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Concert Reviews

Earwig Thrives At Big Room Bar Second Anniversary – 8/25/17

Earwig at the Big Room Bar (Credit: S Toale / Music in Motion Columbus)

Ed. – We sent ace reporter Susanne Spires to the Big Room Bar to bring you the lowdown on long-time rockers Earwig. Here’s her review…

Friday night, Columbus’ longtime indie rock darlings, Earwig, headlined the Big Room Bar 2nd Anniversary show, along with Nerds In Paris and Fields and Planes.

They had big shoes to fill following newcomers Nerds In Paris, after they brought the house down with their rock and roll stylized covers of Jay Z’s catalog of hits.

The band of four took the stage with father and daughter duo in their yellow-and-black track suits, while the other two members wore all black that gave a strange Wes Anderson symmetry to the stage.

(Credit: S Toale / Music in Motion Columbus)

They started their nine-song set with Outro. Lead singer and guitarist Lizard McGee was all over the stage, while vocalist James McGee-Moore was more stationary than her father, yet still had a commanding onstage presence. Both McGee’s voices blended well together. One that’s sweet, while the other that reminds me of a combination of Brian Molko of Placebo and Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips.

Bring Yrself 2 Me is a bass driven song that starts off slow and melodic before that classic Earwig crunchy guitar riff kicks-in at just the right time with a nice distorted solo. It isn’t too flashy, but sets everything up for an unexpected break in the song that may or may not be an homage to the late great Prince, but I’m fairly certain that it is.

Between songs Lizard McGee “entertained” the crowd with jokes such as, “A lion, a witch, and wardrobe walk into a bar.  A pirate is bartending and tells them ‘I’m not serving Narnia.” This was the best joke of the night, but not the only one. While some enjoyed it, others were grumbling amongst themselves to continue on with the show.

Lizard and James belting out the tunes.
(Credit: S Toale / Music in Motion Columbus)

The crowd favorite of the night was Used Kids. Possibly due to the exposure it has received over the years from CD 102.5 or just because it’s a great song, but it was the one that had the crowd (that had dwindled to about half the size of the prior bands crowd by then) really going, while Earwig continued to give their all to this night’s performance.

After killing Used Kids, Lizard McGee pointed out the phone on stage for anyone in the audience to use for interdimensional phone calls. There were many confused looks and some laughs, assuming it was another joke.

The band then went into my favorite of the night, Silverheels. It featured outstanding drum work from Jeremy Steen, who was making his live debut with Earwig Friday night. The guitar complemented perfectly in just the right spots with a sound reminiscent of Dinosaur Jr.

The band’s new single Wasted On You got a great response from the crowd. The trade-off of vocals shows heartache and heartbreak from both sides, and was done beautifully.

(Credit: S Toale / Music in Motion Columbus)

James took control for a second solo song of the night (the first was New Fight Song earlier in the set) to cover Journey’s Anyway You Want It. The crowd loved singing along to a jukebox favorite, especially considering many had been drinking since the doors opened at 9 p.m. I can honestly say I much rather prefer the Earwig version to Journey’s.

The band ended the night with a song called Drag, which featured driving drums and bass work that you could feel in your chest and bones, courtesy of Costa Hondroulis. The guitar propped it up and the lyrics were pure indie pop.

It was the perfect treat for those that stuck around, because even though prior to Friday night I hadn’t been to an Earwig show since the late 90’s, this song topped off a set that proves that for music to stay relevant and survive you have to evolve.

Earwig hasn’t just survived. They’ve thrived, and they’re sure as hell still relevant.

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  1. Outro
  2. New Fight Song
  3. Bring Yrself 2 Me
  4. Used Kids
  5. Silverheels
  6. Wasted On You
  7. Trees
  8. Anyway You Want It (Journey cover)
  9. Drag

Earwig – Bring Yrself 2 Me


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