Staff Pick: Rage with Lightning Bolt at Rumba Cafe

The inventive, evolving noise-rock duo visits Columbus for a sold-out concert on Sunday, March 20

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
Lightning Bolt

Seven albums and more than 20 years into Lightning Bolt’s career, the noise-rock duo still has gloriously little chill, as evidenced by the opening track off of its 2019 album, Sonic Citadel, a barely controlled detonation accurately dubbed “Blow to the Head.” 

But while Brian Chippendale still attacks his drums with the untethered ferocity of Brad Pitt destroying something beautiful in “Fight Club," and while Brian Gibson still has a way of making his bass guitar mimic everything from surgical drills to weirdly rhythmic, commercial-grade trash compactors, the two have increasingly left room on albums for melodic curveballs. 

In a 2015 interview with Alive, Gibson traced part of this continued evolution to a fear of stagnation. “I think when we play together, we're always searching for something we haven't heard before, and the pool gets smaller and smaller the more we play and the more we release,” said Gibson, who will join Chippendale for a sold-out concert at Rumba Cafe on Sunday, March 20. “Now it's like we really have to go pretty deep to say, ‘Hey, this is something new; this is something we haven’t done before.’”

On Sonic Citadel, these deeper dives emerge in the form of the bouncing, Technicolor “Don Henley in the Park,” which sounds nothing like Don Henley, the Eagles or anything even remotely adjacent to either, and the chugging, disarmingly straightforward “All Insane,” which could double as Lightning Bolt’s Statement of Purpose. “I, I want to rage until my dying day,” Chippendale sings. “And you, I would be psyched if you do the same.”