There's lots to like on this bill for fans of Walk The Moon, Bad Veins, Freelance Whales, or Two Door Cinema Club. Both Jukebox The Ghost and The Lighthouse And The Whaler produce unique brands of sunny tunes guaranteed to get you out of your seat. Jukebox played an extremely well-received set on the main stage at Bunbury last year and their return to the Queen City promises to be a triumphant one. The music of Matt Pond PA is heartfelt and earnest, with a soul-searching quality all its own. However, the road that has led The Lighthouse And The Whaler to Cincinnati tonight is of particular interest to me.
The band hails from Cleveland (thumbs up for Ohio-based bands!) and I first saw them open for The Temper Trap at the House of Blues there in 2010. Back in those days, Lighthouse was an independent, plaid-wearing, barefoot-on-stage, acoustic-based folk band with well-composed songs that emoted rather than celebrated, but their live show held an energy that made people unfamiliar with them take notice. Their 2012 album, This Is An Adventure, while still independently released and holding true to their folk underpinnings, is a marked departure from their early somber leanings, with exuberant hooks and plenty of hand-clapping moments throughout, which are sure to be used to the fullest (and best) degree tonight. So what’s led the band to this updated sound?
In an interview last year with Stereo Subversion, the band’s frontman, Michael LoPresti said, “I think people want something more out of life. We get e-mails all of the time that our music will transform their mood — that they were feeling awful and then put on our music and it brought them to a new place. I think that’s what music should do. I think it brings you to a better place, a different place. That’s what our music can do is to take people from where they are and they can use it as a tool to make their life better, however they want to do that. I wouldn’t be doing this unless that was possible.”
Ohio Authority seems to agree with the fans who have written in, saying, “Performed live, the band’s music is transcendent, featuring melodies and hooks tempered with a playful eccentricity.”
So, if you’re up for a transcendent night of music that will lift your spirits and improve your mood, get thee to The Taft tonight!