I’d be lying to you if I said that Saturday was just another night in the Columbus music scene. Despite the pouring rain, there was a queue outside of The Spacebar when the house opened, celebrating the return of one of their favorite sons, DAYMARE.

One of the area’s hottest acts just twelve months ago, the band had recently taken considerable time off to repair their friendships, build new relationships, and were poised to return with the promise of a bigger and better arsenal than what they had showcased before.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous,” admitted singer/guitarist Dustin Rinehart. “In fact, I’m jittery as hell. But it feels good to have these jitters again.”

Rinehart and drummer Austin Spears form the core of the group, with Eric Lozier returning to his post at guitar. Mark Nye rounds out the impressive quartet on bass. The show on Saturday was their first headlining gig and only their second live show in town since reforming, while also marking the release of their newest EP, “Glow.”

It was apparent the packed bar was ready for a rowdy night of rocking ruckus, and opening band The Forty gave plenty of energy to get them started. Pale Grey Lore did what they do best, smoking out the house and crushing us with their patented grooves. The tension felt heavy around me as the headliners started setting up their gear, and I don’t think any of the people around me truly knew what they were about to receive.

The band opened with their signature crunching guitars and thundered through the opening track from Glow, titled Landmine. The song is ferociously heavy and seems to touch on the time that Rinehart and Spears were apart. The band certainly didn’t show any rust in spite of the fact that this was only their third show since April 2017.

Speaking of last year, if you spent any time at all listening to CD102.5 or 99.7 The Blitz, then you absolutely heard the band’s next number, Bleed Out. It’s as energetic and fun as any song you’ll hear, and would literally fit anywhere within DAYMARE’s set. It features the perfect amount of punch and run, as Lozier also showcased his fancy licks with a screaming solo in the latter parts of the song.

We barely had enough time to cheer before Rinehart launched right into Blinders, another crushingly heavy track. Spears flashed his trademark grin as he pounded away at his kit while Lozier and Rinehart sang harmony on the chorus. If you were going to mosh to any their songs, this would be the one. I mean, you’d have to get out from under the weight of the driving guitars, but you get the picture.

Rinehart explained that the title track to the new EP Glow was about the previous year and how things had fallen out between himself and Spears. The song found new meaning this week with the passing of a mutual friend of ours, and I found myself getting emotional as the song pushed its three-chord melody forward. It was the slowest song of the night, but was still a fantastic number; a true testament towards the power of friendship.

Up next was Needles, another heavy piece in which Lozier seemed to literally shake the booming notes out of his guitar. Rinehart did a lot of movement on his own, while Nye held things down in his own space. It was another slower tune similar to Glow, except it featured a heavier punch in the pre-chorus.

Had A Fire was a beautifully slow building ballad that again fit the modus operandi that the band was laying down for this group of songs. Rinehart made his way over to Lozier and the two made love to their stringed instruments for the loudest and most fantastic solo of the evening. Meet Me Halfway finished out the four-pack of (dare I say) sweeter songs which kept every head nodding throughout the venue. Rinehart chilled the steamy evening while screaming out, “I’m on my way to you.”

The band took a pause to make sure we were all still with them before laying down another pounding number that seemed to jump right out of Spears’ kit. Leaves was the most angst-driven song featured that evening, and you could feel the ferocity from the foursome on it as they switched tempo mid-track, driving their grooves right through your heart.

Lozier opened the next song with a familiar melody that built into an unmistakable riff, as Rinehart belted out the opening lines to Tears for Fears’ 1985 classic Head Over Heels. It may have been unexpected, but it ended out working fantastically as voices rose all around me and we shouted along to the chorus. Somebody from the Punk Goes Pop series needs to hook up with the boys for that one.

Back to new original material with Grounded, the penultimate track off of Glow. The opening trudged forward as the guitars screeched and screamed in somewhat of a different style from the rest of the evening. Even with that being said, it was still distinctly DAYMARE, and I daresay you could put it right alongside every other song we heard that evening as it was, simply put, outstanding.

The guys looked a little tired, but they played just as strong on the final track from Glow, titled Villains. It had more of a classic rock feel to it; fun, upbeat, and bouncy. Ever the showman, Rinehart jumped into the pit during the second verse, even grabbing a stick to smash cymbals with Spears at the ending crescendo.

I got to chat with the two founding members of the group after the set and they both expressed their excitement at being able to play together again. The crowd around me was percolating about what they had experienced and I know that I will be excited to see what the band will be able to put together now that they are back at full force.

“Glow” featured a few songs from the bands back catalogue and shows promise in the two newest tracks that cannot be ignored. The state of Ohio had better buckle up for what’s about to come next from these guys.

Credit all images: S Toale/MIMC

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Setlist

  1. Landmine*
  2. Bleed Out
  3. Blinders
  4. Glow*
  5. Needles*
  6. Had A Fire
  7. Meet Me Halfway
  8. Leaves
  9. Head Over Heels (Tears for Fears cover)
  10. Grounded*
  11. Villains*

*denotes new song from Glow

DAYMARE – Landmine