Whenever you see a band you’ve never heard before, in the basement of a bar, it’s a bit of a gamble. Sometimes you’re flush, and sometimes you’re bust. This time I came out on top with a royal flush and a cold beer.
The band I was seeing was The Heights Band, and they’re a local sensation out of Akron, Ohio. I had met the drummer and lead singer before they played and they seemed low-key, softspoken almost. But once they took the stage a switch must’ve been flipped. They cranked everything to eleven, and with a few powerful bass drum blasts they were off. I couldn’t believe the sound that these cats were putting out. Raw, powerful, and gritty almost don’t do them justice. The Heights Band woke everybody there up.
The lead singer Dustin Dockery paced the set with his frantic, soulful delivery. Squeezing every ounce of emotion from every note, the rest of the band followed suit. The energy from the foursome was infectious, and it was impossible not to give a supporting shout and move your body. They found a refreshing balance between grunge, blues, a little hardcore, and rockabilly.
Searing guitar, vibing bass lines, and powerful drum rhythms all held together by dark, bluesy vocals that penetrated past the ears and resonates in the soul. The Heights Band seemed to connect to the audience in a way that none of the other performers of the night could (save for an off-beat comedian that kept making dead baby jokes). They left everything on the stage, walking away like they had just been in a gang-brawl with the music itself. After the set I was left wanting more, craving it. I hadn’t experienced such pure rock-n-roll in a long time.
Fueled by sweat, passion, and a few PBR’s The Heights Band deliver on their name; leaving their audience on a music high that just isn’t fair for anyone that’s playing after them. Being a talented rock band out of Akron, one can’t help but make the comparisons to The Black Keys. Like the renouned Keys before them, they tap into the soul and grit that Akron has in abundance. Unlike the Keys, they bring a heavier, almost gutteral sound that threatens to tear the venue down at any given moment.
The Heights Band is a four piece made up by brothers Ryan and Dustin Dockery, Richie Levers, and Kyle Finley. You can find them on all your social networks, and check out some of their videos on Youtube. Staying true to the Akron DIY attitude, these videos are home-brewed and a little rough around the edges. In my opinion, it just adds to the allure of the band. Be on the lookout for these guys in the near future. It’s just a matter of time before The Heights Band reaches new heights.