Rock Local

August 10th, 2018

Rewind to 9 years ago.

I was 13 years old, sitting in the back seat with my best friend as her mom drove her white Subaru Forester down Route 224.  Right off of 224 in Canfield, Ohio, there is an old log cabin in the middle of a field.  For the first (and to my knowledge the only) time this space was hosting a local band showcase.  The last act of the night was a man in his mid-20s with Justin Bieber hair named JD Eicher accompanied on stage by "The Goodnights".  I remember my friend turning to me and saying, "he's good...he's REALLY good!"  She was right; his set was this multi faceted indie/folk jam session.  At the time I was listening to nothing but whatever was being spun on Hot 101 and Paramore, so his music was earth shattering for me.  On top of it all, I could go up and talk to him after his set and he would shake my had and thank me for being there.  And he had a CD with his name on it so that meant he was famous so by default I was now famous.
Flash forward to 9 years later.
A few weeks ago I was at the Rumba Cafe for local Columbus act, Miller and the Hunks.  In the crowd was this little boy who was about 7 years old  and having the time of his life.  He was clapping along and dancing to each song with that childlike wonder that we tragically seem to lose.  The lead singer, Colin, saw him in the front of the crowd and invited him on the stage to jam with the band.  As they were playing out the last song, Colin grabbed the mic and told everyone in the crowd to move as close to the stage as possible.  We all smashed even closer together and raised our hands as Colin picked the little dude up and offered him to the crowd.  Yes, a 7 year old crowd surfed.  There is no way to describe the look on his face.  It wasn't a Miller and the Hunks show anymore, it was his show.  He was the rockstar, the cool kid, and just flat out happy.
Local music is an incredibly important part of a community.
Again for the people in the back: local music is an incredibly important part of a community. 
For many young music lovers, it is their first taste of "the big time".  It can be what inspires them to learn to play an instrument, take voice lessons, or expand their musical horizons.  As for the older crowds, it's a lot easier to enjoy good tunes at places like Ace of Cups than any arena sized venue.  Above all, this music is OURS.  Not Hollywood's, not Dayton's, and not Manhattan's.  It's 100% ours.  It's not even a record label's sound.  It some guys or girls that grew up down the street from you, jamming in a make-shift studio, with a sound in their brain that they want to share with you.  Then, by the mystical magical power of music, as soon as they take the stage they're no longer someone who grew up down the street from you.  They are just as big and famous as the Foo Fighters and they're singing just for you.  
I still listen to JD Eicher because his music reminds me to keep being the wide-eyed 13 year old who gets excited about a song.  I go to local shows in Columbus because there is a sense of community that you can't find anywhere else.  There is talent in local music, of course, but there's also a kind of family.
So join the fam. 
THIS Saturday, August 11th, our very own CD 102.5 parking lot will be invaded by 16 local Columbus bands.  All coming to jam for you and just you.  There will be beer, food, rock n roll, and your favorite CD 102.5 DJs roaming about.  Believe it or not, we are real people and not just voices that come out of your radio.  
Tickets are $10 and still available.  Front Stage Fest is a celebration of our music, our city, and our independent radio.  Rock local.