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Concert Reviews

Bobaflex Riding High After “Eloquent Demons” Album Release Show

Bobaflex (L-R) Jymmy Tolland, Dave Tipple, Tommy Johnson, Shaun McCoy, Marty McCoy (Credit: J Courtney / Music in Motion Columbus)

What could better on a summer evening than seeing a concert that gets the blood flowing and adrenaline coursing through your body?

With the release of their eighth album, “Eloquent Demons” on Friday, Bobaflex delivered to their adopted hometown a kick-ass hard rock show at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus, OH as part of their Long Time Coming Tour.

Ed. – read our review of “Eloquent Demons” HERE

The anticipation was palpable throughout the crowd as Lovesick Radio, Liquid6Teen and Dread Engine ran through their sets. Chants of “BO-BA-FLEX!, BO-BA-FLEX!” echoed off the iconic venue’s walls.

The audience ranged in age from today’s youth to those of us that were around when Neil Armstrong first stepped onto the surface of the moon. It didn’t matter what anyone’s age was, as they were all there to get rocked.

Charles Wells at his first rock concert.
(Credit: J Courtney / Music in Motion Columbus)

Prior to the main event, I met a young boy, just 9-years old named Charles Wells, from Columbus. He was there with his parents, Hayley and Steven Wells, to experience his very first rock concert, as evidenced by his customized t-shirt which read “My First Rock Concert” on the front, and “Bury Me With My Guns On – Bobaflex” on the back.

The grin on his face reminded me of some of the first rock concerts I went to in my youth, which put a smile on my face, too.

Right on time, the house lights dimmed and crowd let loose with an approving roar as Eloquent Demons (Intro) blared through the speakers as the band took the stage.

Transitioning directly into I Am A Nightmare, setting the tone for the evening with the fast-paced rocker. The harmonies that this band produces are a wonderful facet to their sound, setting them apart from their contemporaries.

The slower, and slightly darker I’m Glad You’re Dead was next, with the crowd singing along with the band. They wasted no time in bringing the pace right back to a fever pitch with Chemical Valley, proving that playing 150-plus dates every year has made them a tight band.

(L-R) Dave Tipple, Shaun McCoy, Jymmy Tolland
(Credit: J Courtney / Music in Motion Columbus)

“This song is about doing drugs… responsibly,” announced Shaun McCoy with a grin, before they launched into Mama (Don’t Take My Drugs Away). Singing with much emotion, Shaun belted out the lyrics, the crowd singing along.

As the lights went dark at the song’s conclusion, Shaun and his bother Marty traded places, with Shaun donning a guitar and Marty grabbing the microphone.

The hard, crunchy tones of Tommy Johnson’s drums filled the air, as the opening notes of Never Coming Back filled the air. Once again, the harmonies were on full-display, as the uptempo number electrified the audience.

Marty got the crowd clapping their hands to the opening notes of Bad Man, the slower blues-based tempo punctuated with some tasty work by Dave Tipple on his axe. The grinding buzzsaw of his guitar meshed icely with Marty’s vocals.

Deciding to pick up the pace, Marty told the assembled masses that “She’s not a woman. She’s a goddamn vampire!” The driving, almost relentless beat had many fists in the crowd pumping, with many singing along in-time.

Johnson’s struck a slow, spare, almost dirge-like beat on his kit to begin Home, as Marty waxed poetic about coming home to Columbus. The raw emotion in his voice as he sang added poignancy to the lyrics, with Shaun pulling together a beautiful guitar bridge before the end. The crowd loved it and couldn’t help but sing along with the band.

Next up, the second single from the new album, Long Time Coming, carried a darker tone live than what comes across on the album. With their harmonies on point, and coupled with the hard-edge of the beat, you could imagine a freight train heading straight for you.

Marty McCoy
(Credit: J Courtney / Music in Motion Columbus)

The soft sound of a breezy wind wafted through the venue, announcing A Spider In The Dark. Marty and Dave harmonized the vocals in such a way as to be reminiscent of The Eagles or early-era Styx. In a word, it was beautiful.

Shaun was back on the microphone for the fast-paced, driving beat of Start A War. They struck the perfect tone to bring the energy back to a fever pitch from the wall-to-wall bodies in front of the stage.

Keeping the tempo high, they launched into Low-Life, with Shaun showing more raw emotion to get accentuate the dual guitar work from Marty and Dave.

Taking it down just a notch, yet keeping it heavy, the marching beat opened Rise, to the delight of the crowd.

Once again, Marty and Shaun switched places, as the younger McCoy told the crowd “This song goes out to my mother.” Laughter was heard from the band’s family members standing behind sound engineer Dave Bigelow, as they dived straight into Losing My Mind.

The familiar strains of Pink Floyd could be heard, as Johnson appeared to touch on the drum beats in the early stages of Time (from Dark Side Of The Moon), before the guitar riffs of Hey You washed over us. It seemed a bit slower in the live setting, but no less poignant. They simply performed a masterful homage to Pink Floyd, while still adding their own unique tone to it.

Tommy Johnson
(Credit: J Courtney / Music in Motion Columbus)

They capped-off the evening with an extended, driving intro to Bury Me With My Guns On, with the audience singing along, again. Marty jumped down from the stage to get up-close and personal with the crowd, before launching himself up to crowd-surf on their out-stretched arms.

When he returned to the stage and the band hit the final note, he simply said, “Columbus, Ohio… we are Bobaflex. Don’t you fucking forget it.”

And with that, they walked off stage and the show was over.

Earlier in their career, they were tagged with the “Nu Metal” moniker. Pigeonholing Bobaflex into a tidy little box with that label is a severe disservice to the band and their fans. What they are is a hard-working, kick your ass, rock and roll band.

The song selection that comprised their set showed their vast depth and showcased the musicianship and vocal harmonies that make them unique among noise that encompasses the musical landscape in 2017.

They’re doing things their way and loving every minute of it. And in the words of Marty McCoy, if you don’t like it, you might as well “Stick it up your ass and go on somewhere else.

And judging by the autographs of Charles Wells’ shirt, I would have to surmise that his first rock concert was a successful experience for him.

Credit ALL IMAGES: J Courtney / Music in Motion Columbus

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  1. Eloquent Demons (Intro)
  2. I Am A Nightmare
  3. I’m Glad You’re Dead
  4. Chemical Valley
  5. Mama (Don’t Take My Drugs Away)
  6. Never Coming Back
  7. Bad Man
  8. Vampire
  9. Home
  10. Long Time Coming
  11. A Spider In The Dark
  12. Start A War
  13. Low-Life
  14. Rise
  15. Losing My Mind
  16. Hey You (Pink Floyd cover)
  17. Bury Me With My Guns On

Bobaflex – Long Time Coming


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