Concert Review: Paper Route at Rumba Cafe (Columbus, OH)

Paper Route (Nashville, TN), LVX (Columbus, OH), Permeation (Columbus, OH)
September 18th, 2012
Rumba Cafe in Columbus, OH

A week after the release of the long awaited The Peace of Wild Things, the indie/electronic-trio Paper Route (plus two touring musicians) from Nashville played a show much bigger in scope than the 200 person capacity of the venue it was contained by. Local rising stars LVX and Permeation opened the show.

Permeation is young but has big goals. While their stage presence could be a little more consistent, the band is already playing pretty well. They are creating a resume to back up that claim – in the past they have opened for Abandon Kansas and they are buddies with rising stars Fever Fever as well. A solid set of a half-dozen indie rock tunes were enjoyed by all, plus a fun, unexpected appearance of Modest Mouse’s “Float On.”

LVX, pronounced “lux,” provided a more energetic warm-up act. They are a new band to the Columbus area but play like they’ve been on tour with the veterans. They had a debut to outdo many debuts in April as an opening band for twenty | one | pilots, but it was nice to see them perform in a more intimate setting. The band had a lot of equipment onstage (which would be far out-shadowed by Paper Route later on). They performed a half hour of passionate electronic-influenced rock, including the single “Nature vs Nurture” which they have been pushing. I enjoyed them and this performance solidified them as one my favorite rising Columbus groups.

Paper Route, after setting up a lot of stuff, opened the show in dim lighting with The Peace of Wild Things opener “Love Letters.” Chad Howat’s falsetto captivated the audience from the get-go, as did Gavin McDonald’s fierce drumming and frontman JT Daly’s stage presence. The band played a healthy balance of old and new hits, and the audience responded positively to every song, singing every word. The band was super gracious to all in attendance – Daly noted that there was nothing like playing in a city they’re not from and seeing fans singing in earnest songs that are for all intents and purposes only a week old. Highlights from the set included the performances of “Are We All Forgotten,” “Wish,” “Enemy Among Us” (which had McDonald perched on a second drum kit playing along to Daly’s beat orchestration), “Two Hearts” and “Letting You Let Go.” The set ended with “Gutter” first, which had the whole band involved in a MUTEMATH like freakout-breakdown on stage that I thought for sure would climax and then leave the audience chanting for an encore. Not so! The jam did indeed climax, but the band kept going with new song “Rabbit Holes.” Then, the encore happened and the band set up amidst the spectators for a stripped down performance of old song “Second Chances.” A fitting end to an intimate evening of solid jams. The best part? I left with the knowledge I’d be seeing them open for another favorite of this journalist, MUTEMATH, in a few days.

Oh yeah, it’s worth noting that a lot of the underground rock community agrees with me on the excellence of Paper Route. Local group Andolino, rising groups Fever Fever and SONS, and the members of the established House of Heroes were all in attendance at this show.

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