The Broken Relics are a band who have quickly seen their stock rise in the city of Columbus. From being a relative unknown when we did a profile on them in February, they’ve now played several shows, found themselves featured on local radio stations, and have seen the stream count on their first two singles reach over 10,000. Most recently the group released their debut EP, With Reverence.
The band chose Craft & Vinyl, the location of their first ever show, to host their album release show. The bar itself was packed when I arrived, so much so that I had to maneuver around the crowd just to get to the stage to see the opening bands. That, of course, is never a bad sign at a local show.
Three-piece rockers Cream Camino opened up the evening, and they were followed by the funky grooves of Ekkohawk. Bar owner Troy Stacy came out to thank the crowd for filling the establishment, and as he left the stage the crowd around me started a “Bro-ken Rel-ics!” chant. A significant portion of the patrons had moved from the couch and table area to the front of the stage, creating a visual that the bar was even more full than before.
The opening song, Kansas City Blues Train Blues featured a riff from guitarist Zach Warmouth that would make Wichita native Joe Walsh proud. The song was heavy on the groove and featured a thunderous drum cadence from Zach Potkanowicz. The crowd around me seemed to be stomping and nodding their heads to the beats that the group’s drummer was laying down. Zach later told me that they hadn’t even practiced the song in full until the previous night, but I don’t think anyone in the crowd could tell the difference.
Up next was another new number not featured on With Reverence, titled When Forward Ends. Despite standing tall at the front and center of the stage, vocalist and rhythm guitarist Bryce Warmouth was difficult to distinguish among the cheers and screams of the crowd around me. You didn’t need to be told that this was the headlining band when everyone around me started dancing, as the Warmouth brothers and bassist Alex Jakovina executed a smooth thumping breakdown midway through the song.
Bryce announced that since the band had a little extra time, they would be playing a cover along with their set. He and Jakovina went right into the unmistakable opening chords of Tom Petty’s American Girl, a perfect addition to their southern twanged, classic rock sound. The minor sound issues from the previous song seemed to have been alleviated, but I’m pretty sure that most of the crowd around me knew all the words just the same.
Bryce and Zach thanked the audience for their attendance and informed us that they were going to be playing the new EP from top to bottom. It started with their most recognizable tune, Don’t Look Back, and once again the floor around me shifted as the crowd started to sway. Each song to this point had featured an uncanny groove and I think the folks in attendance, whether they had heard the band before or not, felt that coursing through their veins as they shook their collective legs.
You could really feel Jakovina’s bass on Got Away, and one look at the bassist’s genuine smile showed he was definitely feeding off the energy of the crowd around us. Got Away had a crisp, bouncy guitar riff from Zach and kept the feeling upbeat throughout.
Between each song, Bryce would tell a little story about how the song came together, or what it meant to the band. For Lost Again, he said that the tune literally came together in five minutes, and that the band liked it so much that almost nothing changed from the original script. You could again feel the rumble from Potkanowicz and Jakovina as the quartet brought things home.
Where The Creatures Roam was up next, and I’ll admit it was the song I was most intrigued to see live. Each member had raved about it from our previous interviews, and you could see the painstaking emotion on each of their faces as they played it out. Jakovina and Bryce stood together at the side of the stage as Zach threw himself down in front to rip off a scorching solo that pulsed and reverberated throughout the small club. Of all of the songs played that evening, this one got the loudest cheer from the crowd around me, and with good reason.
Bryce took an extra minute to talk about The Mortal, a song he had written with his father in mind. “We wanted to take a risk with this one. It’s a reminder about how life is pretty short.” It was an exceptionally somber number that brought everyone back down and landed us smoothly at the end of their set.
But what would an album release show be without an encore? The band started to exit but the cheer of “one more song” was so strong that they ended up staying on stage, saying that they only had one more song left in their repertoire. Goodbye Tennessee had an old-style country feel to it, almost like you’d expect to hear it playing from the speakers at the State Fair. You could tell the band was gassed from the emotional 1-2 punch of the previous songs, but they soldiered on and the crowd again cheered loudly in appreciation.
Before the band could even set their instruments down a second time, the crowd beckoned for another tune. Jakovina informed us that they didn’t have any more of their own material, but that they could play another cover, if the crowd was interested. Of course, we all roared for more and so the band obliged. I wasn’t surprised that they chose Use Somebody by Kings of Leon, as each member had previously opined that Kings of Leon are one of their biggest influences. It was a true-to-form cover, as if either band could have written it for the other, and it was a solid send-off for a fantastic show.
Despite being a longer set and the waning hours of the evening, the final cheer was loud. The band thanked everyone involved in the night and exited to hugs and high-fives all around.
I know I’ve said this before, but if you haven’t had the chance to see them yet, you should definitely make time to see them when they next play in town. Chances are, they might be moving on to bigger and better locations in the near future.
Credit all images: The Jester / MIMC
- Kansas City Blues Train Blues
- When Forward Ends
- American Girl (Tom Petty cover)
- Don’t Look Back*
- Got Away*
- Lost Again*
- Where The Creatures Roam*
- The Mortal*
- Goodbye Tennessee
- Use Somebody (Kings of Leon cover)
*denotes from new EP, With Reverence