Locals join legends and hit-makers at Ubahn Fest

This weekend's fest features the best lineup yet in the event's short history.

click to enlarge Space Invadaz perform Friday at Ubahn Fest. - Photo: Jesse Fox
Photo: Jesse Fox
Space Invadaz perform Friday at Ubahn Fest.
This weekend’s Ubahn Fest, taking place Friday and Saturday (starting at 6 p.m. each day) under the Second Street overpass between Third Street and Pete Rose Way at the Riverfront Transit Center (220 Central Ave., Downtown), features the best lineup yet in the event’s short history. Besides superstars and big draws like Nas, Atmosphere and Desiigner, the literally “underground” Ubahn also features a healthy dose of artists with ties to Cincinnati’s Hip Hop scene.

On Friday, Jayal (formerly of Those Guys) and New York-born/Middletown, Ohio-raised JayDaReal kick of Ubahn on the Graff Stage at 6 p.m. Buggs Tha Rocka and Donte (from Cincy Hip Hop legends Mood) bring their duo project Space Invadaz (which recently released a new track, the Hi-Tek-produced “Wait,” and an accompanying music video) to the NextGen Climate Stage on Friday at 7 p.m.

Ill Poetic, a former Cincinnati Hip Hop artist now based in San Diego, plays the Graff Stage with a full band Friday at 7:45 p.m., on the heels of releasing a great new single, “By Any Memes Necessary.” Trademark Aaron (with drummer Aaron Roy of Rock band The Upset Victory) follows on the Graff Stage at 9 p.m., while Lantana, who made a national splash a couple of years ago with his “All Hustle, No Luck” single and more recently released his More to Go album, takes over the Graff Stage at midnight, just before Nas’ closing 12:30 a.m. set.

Veteran, award-winning DJ crew Animal Crackers performs Saturday on the NextGen Climate stage at 7 p.m. The duo of Audley & Ronin performs on the Graff Stage Saturday at 8:30 p.m. Comedian/Hip Hop MC Yates Bruh, a Cincinnati native now based in Los Angeles, hits the Graff Stage at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday. Renowned, innovative DJ and Cincy Hip Hop legend Mr. Dibbs takes over the Graff Stage at Midnight Saturday, followed by Atmosphere’s 12:30 a.m. headlining set.

To whet your appetite for the local flavor of Ubahn, check out the recent video clip of a Cincy-centric Nas/”Made You Look” cypher on YouTube (and below), featuring verses from fest participants Trademark Aaron, Jayal, Audley, Ronin and Lantana.

Ubahn tickets are available in advance through Ticketmaster; single-day tickets are $49, while two-day passes are $89.

Ohio Knife Slashes and Slow-Burns on Debut 

Cincinnati’s Rock trio Ohio Knife is back from an extensive U.S. tour and ready to celebrate this Friday’s release of its debut album, Scalp or Be Scalped. The band presents a release party Friday night at the Woodward Theater (1404 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, woodwardtheater.com). Honeyspiders and Dinge open the 9 p.m. show. There is no admission charge. 

Ohio Knife, which features longtime local musicians Jason Snell (vocals/guitar), Joe Suer (drums) and Scotty Wood (bass/vocals), makes dynamic, no-nonsense Rock & Roll that pulsates with a buzz-saw drive and a dark, raucous soulfulness (longtime collaborator Andrew Higley plays keys on the album, adding an extra layer of richness to the proceedings). Scalp or Be Scalped kicks off with the one-two punch of “Wish I Knew” and “Day and Night” before letting up on the gas pedal for the smoldering “I Found Out” and the cavernous Grunge of “Be the Dark” and “WWP,” which recalls The Afghan Whigs at their moodiest. Elsewhere, “Special Plans” sounds like a lost early KISS B-side, while the late-night twinkle of “Tonight We Ride” puts off a late ’60s/early ’70s Classic Rock anthem/ballad vibe.   

Ohio Knife is gifted and tight but not overly clinical, allowing the music to flow with an organic grace (closing track “Indian Summer” is one of the best examples of this). Snell’s voice has long been one of the best in Cincinnati’s music scene (he previously fronted bands like Readymaid and The Chocolate Horse) and his soul-dripping rasp is perfect for Ohio Knife’s dark corners and howl-at-the-moon intensity. 

Ghettoblaster Magazine's site has a full stream of Scalp here.

For more on the Ohio Knife, go to ohio-knife.com.

CONTACT MIKE BREEN: [email protected] 

Scroll to read more Local Music articles
Join the CityBeat Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join CityBeat Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.