Marquee: Dear and the Headlights

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Dear and the Headlights is one of a growing number of bands apparently influenced by the carefully orchestrated, highly conceptual rock music of Okkervil River, and especially frontman Will Sheff.

When he's at his melodramatic peak, Ian Metzger's voice is a dead ringer for Sheff's husky howl. But instead of Sheff's diatribes about how hard it is to be in a rock band, Metzger sticks to more conventional, though equally obvious, lyrics.

Consider this gem: "You got your new boyfriend/ I bet he likes you more than he likes me/ 'Cause I'm the former one/ He's the latter one."

Metzger's lyrics aren't all such stinkers, though. He nails this one: "I'm like your neighbor's hands on your father's throat/ Sweetie you go back inside, see this is just for adults."

The thing is, even when applying hyper-personal stories to stadium-sized indie rock (think Wolf Parade), these guys have an arena-rock band's knack for making dumb lyrics sound majestic, a talent that could put Dear and the Headlights in league with the likes of Coldplay, U2 and The Killers if they catch the right breaks.

Fellow Phoenix band Kinch will play too, as will a pair of bands from Canton, Hey Sandy and A Minor Bird. Doors open at 6 p.m. so things can be wrapped up in time for the Flex Crew's weekly reggae night around 10.

Dear and the Headlights

When: 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20

Where: Skully's Music Diner, Short North