- My So Called Band plays at The Jones Assembly’s The Drop on New Year’s Eve.
New Year’s Eve is an important part of our modern mythology as a night when all is possible and a better life is only three … two … one away. It is a night for the world to be reborn, for the sins of the previous 365 days to be purged and a new you, a new me and a new us to finally be realized.
Or so goes the myth.
“Believing ‘My life is going to turn around, this is the night it all changes’ is the key mistake,” said J Kyle Davis of My So Called Band, the headliner of The Jones Assembly’s The Drop New Year’s Eve celebration. “But if you just want to have a good time, shake your ass, have a few drinks and a good time, we can help you with that. Maybe you’ll get lucky and kiss the girl, but maybe not. Either way, you’ll have fun.”
Also featuring Zach Nedbalek, Ricky Salthouse, Carly Gwin and Arash Davari, My So Called Band has cross-pollinated with notable indie rock acts such as The Evangelicals, Berwanger and Carly Gwin and the Sin. In addition to a solid band pedigree, My So Called Band also possesses a deep catalog of ’90’s covers it has cobbled together over the last seven years, making it a go-to for parties. At last count, Davis said the band knew around 175 songs, some woven into its current set list and others that just need a rehearsal or two to lock in.
“You rarely see a cover band that is this talented and authentic, and I know that’s funny to say but they are so authentic and energetic that you lose yourself in their performance,” said The Jones Assembly co-owner Graham Colton. “They are one of the best bands, talent-wise, in Oklahoma. They really put their heart and soul into the performance. There should be another word other than ‘cover band’ or ‘tribute band’ because they are something different.”
This will be the second year for My So Called Band to play The Drop and its eighth consecutive New Year’s Eve show. As Oklahomans will be scrambling to stage the perfect closeout for 2018 with varying degrees of success, Davis is happy to instead spend the night working.
“It’s a different kind of excitement,” Davis said. “As a performer, it’s a night with so much built-in anticipation that you really don’t have to pace it out like a normal show where you are almost building it like a well-thought-out meal. You start off with something that makes a statement and hits hard, then maybe you want to play some Mazzy Star to chill the crowd out in the middle of a show. New Year’s Eve is less like that because the crowd is excited and you can just keep taking them higher. There’s really not a place for Mazzy Star on New Year’s Eve.”
Because of the band’s energy and familiarity, Davis said it has played about once a month since its inception and finding a gig on the last night of the year hasn’t ever been difficult. Because of the high expectations for the evening, the parties can be fun to play but also spectacular train wrecks if not handled correctly.
“Someone hired us for a private party four or five years ago that, by the end of the night, it was sad because the place was so outrageously wrecked,” Davis said. “The light-up dance floor was bashed in, and there were people passed out all around like we were in some college movie. Another year, we were at The Blue Note, and when we played ‘The Sweater Song’ by Weezer, the crowd forcefully pulled off this guy’s designer sweater, which then got demolished. It was pretty funny.”
Of all the previous parties, Davis said last year’s The Drop was the biggest in scale.
“Last year, the crowd was amazing. They had The Flaming Lips’ confetti cannons going — it was a sight to see,” David said. “When the cannons were going off, we were playing ‘Auld Lang Syne,’ the only non-’90s song we’ve ever performed. I was in awe. It’s a great show to play because we know it’s going to sound good and we know it’s going to look cool.”
Colton’s own music career had him onstage during numerous New Year’s Eve parties, including a memorable performance in New Orleans where he got to perform Rolling Stones covers with Better Than Ezra after the clock struck midnight.
“New Year’s Eve can have a tendency to overpromise and under-deliver,” Colton said. “We just want to make sure we put as much heart into it as possible and do everything we can do to make it special, from food service to our cocktail program to all things music.”
The Drop also won’t be just a show, according to Colton. There will be floor booth seating available starting at 8 p.m. that includes dinner service leading up to the show. Davis said My So Called Band will perform three 50-minute sets. For Colton, this is an opportunity for The Jones Assembly to highlight what makes the venue stand out.
“It’s fun to put together an event like this,” Colton said. “Like making a song, you get to create this thing and then watch people experience it. We’re all in it together. When we started The Jones Assembly, we wanted to create the heartbeat of the city. We really did talk about doing that, to build something that was diverse, a place for everyone.”