BECKLEY, WV (LOOTPRESS) – The sun beamed down on downtown Beckley Friday as The Switch came through to deliver an exuberant dose of rock & roll at Word Park.
The Battle of the Bands winners cut through the humidity with a barnburner of a set, which included original numbers as well as established favorites from the likes of AC/DC, ZZ Top, and even the purple one himself, Prince.
The rhythm section of drummer Ian Brown and bassist Tanner Workman acted as the stoic anchor of the proceedings, wrangling in the groove as guitarists Richard Lundy – who also fronts the group as lead vocalist – and Jacob Johnson – more commonly known as JJ – swapped leads and hammed it up during some blistering solo sections.
Sound levels were immense, and the sounds of snares and six-strings could be heard up and down the streets of Beckley. Notably, despite some brief technical issues from a lone vocal mic, the sound was surprisingly balanced.
Brown’s thrashing assault on the cymbals sat just right in the mix, avoiding the common snafu of ringing brass overpowering the sound – a conundrum frequently encountered by everyone from local acts to established pros.
Anyone with questions as to how this young outfit have managed to make such a splash at such a pace in the local music scene need only attend a single performance to gain perspective.
The song choices are great, as is the playing and crowd interaction. But what The Switch bring in spades is sheer, unbridled enthusiasm. The energy, excitement, and outright joy that come from playing a rock show are the stuff that many a young man’s dreams are made of, and it’s clear that these guys are enjoying every second spent on the stage.
Theatre West Virginia General Manager Scott Hill made an appearance at the end of the set to announce that the scheduled Rocket Boys preview unfortunately would not be going on as planned Friday afternoon.
This, of course, comes as a result of technical issues that ultimately resulted in the Friday night opening of Rocket Boys being pushed to Saturday – LOOTPRESS coverage of which can be seen here.
Hill did not arrive empty handed, however, and several Theatre West Virginia tickets for any of the month’s dramas were dispersed at no cost to those who wished to have them.
Following some back and forth with the band, Hill reintroduced The Switch, and the band took their positions on the stage once more to crank out a final handful of songs for an enthusiastic audience.
Additional LOOTPRESS coverage on Wyoming County-based rockers The Switch can be seen here, and further information can be found here at the band website.