Concert Review: Sick Weekend at Ace of Cups
Written by Brooke Forrest on March 27, 2017
I had the unique pleasure of recently attending Sick Weekend at Ace of Cups in Columbus while, ironically, sick. Sick Weekend, is a three-day long shindig with an always excellent lineup of rock-and-roll bands. I was able to make the trek with some friends for day two to see Molly Burch, The Bolos, Johnny Ill Band, Tim Darcy, Easy Habits, White Mystery, Timmy’s Organism and Mean Jeans.
A long road trip equalled a need for pizza so we unfortunately missed most of Molly Burch and The Bolos, but both acts are still worth listening to. Molly Burch is a singer-songwriter with a dreamy and jazzy folk sound. The Bolos are a rock band from Texas with a highly enjoyable lo-fi vibe. They have some heavy and darkly enjoyable rock tracks.
The first band we really caught most of was Johnny Ill Band and they were my favorites of the night. They were highly creative, with a sound that somehow felt like if a subdued Keith Morris was fronting a shoegaze-esque post-punk art rock band, which frankly sounds like heaven to me. I enjoyed every song from Johnny Ill Band and would absolutely love to see this Detroit group again.
Tim Darcy, a Canadian act, provided a nice transition after Johnny Ill. Darcy felt like a more folksy but artistic indie-rock band. He had a lovely voice and a dreamy almost country, sound. It makes sense that Darcy and Molly Burch have been touring together, the artists are simply soulful indie-rock singer-songwriters.
At this point, with the help of Johnny Ill and Tim Darcy and a house drink involving Bulleit bourbon, ginger beer and lime, I was suddenly no longer feeling sick. I was cured at Sick Weekend and ready for more fantastic music.
The next act, Easy Habits, were just what the doctor had ordered. Now that I was in better spirits, this trio of joyous young men brought in some high energy with their classic rock vibes. It was speedy and fun and the band even joked as they had some technical difficulties early on. They played it off well with an always-present good sense of humor. In fact, you could tell these guys were just having a great time and that feeling spread to an audience who couldn’t help but rock out to their set.
Now that the energy level was raised, Chicago rock-and-roll sibling duo White Mystery brought things to the next level. Lead singer Miss Alex White was a perfect vocal addition to the night; she had a stunning strong, almost gritty sound. The pair brought some seriously cool garage rock into the middle of the night. In fact they were a band I noticed right away when they entered Ace of Cups earlier, simply because they looked like the most effortlessly cool people I’ve seen in ages. They were happy to back-up that appearance with an equally cool set. As the siblings traded lead vocal duty and Alex played guitar behind her brother’s empty drum kit you knew you were watching a solid rock n’ roll show.
Following the siblings of White Mystery was the raucous Detroit group, Timmy’s Organism. Frontman Timmy Vulgar arrived on stage in an outfit that would look at home on Jimi Hendrix. During the set, Timmy ate and sometimes spewed a banana while performing fast-paced psychedelic rock. It was a high-energy and entertaining performance but arguably the one I least connected to. Timmy put on a good show for those feeling this heavy-acid speed-rock but since it wasn’t working for me, I spent this time enjoying the other parts of the venue, including the Elvira pinball machine.
Mean Jeans were the final act of the night and clearly they were playing to an audience that was just waiting to go crazy for them. The only band of the night with almost non-stop moshing, the trio brought fast and short high-energy punk songs. Each member somehow reflected a different type of garage punk band kid you’ve seen. One member was even rocking Ramones hair and a sleeveless Class of 1984 shirt. When I saw that I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed by this Portland, Oregon group. Each song was super speedy, but highly entertaining. They even performed several of their commercial jingle ideas for brands like Hot Pockets, just in case there were any corporate execs in the crowd waiting to pay them big bucks for the next big commercial ditty. Mean Jeans, much like Easy Habits before, just put on a happy high-energy punk show. It was the perfect ending to a night full of solid bands and sick tunes.