It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a D.I.Y. all-ages punk show. But I just couldn’t resist seeing Nana Grizol again. The Athens, Ga. band has been a steady favorite since I saw them on the Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise Tour in 2008. Both of their albums Love It Love It and “Ruth” are highly suggested. I caught the last night of the short tour in Ithaca, N.Y.
In addition to Nana Grizol and Defiance, Ohio, there were two solo acts on the bill: Your Heart Breaks and Toby Foster. Both were pretty good, but I think I’ve outgrown that type of music, so I won’t spend much time on them. Foster, playing a twelve-string guitar with six of the tuning pegs ripped out, was less awkward than Clyde Petersen (Your Heart Breaks). He left the most of the talking to his songs. His last, “Tennessee,” was the definite highlight. Petersen, the first act, rambled a bit between songs, but had some interesting stories. His extremely straightforward lyrics sound a lot like those of his friend Kimya Dawson.
Nana Grizol, although higher on the bill, played in between the two. This was most likely to give frontman Theo Hilton a break before his set with Defiance, Ohio. In contrast to the solo guitar of Foster and Your Heart Breaks, Nana Grizol had guitar, bass, two drum sets and horns. The crappy, buzzing PA system that couldn’t get the levels exactly right was nostalgic and almost charming in a way. Despite not sounding crystal clear, the young crowd still sang along to most of Nana Grizol and Defiance, Ohio’s sets.
Nana Grizol rocketed through a set that included “Galaxies,” “Cynicism,” “Tiny Rainbows,” “Blackbox,” “Voices Echo Down Thee Hall” and “Circles ‘Round the Moon.” Defiance, Ohio’ s set was a little longer and featured songs like “The List,” “Oh Susquehanna” and “Trip and Stumble.”
Members from all four bands (Theo Hilton, Toby Foster, Clyde Petersen and Ryan Woods) just collaborated on a great album available here from Talking Helps Records. Also, if you haven’t listened yet, all of Defiance, Ohio’s albums are available for free on their website.