Canal Street Tavern is well known in the Dayton music scene for its great sound, up-close atmosphere, and excellent shows. Nearly every night, one can find all kinds of local acts putting on a show on the Tavern’s stage. Outside of regular shows, Canal Street also enjoys putting on different kinds of specialty shows, such as the well-known Dayton Band Playoffs. One of these shows took to the stage this past weekend, stretching over two evenings: Dayton Does Dayton.
Only in its second year, Dayton Does Dayton invites a number of local bands from many different genres to take to the stage and, alongside their own songs, cover tracks from other local bands. None of the bands that play the show are “cover bands” per se, they’re just there to put their own spin on other local acts that they enjoy, that have influenced them, or any other reason at all.
The sheer number of bands interested in the show this year caused the event to be spread out across a full weekend…or rather, the important part of the weekend (Friday and Saturday). The great thing is that this much time allows more bands to come out and play. The difficult thing is that it causes busy people (such as myself) to only be able to catch a part of the entire show. As excited as I was for the show, it landed on a terrible weekend for me, so I was only able to see the first few bands on Saturday night. So, rather than a whole review, here is just a taste of what you may have missed this past weekend.
I arrived much too early for the show on Saturday night, so I was one of the first ones in the door. This gave me a chance to chat quickly with one of the staff at Canal Street, who told me that nearly 280 people came in for the show the night before. Considering the size of the venue, this is a rather fantastic number, and soon enough, people began flooding through the door and filling the floor. By the time the first band went on, Canal Street was nearly standing room only.
The first to play this evening, out of Yellow Springs, was the band Wheels. A five-piece mostly-acoustic act, Wheels decided to focus on covering one specific band this evening alongside their own songs. Their band of choice, also out of Yellow Springs, was Sport Fishing USA, whose tracks they stripped down to fit the style they were playing: acoustic guitars, light percussion, mandolin, and upright bass. The instruments, though, played as more of background noise to the vocals, the focus of the band. The four-part harmonies were the star of the show, filling out the sound left behind by the sparse instrumentation.
The second band of the evening, straight out of Dayton itself, was Charge Scenic. This band’s sound was a complete turn-around from Wheels’ acoustic style: alternative rock with some electronic and synth elements. That, though, can only describe their original songs. The covers that Charge Scenic chose ran through a number of other genres, touching on pop rock and a bit of funk. They chose to cover a number of different bands: Guided by Voices, Zapp and Roger, and The Pure Plastic Tree. Throughout their set, Charge Scenic seemed to have a strong focus on the rhythm section, with the bass holding much of the band together, and the drummer getting a few solos between songs.
Up next, and unfortunately the last band I got to see, was Good English. This all-female, mostly-siblings band out of Oakwood has a chord- and riff-driven rock sound, with a feel similar to Foo Fighters. Good English chose to cover tracks close to their own sound by two bands: The Breeders and Southeast Engine. Almost every member of the band played multiple instruments, which each song prompting a stage switch. All around, these girls pulled together a number of basic melodies into some supremely catchy tracks.
The rest of the evening, and the night before, had sets from both well-known and less-well-known acts, including Gathering Mercury, Red Hot Rebellion, Dark Backward, and My Latex Brain. This is one of those times where I’m kicking myself for missing out on so many acts, but sometimes there’s not much that can be done! To those that went out to the show for one or both nights, I’m sure you could fill in some blanks for us! Feel free to leave opinions of the show and/or bands in the comments section. To those that didn’t make it out, hopefully this shows you what you missed and you’ll be able to catch Dayton Does Dayton the next time it comes to town!