Remote Patrol: PromoWest Live

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

About a month ago, local concert promoter PromoWest - the company that runs LC Pavilion, Newport Music Hall, A&R Music Bar and The Basement - began airing a TV show after SNL in Saturday night's waning hours.

PromoWest Live promises "interviews and performances from your favorite artists," and that's what it delivers, though "your favorite artists" would be best replaced by "the artists PromoWest brought through town recently."

That said, the show rounds up a satisfying variety of acts, from nu-metal veterans Drowning Pool to indie-rock cult faves The Breeders to world-famous former OSU frat-party rockers O.A.R.

They're presented with production values that vary widely, sometimes approaching MTV slickness, other times flirting with public-access amateurism.

PromoWest Live's weakest link is the on-air talent that makes Ryan Seacrest look like James Lipton.

Host Jason Corron fails at his one job: Be engaging. And the interviewers mostly ask inane questions, though to be fair, I've asked my share of stinkers too - musicians get the same questions over and over and over, so you either feed them cliches or grasp at straws trying to come up with something original to ask.

The musicians usually make the best of it and end up relaying a few interesting tidbits, such as Drowning Pool's insight into their decision to continue as a band after original vocalist Dave Williams died, or Silversun Pickups explaining that they intentionally blur guitar and keyboard sounds together so you can't tell what's what. (Sometimes even they forget.)

But the real draw here is the performance footage. For die-hard fans who didn't make it to see Fall Out Boy at the LC or curious folks who wouldn't pony up for tickets but wonder what the band's like live, a professionally produced concert clip is a boon. They're not perfect, but they're good enough to make you feel like you're at the club watching.

Yeah, you can find something similar on YouTube, but it probably doesn't look or sound this good. It's also fun to see these acts playing on stages that will be familiar to any Columbus music fan.

In the same way, it's nice to see a locally produced TV show documenting local events and distributed to a local audience. The fact that a show like this exists at all is a huge plus. Work out a few kinks and this could become something special.

"PromoWest Live"

1 a.m. Sundays, WCMH (Channel 4)


Grade: B