By Tanner Bidish, Contributor
It’s been roughly a week since Fall began, and while that means the days are cooling down, things are just heating up this Friday at Shewolf Haus. Headlining the evening are the indie-punks of Signals Midwest. They’ll be accompanied by fellow Clevelanders, Admiral Phantom, It’s Alright, and the Athens duo, Maybe Eventually. This bill has something for everyone and everybody involved is excited.
Venue-Owner, Carly Preston, has a special connection to the set. “Being from North East Ohio I’m super excited to bring a bunch of Cleveland and Akron heroes to both my [venue] and community here in Athens,” Preston explains. “This gig will be nostalgic of all the Akron pop-punk shows I used to attend as a teenager.” She encourages people to come “support, donate, and mosh.”
Post-punk Cleveland natives, Admiral Phantom, are playing in Athens for the first time on Friday. They’re excited to be playing a show with a band they’ve been long time fans of (Signals Midwest), and equally as excited that they’re friends are playing as well. “Athens is probably going to be the most fun place we’ve ever played,” drummer Eli Shively, anticipates. “The energy people here have at shows is incredible.” Both Shively and guitarist, Nick Abraham, are looking forward to sharing their song “Bipolar Ghost Dog”. Abraham wrote the song about gender dysphoria, which he credits as being difficult to discuss. “Getting to stand in front of my peers and shriek about it is wildly freeing,” he muses. Shively and Abraham are also agreed that if Admiral Phantom were a food it’d be a Flamin’ Hot Cheeto™.
It’s Alright, the solo project of David Bemer, is also looking forward to gig. Bemer has a history with Admiral Phantom as his recently retired band played Admiral Phantom’s first show ever with them. Bemer also has a past in Athens having played here before, even at this venue when it was under the name “Wolf Haus.” Lately he’s enjoyed playing “Ohio Winter” in It’s Alright sets. The track is a love song he wrote two years ago. “I actually started playing it at shows because I accidentally got labeled the ‘Athens sad boy’ at a few too many of my shows”, Bemer explains. “I try to throw in a sappy song to break up the sadness.” Bemer’s best friend would describe It’s Alright as chicken and waffles.
For Signals Midwest, this will be an awaited return. One of their first out of town shows was in Athens in Spring 2009, but they haven’t been back since 2011. Guitarist, Max Stern, reminisced about their Athens trips, saying “I have very distinct memories of a 3 a.m. burrito from Big Mama’s and driving just outside of town to go jump off a bridge into a river. Those were some golden days.” Stern’s favorite song to play at the moment is off their new record, “At this Age.” The tune is called “Alchemy Hour,” and is his favorite that Signals Midwest has written. The end of the song sees Stern stomping on all of his pedals and singing “woes,” by yelling into the guitar pickup; a technique he claims to have stolen from Modest Mouse. Stern also went on record saying, if Signals Midwest were a food, “it’d be a 3 a.m. burrito from Big Mama’s that you eat the other half of the next morning.”
Everyone on the bill is stoked to play, and you should be stoked to hear them. Catch these tasty acts at Shewolf Haus on Friday, September 30! Entry is five dollars and a good attitude. Come support and start your fall with good live music.