SOUTH BEND — It’s always good to get the band back together again.
After not playing a gig for several weeks, and hitting sporadic dates in between living in the real world, it was a night to savor for Mishawaka’s own Megarush. Taking the stage at Cheer’s Pub in South Bend as the opening act for a mostly local show, but also warming up the crowd for national band Parabelle, it was a great opportunity to sharpen the chops again.
“We did about eight shows last year to promote our album, “Emotional Supernova”, and then our bass player left, so we picked up Johnie Shelton,” Scheibelhut said. “In that time, we wrote a few new songs and this opportunity came up, so he was ready to go and so were we, so we got up on stage again. It felt good.”
Megarush, which is led at vocals and backing guitars by Scheibelhut, came together in 2008 as a group of guys who just loved to jam. Guitarists Justin Gushwa and Chuck Lymangrover, along with drummer Randy Badillo, all play well off each other streamlining the energy Scheibelhut brings from center stage, which was blatant from their performance last Saturday at Cheer’s.
Opening with the first track “Blast” from its debut album “Emotional Supernova”, Megarush dove into an identity it claims has no defining border, but a sound that harkens to its roots of old school rock and roll. “Blast” drips Black Sabbath and the psychedelia of the 60s and 70s, ripping through several riffs and bridges that remind of rock jam sessions when rock and roll meant something more.
The track “What She Likes To Do” screams, literally, of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Bark At The Moon” and on the tracks “The Last Time” and “Nothing Less”, both of which were played live as part of the 40-minute, seven-song set, elements of Soundgarden and Metallica are all over the place.
“The sound is really just what I’m feeling,” Gushwa said. “Pretty much growing up, music was the only way I was able to express myself constructively. “Regret” was a song I actually wrote about 10 years ago and have just been sitting on it. I remember showing it to Josh when I auditioned for the band and it was a hold your lighter up in the air song. It just took off from there.”
Added Scheibelhut, “We have so many different influences. Justin has a heavier metal side, I’m more Zeppelin and Sabbath. With all the different influences, “Blast” is more of our trademark with the different sounds. That is where we hope the next album goes.”
Megarush was the first of four bands to take the stage Saturday night, the first three fairly local in origination. Elkhart-based Unforsaken also played about 40 minutes on the Cheer’s stage. The quartet brought a progressively upbeat series of tunes, including “Survivors” and “You Say”.
Continuing the motion were South Bend’s Driven, a three-piece outfit that sounded like a whole lot more than just three guys throwing down. Having shared the stage with dozens of national acts including Sevendust, Nonpoint, Hinder, 10 Years and Saliva, Driven is no stranger to commanding attention on the big stage. Riding off the steam of its 2012 release, “Abstract(ion)”, the song “Awaken” got the biggest rise out of the crowd.
Finishing up the night was a midnight set by Dallas’ Parabelle, led by former Evans Blue frontman Kevin Matisyn. Ripping through a high-energy, highly catchy set of tunes, Parabelle didn’t let down the fans that had heard of them and made new ones of those who were unaware. Parabelle mixed in its core group of tracks, but also tossed in a couple of Matisyn’s former identity with Evan’s Blue, namely the crowd favorite, “Cold”.