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Commentary: February Columbus concert lineup spot-on with Rascal Flatts, Ra Ra Riot

Courtesy of MCT

Columbus has a lively, budding music scene, with dozens of places to hear live music that draw in a range of talented artists. Each month, The Lantern will highlight some of the best acts to come through the city. Stay tuned to see what we think is worth the ticket price.

Big Gigantic – Feb. 6 at Newport Music Hall 

If you haven’t heard of Big Gigantic, that’s OK. I happened to hear about the electronic music duo by chance, when a friend of mine saw a Big Gigantic show in New York City, having known nothing about them at the time. She raved about the concert and said the music and entire performance was incredible. “If you get the chance to see them, go,” she said.

Columbus is set to get a taste of this group’s energy Wednesday when it performs at Newport Music Hall. To see what Big Gigantic has to offer, look up one of its promotional videos. In them, the duo promises a wild, colorful party with no shortage of throbbing beats and a smartly featured saxophone. To blow off some stress from the first half of the week, check out this show.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and Kill Paris and Manic Focus are scheduled to open the show. Tickets are available for $18 in advance and $20 at the door.

Rascal Flatts – Feb. 9 at Nationwide Arena 

Country music shines in small towns during the summer, but Rascal Flatts is kind enough to grace big-city country fans with its presence this winter. Throw on some cowboy boots and let your inner country girl or boy out this weekend with Rascal Flatts.

While Rascal Flatts is more accurately defined under the pop-country umbrella than strictly country, the band has a quality that is arguably much more synonymous with country than pop music: talent. The band is comprised of three men who are simply good at what they do – singing, writing music, playing guitar and pleasing fans. Furthermore, I think I speak for many when I say summer would be welcomed with open arms anytime soon, and while we can’t have that, Rascal Flatts puts on a fun show that can at least give the audience the feeling of summertime, even if just for one night.

The Band Perry is scheduled to kick off the show, which starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and range from $25.25 to $59.25.

Matchbox Twenty – Feb. 16 at Palace Theatre 

Despite a messy history, including two hiatuses, a solo career for frontman Rob Thomas and band members coming and going, Matchbox Twenty maintains a strong presence in the music industry. The band released its fifth studio album, “North,” in 2012, about two years after its reunion from its second hiatus. “Overjoyed,” the latest single from “North,” is a simple, cute song, and the music video is even better.

Matchbox Twenty produces average pop music. It doesn’t blow the listener away or break many barriers, but it works. Because of that, it has managed to stick around through any glitches in its past. For me, Matchbox Twenty is sitting in my brother’s room listening to the radio. Its music brings a strong sense of nostalgia and with it, joy.

Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show are sold out on Ticketmaster, but some are available on StubHub.

Ra Ra Riot – Feb. 28 at A&R Music Bar

Playing favorites is hard when there are so many incredibly talented musicians in the world, but Ra Ra Riot stands out in my book. I saw the band in concert before it lost its cellist, Alexandra Lawn, and her absence has since been overcome by the introduction of a synthesizer. The shift in sound has been major for the band, but with its steady lyrical and vocal success, led by Wes Miles, Ra Ra Riot is still a must-see.

With infectious rhythms and truly high-quality, good music, even newcomers to the band will enjoy the show. There’s just something about the honesty in Ra Ra Riot’s music that translates well live, allowing the listener to get lost in the sounds. If you see one concert in February, make it this one.

Pacific Air is slated to open the show and doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15.


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