By Jaime Courtney
Photos by Samantha Toale

When I was a kid, we listened to 99.7 The Blitz and I had always heard about the Alrosa Villa with all its big parties and shows. I had always wanted to go there just to see what it was like inside, to see what went on at these events, and how people must have dressed.

In 2017, I managed to finally make it there twice: once in November 11th for the ROC for Veterans Music Festival, and then for the big New Year’s Eve show featuring Infidel, Love Sick Radio, Black Coffee, Grindhouse, and Bobaflex. I was so excited about the lineup because I’ve heard of all these bands and seen them all live, except Black Coffee (who totally blew me away!)

Credit: S Toale / MIMC

As I walked through the venue to go back to the tour bus, there were already a lot of people there and the place rang with excitement as the first band, Infidel, was about to go on.

As I walked into the bus, I was greeted by several band members who were listening to Jymmy (Tolland, bass and vocals) talking about a famous comedian who has a new stand up routine. Marty (McCoy, guitar, vocals) and Dave Bigelow (FOH – Front of House sound for Bobaflex) were both asking him about it and laughing, excited to watch it later. They were a very light-hearted bunch and I could tell this was going to be an interesting evening!

I sat across from Dave and was able to ask him about his experience working with the band. From Louisville, Kentucky, Dave seemed right at home with the rest of the guys, just a bunch of friends hanging out before work. I had a sense that these guys were more than friends, especially after ten years of working with Bobaflex. I think they were more like a family.

Credit: S Toale / MIMC

A lot of bands that succeed to the national level is not only due to their commitment and dedication to be on stage, but to their camaraderie and relationships off the stage, as well. Dave said you didn’t see fights and squabbles with the guys, they really got along well and had fun during tours. But then traveling the world with your best pals and getting paid to do it would be an amazing experience!

Dave also attributed the civil demeanor to tours only lasting 3-5 months at a time, giving them all a break for a couple weeks before they go on the road again. He said they even spend holidays together sometimes, saying it was like they were all brothers.

After releasing “Eloquent Demons” in August, 2017, I was able to see Bobaflex live for the first time at The Newport in Columbus, and I’m here to say, I was definitely impressed by their performance and how they reacted to each other on stage.

Credit: S Toale / MIMC

Jymmy then began talking about a television show that I just happened to watch as well, and I began to relax a bit more, these guys were very cool, and very down to earth. A few more people came onto the bus with blue balloons that had lights inside them to toss to the crowd for the show, but they needed blown up still, so I took that as my cue to head on inside the venue to get a good seat for the show.

As each band went through their set, they would ask if everyone was ready for Bobaflex, and of course the crowd excitedly roared their affirmative answer. The energy started to surge throughout the place with each band that went on stage, one after another, rocking out the night as a huge celebration with amazing music, everyone excited to ring in the new year together.

It was finally time for Bobaflex to come onstage and bring the house down. Everyone in the crowd moved forward as the lights went down, signaling the beginning of the set. Worked into a frenzy, fans yelled and screamed as the guys began with I Am A Nightmare. Like a punch to the face, I was slammed with the awesomeness that is Bobaflex: the thumping beat of Tommy’s (Johnson) drums, the amazing harmonics, all coupled with raging guitars.

Credit: S Toale / MIMC

It was like watching them for the first time all over again; my senses rocked with musical genius as the band continued through their set giving the crowd exactly what they wanted with such songs as Chemical Valley, Mama (Don’t Take My Drugs Away), and A Spider In The Dark. By the time they got to their cover of Pink Floyd’s famous hit Hey You, the audience gave the band their full and undivided attention.

Bobaflex kindly obliged by executing the tune with an energy that seemed to bring the crowd together in unison, swaying to the guitar solo that always seems to go on forever like a warm and fluffy cloud that you just don’t want to get down from.

It was time for the new year to begin, and what better way to kick it off than with Bury Me With My Guns, a kick ass tune that gets your blood pumping with the drum beats, heavy riffs and even heavier lyrics. Out came the blue balloons with light inside them, with the guys tossing them out into the crowd to be hit back into the air. This was the party and celebration that everyone was here for, enjoying an amazing night with friends and great music.

A special thank you to Bobaflex and Dave Bigelow for allowing me into their “home away from home” and sharing their stories with me. I had an amazing time! Have a safe and Happy New Year!!!

Credit: S Toale / MIMC

Setlist

  1. I Am A Nightmare
  2. I’m Glad You’re Dead
  3. Chemical Valley
  4. Mama (Don’t Take My Drugs Away)
  5. Say What You Will
  6. Bad Man
  7. Long Time Coming
  8. Off With Your Head
  9. Low Life
  10. Lights Out
  11. Never Coming Back
  12. A Spider In The Dark
  13. Hey You
  14. Bury Me With My Guns

Credit All Images: S Toale / MIMC

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Check out even more photos of Bobaflex from the New Year’s Eve show HERE