By: Melanie Sonnier
Before hitting SXSW this week, Culture Wars warmed up the stage with Columbus natives Miller and the Hunks and the Up All Nights with a fun, dark and sexy rock-n-roll show at Skullys this past Friday night.
A relatively new band out of Austin, Texas, Culture Wars is currently a trio led by Alex Dugan on lead vocals, Mic Vrendenburgh on lead guitar and Andy Nixon on drums. They are no strangers to the stage, though, all playing music in different bands for years (Vrendenburgh is even a trained cellist) before deciding to come together last year to release Culture Wars’ first self-titled EP in August.
Columbus is the first out-of-state show for them, and suffice to say they definitely brought the Austin heat when they took the stage.
But first, did you know that Lil Bow Wow is a fellow Buckeye? Neither did I, but Miller and the Hunks dropped some knowledge before getting the entire crowd to sing along to a hit they never knew to begin with.
The local band had no shortage of energy or charisma, and the crowd seemed too happy not to go along for the ride. From guest rappers to an impromptu horn performance, everyone was feeling the party by the time they left the stage.
As the lights went down the Up All Nights kept the energy flowing. Transitioning the crowd to a darker, sexier night of synth-infused rock-n-roll and perfectly leaning into the vibe Culture Wars provided.
Dugan’s silky vocals mixed with Vrendenburgh’s sexy and smooth guitar work and Nixon’s intense accompaniment helped bring the full package to life. Do not let its short time as a band fool you; these men commanded the stage like they were born to be there.
“Bones,” a sexy yet almost melancholy track with a solid drum backing and upbeat synths, got the crowd moving. The guys passionately stalked the stage in leather and looked every bit like the bad boys you would want to jump in a car with, knowing you were not headed anywhere good.
“Hideaway” slowed things down just enough to get bodies writhing together halfway through the show with lines like, “Talk to me/All you want is my profanity/Filing suit just to ruin me.” This amped the tension up to 11.
“Delilah” also was just the right kind of pounding beat and relatable story that got the crowd pulsing almost in rhythm.
Along with a bit of new material, Culture Wars more than provided a sexy, sultry summer feel on a late winter night in the Midwest before jetting back home to rock out at SXSW. Not a bad way to kick off summer concert season, and I think we are all ready for a little heat.
To find out more about Culture Wars, concert dates, new music and tour plans, check out their Facebook page.