Zolof the Rock n’ Roll Destroyer, Punchline, El Pus, Reel Big Fish (Ryan) Columbus, OH – July 7th, 2005

The Coast to Coast Roast Tour 2005
Newport Music Hall


Zolof the Rock n’ Roll Destroyer
El Pus
Reel Big Fish

All day I was preparing to attend this awesome concert. Reel Big Fish has always been a favorite of mine, so seeing them for the second time would be a total blast. I arrived in Columbus just as the line was being let into one of my favorite venues. As I went inside, the venue seemed VERY empty. There might have been 20 people inside at the max. That seemed a little odd to me, but what else can you expect from a tour that brings you 3 fairly unknown bands?

The banner for Zolof the Rock n’ Roll Destroyer hung on the back wall. It was handmade with blue paint. HaHa! They eventually came out about 10 minutes late. They played a very different type of music. A happy pop-rock type sound so to speak. Rachel (lead vocals/synth) was hot as hell, and as she played the keyboard, she danced around. The drummer acted like some crazed lunatic that was just released from a mental institution. I enjoy watching a drummer with personality! Flailing his arms and sticking his tongue out…Not to mention going cross-eyed for half the show. They played all songs from their website that you can get for free (streaming) including “Mean Old Coot”, “Moment”, and my personal favorite “Arg…I’m a Pirate”. All in all, this band is much better in studio. Other than the drummer being awesome and the lead singers hot look, the show they put on was very boring. The synth couldn’t be heard at all! That’s what makes the band! Purchase the album, but don’t see them live. Final Score : C (Very average performance).

The next band that’s up is called Punchline. Out of the 20 people that were there, 10 knew who Punchline was. I’m not personally a big fan of emo-pop punk if that’s what you’d call them. Their music (when I listened to it the night prior) was very un-original and just sounded like everything else thats making its way into the mainstream media. When they came out, of course the few people that heard of them went nuts! I stood off to the right to view their performance in the empty venue. I wasn’t too familiar with any song they played, I was actually waiting for them to play a favorite of mine called “Pretty Petty” that I had memorized the night before. It wasn’t played sadly. But they did play a song that was absolutely horrible. It’s called “Heart Transplant”. Towards the end of the song, they had the crowd erupt in screaming “Even a heart transplant…wouldn’t show you how I feel would it baby”. This went on for at least 5 minutes. It was horrible. I do have to say their harmony was very good. I enjoy it when two people can make a beautiful sound like that with their voice. But that was all it did for me. There wasn’t much moving, it was just a bland blast of pop rock. Final Score : D + (Can we stop making the same music as everyone else, please?)

After getting killed by that last set, I went back and got myself an energy drink from my buddies at the bar. I needed a good kick in the ass so I could possibly pull SOME good from this very mediocre show. This is why I’m glad El Pus played next. El Pus is comprised of 5 African American men that come from the ghetto’s of Atlanta, Georgia. Yes, they rap, but they rock the hell out too. They had a fat roadie come out and introduce them to the crowd, which I thought was a riot. Everyone started an El Pus chant (ok, so we’re up to about 50 people now…there must’ve been a site telling everyone not to show up for the first two acts, that I never found!) and El Pus came out with duel-vocalists, starting right in with their single “Thing Thing”. Very hoppin music. They’ll rock your ass off AND make you bounce like a gangsta. One of their other singles called “Suburb Thuggin” was played last which was the hit of the night. They knew how to talk to the crowd and get EVERY person into it. If you’re looking for a good time, you have to see El Pus live. Now, you’ll hear studio tracks, and its really weird. Their studio stuff is horrible, but hearing this band live must be done by every human being on the planet. You don’t get more original then this band. You’ll want to hear two sets from them after you hear them once. Dancing, moshing, and head banging all happened during their hard rock/hip hop set. Final Score: A+ (Original, Talented, Fun as HELL).

Reel Big Fish comes next. By now, Newport Music Hall is filled with a decent crowd of ska kids. Plaid shorts with matching shirts walked around everywhere. Reel Big took the stage and played, well, every song you could imagine. In between songs, there wasn’t much time for talk, because they went right into another song, just so they’d please everyone. The only song I was familiar with was “I Want Your Girlfriend to Be My Girlfriend”. We’re talking about high energy and talent. The trombone player was very into what he was doing onstage at all times, along with the infamous trumpet player. The lead singer cracked a few jokes, which were surprisingly funny throughout the set, but that didn’t interfere with their set by any means. Everyone on the floor was having a “skank” of a time, dancing until the final song. Final Score : A (Great Songs, High Energy, Great Use of Time..Rock the fuck on Reel Big!)

All in all, I left the concert with a very positive attitude. Even though the first two bands didn’t do quite as well as I thought, it ended up being a very awesome 2nd half. Seeing El Pus was what made everything worth it. If the Coast to Coast Roast is coming through your town, I’d go check out the 2nd half of the show. Too much average at the beginning of the show, which isn’t very awesome. But with true rockers at the end of the show, it made everything worth it. Final Score: B – (Don’t watch Zolof or Punchline).

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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