands that you should be paying a little more attention to during the two day experience:
Paige Beller isn’t a stranger to most of the folks who have caught a local show. Being the lead singer of the punk band Jasper The Colossal has cemented her and the band as a can’t miss watch. Don’t believe me?! Ask anyone that saw the set they performed at this past year’s Sideshow at the Yellow Cab building. Beller is also involved with a couple other side projects : she is the drummer with the alt-punk trio Mayliner, and she is also lead for Paige and the Belairs. What a lot of people don’t realize is that Beller is an amazing solo singer. Her voice is remarkable and will the people that come to the show speechless. The festival this weekend will give everyone more reason to not only catch Beller’s solo stuff more, but will scurrying around trying to get ahold of her other projects.
The Leap Years
The Leap Years haven’t been together as a band for too long (almost a year). All the members are currently attending the University of Dayton, and that is where they all met. The band’s currently finished working on their first EP in Michigan titled Just Some Things, and hope to have it released in the near future. Each member of the group brings a different element that perfectly blends with the other. The Leap Years have taken their fellow students by storm with their performances at the café/art center ArtStreet and other areas on campus. With that being said, the band is now ready to expand and start imprinting their sound onto the Dayton music scene. The pop/alternative band will be playing covers and originals that are filled with airy guitar and violin play along with catchy and meaningful lyrics.
Kevin Heider & the Guys
In 2008, Kevin Heider was selected by singer/songwriter Ingrid Michaelson as the winner of Gibson’s “The Way I Am Contest” on the website MusicNation.com. By winning the contest, Heider has had original compositions in radio jingles, film documentaries, theatrical productions, television shows, and commercials. He also traveled around the world, from Europe to New Zealand. He recently moved back to his hometown of Dayton after living in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area for the past couple of years. His recent double album, The Spark, was released back in March of 2013. Heider’s indie-folk/rock sound is solid and is paired with lyrics that dive into what being a human is all about. From the highs and lows, the way we think, the situations we go through-Heider takes us all through that journey with his own experiences and stories in his songs. For Dayton Does Dayton, Heider will be performing with his band. Heider and his merry men will be entertaining the audience with an energetic set filled with great music.
Formally known as Customer Service and the Gem City Horns, the band decided to change to their name, but thankfully, they didn’t change their music. The eight member band will perform a set that will be jam-packed, high-energy music. Gem City released their first EP Highlights in 2013. You will get a little bit of everything with this band, including influences of rock, jazz, and funk. They’ve been able to open for and perform with singer/songwriter Joe Pug, rapper Lupe Fiasco, and Dayton’s own popular jam band The Werks. Gem City also had the great pleasure of being part of the Downtown Dayton Revival Festival. No stage is too big or too small for these musicians. As long as they are able to perform somewhere, they couldn’t be any happier.
The Repeating Arms
The Repeating Arms are continuing to astound and amaze. In 2013, the band released its long awaited full length LP Blackberry Winter, and in January of this year, they hosted their own festival at the Yellow Cab building, the first Winterfolk Fest, which featured another Dayton Does Dayton band, Cinder Home. The Repeating Arms possess a fantastic richness of Southern bluegrass in their music, along with smooth deep vocals from the lead singer Harold Hensley. Max Nunery on banjo, Chip Pritchard on upright bass, and Brian Spirk on mandolin make up the rest of this stunning band. The Repeating Arms are on the threshold of really becoming one of the premiere bands in Dayton.
The fourth annual Dayton Does Dayton will showcasing these 5 bands, along with 16 other artists and bands this weekend, February 14th and 15th. Each band will have 30-34 minute sets, with an approximately ten minute wait in between each band/performer. The festival takes place at Gillys, located on 132 S. Jefferson Street. Show times for both nights will be at 8pm, with $7 cover.
To read more about the event and its organizer, Louie Wood Jr., make sure check out Art Jipson’s piece “Annual Music Festival Returns to Dayton: An Interview With Dayton Does Dayton’s Louie Wood Jr.”