Woodchucks Bar & Grill Toledo Oh 11/12/10
Review and Photo's By: Michael Rys
Here in Toledo Ohio we like to think we're a fairly metropolitan city,its medium size in area and population but when you chisel the city up its music scene is much like many small towns.The musicians pretty much all know each other or have played in the same bands.The crowds can be somewhat clique -ish and follow each other to this months "hot spots" GPR Productions shows at Woodchucks are following a different kind of model.Most shows promote Toledo bands playing with an out of town act or a touring act. The line of thought is to get Toledo bands more opportunity to play for different audiences and to make connections to get more out town shows. This has been successful and seems to be building with each show. Friday's ( Nov 12,2010)show was a first with the focus being on all local Toledo bands. Three acts were featured and although each was very unique and not at all alike all shared same basic outlook of ,"we are here to put on a great show and have blast". Myself and the audience could not have agreed more.The whole evening was as entertaining as anyone could ask for and it was great to see so many from our own area show up to have great time and see some killer bands.

First up was The Shame Game. The band is literally made up of kids not even old enough to drive yet.Nothing like giving youth a chance to play with some of Toledo's best eh? Well it didn't phase them ,heck they just opened for the Misfits a few days before hand and have played some of Toledo's best known show barns a couple times. Kyle on guitar /vocals, Lindsie on guitar/vocals, Brad on Drums, and Eddie on bass /vocals all showed something your sometimes miss with bands way beyond their age and experience, they were having fun! Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead was their approach and it worked well. They have an over all sound and influence that is more new school punk but the songwriting is there and the live show was energetic,quirky and rocking. With The Shame Game being at the level of growth they are at ( about 1 year old) and so young I cant really say enough good things about them seeing them live. Its more important at this stage in their young career to focus on what they do right rather than hiccups in a live setting ( which was not much). My thinking on this band over all is the future looks bright. I know this sounds mean but its not meant that way... As they plug along and the music business pisses them off, life kicks them all in the ass a bit they are going to become harder,and yes somewhat meaner,its one of those things that over time will take this damn good band and possibly one day turn them great.
The Motherbirds, a trio of Toledo rock vets took the stage next and wasted no time setting a musical fire. While The Motherbirds are not punk by any stretch they fit well with so many bands because of the attitude that goes along with the music. Sean the groups guitar player locks and loads with riffage that not only powerful but trance like.The groups bassist who also does vocal duty has quite possible one of the heaviest bass sounds Ive heard this side of Lemmy, the drummer Tony is just as amazing not only laying down some great drum work but taking much of the lead vocals also. The Motherbirds are one those hard to nail down bands. Defiantly rock, absolutely hard rock ( with out the cheesy cliches that often accompany this). I heard some say "stoner rock" and but they seem way to coherent for that... I dunno But I can say live they are excellent and while the music might be longer than 1:30 seconds per song they can and will hold your attention is you appreciate great musicianship. The song I found the most intriguing was the final tune,( which dumb ass me didn't remember to get the name of) was about a 6 minute instrumental jam that used some movie loops and several time changes to make it downright haunting.

Closing out the night were The Dougouts. I've had the pleasure of seeing this band live many times and the never fail to put a smile on my face and have me singing along. Doug( guitar/vocals) , Carl bass/vocals and Kev ( drums) are always loose having fun,joking with each other and the audience but never sacrifice a good set or a song. These guys write rock n roll like it was meant to be ,loud ,melodic,and just enough edge to make the ladies toes curl with excitement. They mixed in new songs which are going on the follow up records to Come On Lets Go( which as I've been told has so much material it could be a double record) and some old favorites as well a few their well chosen covers. They rock through a set no matter what, and might not even be capable of playing horribly. Even the couple of times The Dougouts slowed down for a number or two they still have balls. If The Dougouts play a ballad listen to the lyrics... It's most likely not the love songs it sounds like. Easily one of this towns best bands an tonight's performance continued that!
Before I close this out. I would like to acknowledge something I saw that night that impressed me alot. The Shame Game had parents and relatives in tow at the show.

To me its impressive to see parents supporting kids playing punk rock. In all my years of being a music fan and being involved in the music scene I can count how many times I've seen supportive parents in the scene on one hand.
I for one think its fantastic and these parents deserve a tip of the hat. Your kids are probably more grateful and appreciative of this than you'll ever know. More parents could follow this lead... You can check out the bands here:
http://www.facebook.com -look up The Shame Game