Concert Review: Drummer at the Beachland, 10/24


In Jancee Dunn’s memoir, But Enough About Me, the Rolling Stone writer gives all kinds of advice on interviewing celebrities. When bands are acting too cool to answer her questions, she usually pays attention to the one member of the band who is often overlooked — the drummer.

Dunn explains: “[H]is other bandmates, particularly the heretofore-mute sunglasses-wearing lead singer, will at first be confused, then annoyed. Finally, their competitive spirit will take over, and they will enthusiastically jockey for attention, offering amusing anecdotes about groupies and telling off-color jokes.”

So what happens when you put together a band with dudes who have all spent time behind the kit? That was an experiment Patrick Carney wanted to try out when his Black Keys bandmate, Dan Auerbach, reserved some time to tour behind his solo album.

Steve Clements of Houseguest and Six Parts Seven, Ghostman & Sandman’s Greg Boyd, and Jon Finley and Jamie Stillman from Party of Helicopters (all local bands, by the way) joined Carney onstage at the Beachland Ballroom Saturday night. And all the guys were ready to march to the beat of a different, um, drummer.

Boyd stuck with percussion duties, while Clements played keys/synths, Stillman took his turn on guitar and Carney kept it steady on the bass. Finley had a blast playing “frontman,” chatting up the audience about his love for Cleveland sports and his positive hopes for (ugh) the next day’s Browns game. The set stopped for five minutes after the first song, after Clements realized he was missing a cable. Stillman filled the silence with his rendition of Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A.,” while Finley poked fun.

When the music started back up, it was underwhelming. “Good Golly” was as good as it got. Most of the tunes were as forgettable as a Matthew McConaughey flick. For all the supposed drumming cred, you’d expect some sick drum solos or team drumming. Yet the rhythm was as dull as the generic songwriting. If nothing else, it was a nice chance for talented Ohio musicians to team up. And it probably beats a band of “mute sunglasses-wearing” lead singers, right? —Danielle Sills