Ed. – unfortunately, we were without a photographer for this show. We apologize for this oversight on our part.

My Beloved, having been on my radar for quite some time, were the reason I found myself at the Bethel Road Pub on Saturday. Their name had popped up in conversations I had with other bands/musicians and hard rock/metal fans around Columbus over the last few months, with our own Jesse Jester stating emphatically that I needed to see them live.

Comprised of Courtney Stone (vocals, acoustic guitar), Frank Thompson (guitar), Sarah Thompson (bass) and Jacob Morgan (drums), I had only heard the few recorded songs they have posted online. Not having any preconceived notion of what to expect from a band allows me to stay as unbiased as possible. That is the fervent hope, at least.

The band was headlining the lineup this evening, and I arrived a few hours before they would go on stage. So, I killed some time by sitting down with the band and getting to know them better over a round of drinks. The resulting in-depth interview with them will be published in the coming weeks.

They opened their set with TBD, the heavy riffs slicing through the air like a knife. Although diminutive of stature, Stone’s vocals had an edge to them that was surprisingly large and forceful. Frank Thompson’s guitar work was hard and heavy, with elements of Rammstein sprinkled throughout, while Morgan was tattooing a syncopated beat on his drums, adding a distinct rhythm to the number. Sarah was in the pocket with her bass groove carrying the bottom end.

The heavy, driving beat of Much To Me assaulted the crowd next, reminiscent of Korn when they first broke nationally. The juxtaposition of Stone’s smile as she eviscerated the assembled throng vocally gave added poignancy to the lyrics. She appeared genuinely pissed off as she sang “Save your dignity, you really don’t mean that much to me…”

Next came Scars, with a midtempo groove that underscored the emotion in Stone’s vocals. Her voice was dripping with pain as she cried “go fix yourself…” The small, but vocal crowd was singing along with the chorus of the tune, resulting in smiles from the band.

At this point, Stone grabbed her acoustic guitar and began to play the melancholy strains of Afraid of Heights. Her vulnerability was on full-display, as the other band members joined in and added depth to the number. Once again, the crowd could be heard singing along with the band, holding their phones and lighters aloft in appreciation.

Thompson coaxed eeriness from his guitar on the opening notes of Worthless, before the bass and drums kicked in with a weighty crunch. Morgan jumped in and out quickly with his drum fills, adding poignancy to Stone’s vocals. The raw emotion was palpable as she wailed “I don’t want to feel worthless.” This a song that would be at home on any rock radio station in the country.

When asked if they were “ready for it?” the crowd responded with a cheer, as the band came on hard and heavy with Ready For It. Once again, Morgans drums and Sarah’s bass  thumped the crowd’s bodies, with Stone almost crying out vocally. While her lyrics are like an open wound that drip with venom, the band lays down a sound that carries an undercurrent of aggression and anger.

Secret opens with a sound reminiscent of Korn in their heyday, at once extremely heavy, but also serenely melodic. Stone’s vocals go from hard to soft, showcasing both anger and subtle pain. Although it was one of the shorter tunes, this was the standout song of their set.

They closed the night off with the heavy strains of The Storm, the band solidly in the pocket of the groove. Unlike most other bands, My Beloved seemed to play their songs a touch slower in pace than the recorded versions. Stone was almost angrily spitting the words into the night, with the wail of “you let me down…” reverberating off the walls.

As the enthusiastic, yet small crowd roared its approval, their set came to an end, with the eight songs lasting just 32 minutes. And yet, I almost felt drained from the emotion put forth from the band. The heavy riffs and metallic styling are juxtaposed with the cerebral quality of the lyrics, yet they compliment each other in a way that is not easily achievable. The musical chemistry between Courtney Stone, Frank Thompson, Sarah Thompson and Jacob Morgan is undeniable.

This is a band that is on an upward trajectory, and I expect to see them reach new heights in short order.

Setlist

  1. TBD
  2. Much To Me
  3. Scars
  4. Afraid of Heights
  5. Worthless
  6. Ready For It
  7. Secret
  8. The Storm

The band were in-studio guests on episode 49 of The Cat Club Podcast. You can listen to that show HERE