Its 10:30p.m., February 16th, 2013, and it feels like the coldest night of the year. Judging by the energy in Howards Club H, one would think the headlining band was famous, maybe even legend status. The sound of quick guitar riffs, funky bass plucks and pounding drum hits builds the already intense energy. A crowd gathers at the stage as the lead singer Kevin Stoll repeats, “Check, check, one, two, check.” As Stoll begins to ramble about beer, life and other obscene things, Chris Kirk (lead guitar) begins a subtle intro into their popular song “Reservoir Song.” The crowd is immediately hooked, as Kevin says “We’re Lesson 22,” and begins to softly sing “Down at the reservoir, there’s a trail, that leads to shade, where we both laid.” A silent crowd stares and rocks slowly with the melody, and as the song intensifies so does the crowd. Travis Richards (drums) and Matt Patrick (bass) come in perfectly as Kevin’s voice escalates. After taking in the first ten minutes of the show I realized this isn’t just a simple local cover band from Bowling Green, Ohio: this is a complex group of magicians, using their instruments as magic wands to captivate the crowd.
Lesson 22 is a professional sounding band, and they know what they are doing. It’s hard to pin point their sound or genre. They are like a glass of blues, with a strong shot of alternative, followed by a cup of rock. If anything, this band is refreshing, exciting and the real deal. The music style is syncopated multiple times to build and release energy. Most songs are in common time. The songs “Blue Skies” and “Oak Tree Blues” go from common time to compound duple then back to common time. However, a song named “The Entertained” is played entirely in cut time. They snatch your attention and refuse to let it go. No matter what kind of music you like this band is for you. They don’t stick to just one sound.
Guitarist Chris Kirk has a pretty heavy resume when it comes to music, and it shows. He would start soft in many songs then rises to a crescendo, then pull back in a decrescendo. Bassist Matt Patrick has a groove like no bass player could repeat. You can feel the soul pouring from the bass. Travis Richard, on drums, has a carefree way of playing, and it works. If he is feeling any type of pressure to keep time for the rest of the band, he’s the only one who knows it. The lead singer Kevin Stoll (who also plays guitar) resembles a portrait of Jesus (I wouldn’t make this up). Long, tangled, dirty blond hair, scruffy facial hair and a voice that fits him the band perfectly. Lesson 22 is a force that can’t be tested or tried. They have a smooth, slick, evenness in their music and their style. This band is a must see, and from the mouth of guitarist Chris Kirk “We are as bright as the pants, but even tighter.”
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