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Mae represents latest trend; sells out Luke’s Barn

| Tuesday, February 3, 2004

Luke’s Barn was filled past capacity as more than 400 kids packed the tiny Toledo, Ohio venue Jan. 31 to see one of the most well-crafted concerts on the road right now. Mae, the headlining band took up-and-coming artists Copeland, The Working Title, and Slow Coming Day out for a nation-wide tour, hitting almost every major city in the United States. The show opened with What’s the Point, who were celebrating their CD release party that night. These three gentlemen from Toledo had a fast-paced style with vocals and music seemingly representative of the latest trend in “scremo” rock. They put on a decent show and are likely to become more popular in their area, though their music was not particularly consistent with the rest of the musical acts of the night.Next was Slow Coming Day. This southern California quartet, made up of Orion Walsh on vocals and guitar, Brad Smith on guitar, Dave Stoots on bass, and Jason Sheets on drums took the stage and began their set for their first time ever in Ohio. Though Walsh, did not say a lot between songs during their seven-song set, the music spoke volumes. The band had impressive timing, knowing when to speed up and when to back down. “Behind Blue Eyes,” the final song on their full-length release, Farewell to Familiar, was an excellent way to end a very good set. Slow Coming Day are incredibly talented and will only improve with time.The Working Title from Charleston, S. C., was the next band to grace the tiny stage that night. It became evident before their set that lead singer Joel Hamilton was ready for a good time as fans responded to what he was saying during his sound check. Hamilton’s unique voice and his rocking acoustic guitar were a very pleasant surprise. They played most of the songs off their EP, Everyone Here Is Wrong. The night kept improving as Copeland took the stage. Hailing from Atlanta, Ga., Copeland has been gaining national recognition as of late for their newly released music video, “Walking Downtown,” off their Militia Group-released, full-length titled Beneath the Medicine Tree. The band opened their set with intensity and it was incredible how well the music flowed. There was never a dull moment as their full and melodic brand of music kept the audience on their toes throughout the whole set. The pinnacle act of the night was Norfolk, Va.-based quintet Mae. Made up of Dave Gimenez on vocals and guitar, Zach Gehring on guitar, Mark Padgett on bass, Rob Sweitzer on keyboards and back up vocals, and Jacob Marshall on drums, Mae pulled out all the stops for their first ever nation-wide headlining tour. The sound this band has developed is incredible. Playing like veterans, no two songs were similar, and each song portrayed a different aspect of emotion with its own personality. They began their set with an unreleased and rarely played song, “Tisbury Lane,” then quickly sped up the tempo by breaking into the spectacular drum beats of “All Deliberate Speed,” followed by “Runaway,” both from their full-length Destination Beautiful. A beautifully crafted piano solo led the band into “Sun,” during which technical difficulties ensued. Gimenez’s microphone cut out toward the beginning of the song, and the crowd was left with only an instrumental version. The silence did not last long, as everyone in the room raised their voices to fill the void. The microphone was fixed just in time for Gimenez to dedicate “Soundtrack For Our Movie” to all the ladies in the room and then to play their catchy first single, “Summertime.” They then finished up their set with current single “Embers and Envelopes,” the melodic “Giving It Away,” and fittingly “Goodbye, Goodnight.”Anyone would be hard-pressed to find a band of this caliber. Mae played an excellent show to the well over-capacity crowd in Toledo. If they are this tight on their first nation-wide headlining tour, it will be interesting to see how they will progress to stardom and how quickly it will come. Mae is an incredibly enjoyable band to watch perform. Their live show is one of the best out there, above and beyond expectations. Every band on this tour had innumerable amounts of talent that shone through quite clearly to the audience. Not only did every band play well, they also stayed long after the show ended to meet their fans. The worst part of this show was that it had to end at all.