The Werks are hoping 2011 is going to be their break out year, and if their show at The Newport Music Hall last Saturday is any indication, they’re probably right. The Werks, co-headlining with Columbus staple Mike Perkins, brought nearly twice as many jam-hungry fans into the show as the last time they played The Newport less than six months ago.
The show kicked off early with openers Shank Bone, of Columbus, taking the stage around 8:30. They were a great act to compliment The Werks with shredding guitar, funky organ sounds and just the right amount of improvisation.
Mike Perkins played from 10 until midnight, alongside a bassist and saxophone player. The acoustic singer/songwriter is reminiscent of Keller Williams or Dave Matthews and has been playing in Columbus for years. It was a little bit too mellow for a two-hour set but the crowd dug it, dropping into a mellow groove and dancing along.
The Werks finally took the stage at midnight to play until curfew at 2 am. Having seen The Werks many, many times before this its safe to say they brought it hard, playing their best show that central Ohio has seen. The crowd was going wild; senses overloaded with the incredibly loud P.A. and the band’s amazing light set up.
The band played songs off of their first two albums, “Synapse” and “Dig it”, as well as some new tunes we can anticipate on the studio album they’re currently working on. Each member of the band is so talented, which makes their show so fun to watch. Its easy to find yourself staring, jaw-dropped at guitarist Chris Houser as he shreds through the most incredible solos like it’s nothing. All members of the band sing, too, including drummer Rob Chafin who is best described as an animal. One signature of their shows is a five-minute drum solo during which the rest of the band walks off stage, highlighting the intensity and rhythmic talents of Chafin. Bassist Chuckie Love may seem quiet when you meet him but with a bass in his hands he’s a funky slapping machine. Keyboardist Norman Dimitrouleas, on the other hand, is described by the band as having an “explosive personality” and his playing isn’t any less exciting.
The show wrapped up just before 2 with the band coming back on stage for an encore. Overall, the show was representative of the band’s position right now; full of excitement, anticipation, and awesome jams. Here’s to 2011, boys.
Written by Meghan Bender
Photography by Brian Hockensmith. To see more photos from this show click here.
(Below is a great video of The Werks performing at Newport Music Hall from last year. Photo borrowed from http://www.theuntz.com/TheWerks)