Kobo is fast becoming one of the hotspots in Columbus for catching a smorgasbord of rising indie bands of all genres. Recently, the Pitchfork acclaimed Ex Cops from Brooklyn, NY played their first show in Columbus in this venue, which has become somewhat of a second home for yours truly.
The duo turned five piece performed midway through the evening, choosing a healthy selection of numbers from their debut True Hallucinations. Drummer Sam Bair had somewhat of a looming presence in the background that contrasted with the smaller, less expressive demeanors of group leaders Brian Harding (formerly of Hymns) and Amalie Bruun (formerly of Minks). If I had to characterize the demeanor of Brian as he sung onstage, I would say he was stoic but confident. Amalie complimented his often melancholy vocals in a similar manner, while the solid stage was rounded out by Amalie and Brian’s good friends Kai Kennedy (lead guitar) and Leif Young Huckman (bass). Highlights from the set included the driving “The Millionaire” and the haunting, R.E.M.-esque “Separator.”
Two rising locals bookended the evening. Tin Armor played first, playing a solid set of alternative indie rock tunes. The three Matts and a John who shared the stage did so impeccably, remaining tight yet relaxed, trading banter. It set the stage well for the evening which doubled as a birthday celebration for Kobo employee and friend Brian Ostrander. Kid Runner played the most upbeat set of the evening, unfortunately going on well past 11 PM on a Monday evening (so many had left before their set). The band has big dreams for their brand of electronic pop/rock, and put their all into this performance, which included all four tracks from their EP (downloadable for free) and their forthcoming LP. The energy of the band makes them good candidates for an opener for, say, other Columbus favorites twenty | one | pilots. I want see them hit a bigger stage soon. Kobo was just right for Ex Cops and Tin Armor, but too small for the sound of Kid Runner.