For most of the year, local original rock bands focus on their own music. However, this time each year more than a dozen adventurous acts break out of that mold for the annual Dayton Does Dayton festival, this year at Gilly’s on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 14 and 15.
Event founder Louie Wood Jr. and co-promoter Mick Montgomery, the former owner of Canal Street Tavern, sat down recently to discuss the fourth annual showcase, which features local acts such as Dark Backward, Paige Beller, Gathering Mercury, Repeating Arms and Curse of Cassandra paying tribute to other area groups from the past and present.
Montgomery: “Dayton Does Dayton is a really cool concept. How better to promote a local scene than among the bands who theoretically have respect for each other? That’s the key to it and that’s usually what’s missing around here.”
Wood: “With these shows, I give the bands three months to learn some really cool covers. I let them know it’s an opportunity for them to play in front of some new people. It’s important to spend the time and start learning the songs early so they can come play those along with some of their best originals and promote themselves. The show is their chance to shine and that’s what I think is cool.”
Montgomery: “I’ve seen a lot of local bands come and go over the years and in my experience most of them have two or three really good songs they obviously hold their hat on. Sometimes they don’t realize the value of that. They get to the point where they don’t want to do it every time but you’ve got to hit people right between the eyes.”
Wood: “I know this isn’t the only way to get people interested in local music but I do like doing these tribute shows. And there are people that like to come out to them because there is a theme and it gives them a chance to see a lot of great local bands.”
Montgomery: “The cool thing is Louie is creating a history. We’ve got this background now of presenting some really good shows. Some people might poo-poo it but the fact is he’s doing this. Louie is going out and beating the bushes with promotion and getting real nice photos and videos. I don’t see anybody else doing that and it will be nice to have all that stuff someday. Everybody else thinks they’re too cool to do all that stuff but all that work will come back to Louie sooner or later.”