Columbus, OH, Promowest Pavilion, May 11, 2005

Since the days of their youth, Relient K has been a bit quirky. After all, how else can you explain a band that names them after a junker car made by Plymouth? But aside from their obvious sense of humor and somewhat light approach to music, these guys hailing from Canton, Ohio have seemed to make a success where many of more serious Ohio bands have somehow stopped short.

 

And although they have a song written about our unfamed highway, 75, the band is much larger than the state of Ohio. But this north to south highway can also be a resemblance of the path of the band. Although the road is little known, it gets heavy usage. And Relient K may not be the most well known band in their genre; they have some solid fans that would follow them almost anywhere.

 

As they took the stage tonight, the sun was shining and the weather was warm, but that, like the band's set, was short lived. Ending just before the rain came down, Relient K put together a solid set of music spanning their four records. Their music can probably be more compared to Something Corporate than either Simple Plan or Good Charlotte, whom they were opening for. Relient K has a more subtlety and quietness in both their demeanor and lyrics, but the message is still loud and clear.

 

Singer/guitarist Matt Thiessen helped to lead the band that relies more on songs than stage antics. It was rare to catch someone doing more than walking forward and backwards, but drummer Dave Douglas tried to lighten the mood with is wild playing and sticking his tongue out at anyone looking from side stage.

 

mmhmm, the latest Relient K record, is a mixture of jokes and seriousness, and their live performance is much the same. Just as you think the band is all about the notes they are playing, a smile crosses their lips or something is lightly tossed at one another.

 

Relient K is a band that does not take itself too seriously, nor take its work too seriously. But that is not to say the band doesn't try and take its craft with some importance and sincerity. mmhmm is the band's first major label release, but that is not to say this is not a major band, With over 1,000,000 records sold, Relient K has worked hard to build a strong fan base that feels they are a part of the family.

 

Thiessen and his lyrics are personal and upbeat, and those two elements can easily lure kids in and make them feel that Thiessen and the band are sharing a part of themselves with the audience. On stage, the band is the same, somehow coming off as very approachable and more like a friend's band, not a million record selling act.

 

Relient K will be heading out on the Warped tour, and opening for Simple Plan and Good Charlotte can only help them win over some new fans that may forgo any of the other stages to spend another 20-30 minutes with the band.

Matthew Hoopes
Dave Douglas
John Warne
Matt Thiessen
Matt Thiessen
Matt Thiessen