On Valentine’s Day Eve, my musical companion and I ventured to the A and R Music Bar in the heart of Columbus to see the alt-rockers A Silent Film and their opening acts Carousel and Gold Fields. A and R is neighbor to one of the bigger venues in Columbus – the LC Pavilion – and right on top of one of the smaller venues in Columbus – The Basement. Being my first time at A and R, I was pleasantly surprised by its cozy feel as compared to the LC, which I had been to many times. This intimate setting proved to be one of the greatest parts of the night.
With only forty to fifty people there, the Brooklyn duo Carousel(pictured above) took the stage first. Armed with only two synths, two microphones, a guitar, and a laptop, they had the whole crowd grooving to their electro melodies from the very beginning. Lead singer Jackson Phillip’s silky smooth falsetto was reminiscent of the likes of Passion Pit and Miike Snow – blending pensive lyrics and and a warm stage presence. One of my favorite tunes they performed was “Let’s Go Home” where Phillip’s yearningly sings, “All those years we used to know, All those dreams won’t go, We could take this road, let’s go home.” Guitarist Kevin Friedman also added catchy riffs and vocal harmonies to complete a great opening act. You can get their music for FREE right here.
As more and more people continued to file in, Gold Fields(pictured above) took the stage next. Coming all the way from “down under” – specifically Ballarat, Australia – Gold Fields was the highlight of the night for me. I had heard their single “Treehouse” from their self-titled debut EP prior to the show on a favorite Australian music website of mine – Triple J – but was earnestly anticipating hearing more. They did not disappoint. I was absolutely stunned at the freshness and talent these five dudes had on stage. They featured a rhythmically diverse array of sounds as there was not only a full drum set on stage, but also an auxiliary percussion set that added Trans-Pacific texture to every song performed. I could not help but dance along with everyone else in the crowd. And after every tune, the crowd went wild. Gold Fields brought a buzz of excitement to A and R, yet at the same time the quintet kept a smooth and cool demeanor on stage – even the lights set the chill mood as they illuminated from the back of the stage, revealing only the silhouette figures of the band members. Ending with a warm Aussie “Cheers!” the band left the stage with everyone wanting more. Listen to more of Gold Fields at their website here and pre-order their debut LP Black SunASAP!
Last but certainly not least, the headliners took the stage. Hailing from Oxford, England, A Silent Film(pictured above) put on the third installment of a brilliant night out at the A and R Music Bar. With a mug reading “Virginia is For Lovers” in hand, lead vocalist Robert Stevenson greeted his eagerly awaiting audience exclaiming, “Hello Columbus! Is everyone good and drunk!?” From then on, the crowd was even more ecstatic, especially after Stevenson yelled “O-H!” with the crowd responding with a raucous “I-O!” (For those of you who do not know, this is a favorite chant of Ohio State Buckeyes fans). Stevenson shined throughout the performance as his gusto and engaging attitude towards the audience was well received. He constantly thanked the crowd for our ardent support as we all sang along. My favorite tunes of theirs was “Harbour Lights” in which the whole crowd was chanting the catchy riff alongside Stevenson, and the strings-filled “Anastasia“. A Silent Film played a tight set and their clean anthem-like song style reminds me of a perfect blend of The Killers and Keane. You can check A Silent Film out here!
After an amazing encore performance, and one more O-H-I-O cheer, A Silent Film dispersed amongst the crowd, signing posters and CD’s, taking pictures, and talking with anyone and everyone. I can honestly say this was one of my favorite concerts I have been to and I cannot wait to see these bands again, hopefully soon. If you want a night filled with good music, drink, and dance, head to the A and R Music Bar soon and catch some shows! And if you want to hear these bands on the radio, tune in to my show “Chillout Sessions” Wednesday nights from 9:30pm-11:30pm. I will definitely be jamming to these bands.