By: Abbie Doyle, Copy Editor
Rock ‘n’ roll is alive and well in Athens! Last night at Casa Cantina, I had the extreme pleasure of watching Scubadog perform its first show in nearly a year. Scubadog’s guitarist happens to be Ohio University’s beloved professor Josh Antonuccio. I’ve never had Antonuccio for class, but he is my advisor, so to see him become a rock star onstage was simultaneously epic and hilarious.
Casa was overflowing with people, a majority of the spectators being media students. There were a few professors spotted in the crowd, wearing nondescript clothing and hats pulled down over their eyes. Nice try, but we see you and we are going to slyly send a Snapchat of you to all our friends.
The crowd for the first band, Maza Blaska (who was very good, check them out), was sizable and grew during the show, but when Scubadog took the stage, the crowd had more than doubled in size and rowdiness. A lot of people were especially jazzed to see Antonuccio onstage--there were shouts of love and praise from the audience for the professor, and he played it very cool and acted like he didn’t hear any of them.
As soon as Scubadog played its first explosive notes, people were going crazy for them. They laid out such fun, fast beats that you couldn’t help but move along with them. The gig started with a few people dancing, and ended with almost everyone in the audience getting their groove on.
Antonuccio is a damn good guitarist, and if you don’t believe me, you need to get your ass out to a Scubadog show. He shredded and wailed away on his guitar so passionately he broke a string. Lead vocalist/guitarist Jake Householder was the frontman of the group, so naturally it was up to him to suck up the audience’s attention while Antonuccio hurriedly replaced the string. Householder talked to the audience about giving thanks (he was clearly pulling it out of his ass, as he doubled over in laughter several times during his rambling), and ended up throwing beef jerky into the crowd. He was so engaging with the audience it felt like he was an old friend. His stage presence was excellent, and he kept everyone excited while Antonuccio rushed to get his shit together.
In tribute to the late Lou Reed, Scubadog played four Velvet Underground songs. The first they played was “ Morning,” which is about ten times slower in tempo than all of Scubadog’s songs. It was a great change of pace and mellowed out the crowd, which was a little necessary at this point in the show. BAC levels were high and there were some assholes moving about, which detracted a little from my opinion of the evening, but that’s not Scubadog’s fault.
Scubadog doesn’t play too often, which is quite a bummer because they’re so damn good. Next time you hear about a Scubadog show near you, you better get the hell to that show because it’s definitely worth seeing. You’ll dance, you’ll laugh and you’ll have a rocking good time.