Virginia's premier rising band, The Chuck Shaffer Picture Show (CSPS), debuted in Cleveland at Peabody's Concert Club this weekend. The alternative rock three-piece band was originally introduced to the Northeast Ohio music scene earlier this year at the FTF Music Conference and Showcase in Kent. Impressed with the band's vivacity and musicianship, local new-wave metal band 3SO invited CSPS to join the roster of 10 progressive metal/rock bands at its headlining show on July 23.
CSPS' unique sound was lighter than the majority of the acts on the predominantly thrash metal and heavy rock lineup. But the band didn't need shredded guitar riffs and screaming vocals to demonstrate its power and talent. The trio's aggressive stage presence was defined by precise instrumentation, persistent percussion and frontman Ryan Johnson's crisp vocals.
Drummer Pat Kenney set it off with a rolling beat before Johnson entered with a celestial guitar melody that lead into a 30-minute rock orchestration. On bass, David Steifel projected the beat from body to instrument, emanating rhythmic bass-lines through the walls. Mid-set, the musicians entranced the audience with seductive pulsations of guitar and bass on their instrumental composition, Mercury. Individually, each musician demonstrated skill. Together, the band created a sound that catapults CSPS into a realm beyond many national touring acts.
CSPS followed up their introduction to Cleveland with a second show at The Outpost with headliner Carina on July 24. The band is touring its home state throughout the rest of the summer. Catch them at Jammin' Java in Vienna, Virginia on Saturday, July 31, or at Sweet Caroline's in Winchester on August 20.