D.Y.D. finds identity, sets sights on building Providence music scene

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Batten down the hatches! A tidal wave of creation, innovation and rejuvenation is about to wash over the city of Providence, as Lindsey “Tidal” Lerner and Phil “Phantom” Terry look to build up the local music scene through their D.Y.D. Do YOUR Dance initiative.

Terry is a hip hop artist who writes, records and performs under Phantom and Lerner, a Warwick resident and senior at Bryant University, is his manager. D.Y.D. started out as the musical expression of Terry, but when he met Lerner while they were both studying abroad in Chile, they realized D.Y.D.’s potential for something bigger and it evolved into a movement geared toward getting people to discover their passion, pursue it and share their story in hopes of inspiring others to do the same.

While that spirit is still very much at the core of D.Y.D., the initiative has been further refined to become a mechanism to help bridge the gap between venue and artist by giving young and upcoming artists the opportunity to not only perform their craft, but to be compensated for their hard work while also generating more business for clubs, venues, coffee shops, bars and restaurants by drawing in more customers. Fans come to hear the music, support the artist and patronize the establishment, creating a win-win-win scenario for all involved. Artist gets paid. Venue gains more business. Local scene thrives.

That’s the message behind D.Y.D. and it was once again on display this past Saturday at Olive’s Martini Bar in Providence, as Lerner assembled a variety of bands, artists and DJs spanning multiple genres.

Local boys Michel kicked things off with their energetic brand of modern pop, featuring sugary melodies and smooth, rich vocals. Anchored by twin brothers, Peter Michel handling lead vocals and guitar and Nathan Michel providing the backbone behind the drum kit, bassist Jimmy Wilson compliments the band nicely by adding bouncing rhythms and engaging the crowd with his dance moves. Equal parts emotion and energy, the band closed with the infectious “Drunk On Your Love” and got the audience clapping their hands and moving their feet.

Next up was We’re Just Friends, a trio from Leominster, Mass., whose alternative punk pop provided a bit more of an edge. The bright guitar melodies from Zach Marquis, along with Jeff Schuller’s aggressive drumming and James Romano’s solid vocals kept the energy flowing in the right direction. The band may be young, but with the recording of EP “Obstacles?! Popsicles?!” already under their belts, they’re ready to cut their teeth and hone their chops on the local club scene.

If Michel and We’re Just Friends provided a one-two punch of pop and alternative punk to open the show, then Blind Revision delivered the uppercut with its catchy yet powerful post-hardcore progressive rock. Bassist Steve Powers laid down a brooding foundation, bordering on doom metal, while the double guitar attack of Kirk Scully and Ian Timpany kept you guessing, one minute playing slow, melancholy chords, and the next delivering punishing riffs and harmonizing leads. Jen Janet’s melodic, at times haunting, vocals sit atop the musical chaos, while drummer Jamie Steele played with reckless abandon, slamming his kit like a man possessed.

Next to take the stage was the talented singer-songwriter Jake Durkin, whose original compositions in the vein of Dispatch and Jason Mraz were well received by the audience. Armed only with an acoustic guitar and microphone, Durkin knows how to entertain a crowd whether chilling in a coffee shop or commanding the stage. Highlights included “Smooth Operator” and “These Past Days,” which featured Nick Lamart on drums for a special rendition of the song.

No instruments were needed for the final two performances of the night, as the show would be closed out by back to back hip hop artists. First up was Phantom, who traveled all the way from Cincinnati, Ohio for his second D.Y.D. performance on the stage at Olive’s. Phantom’s quick tongue, upbeat delivery, infectious beats and motivational message resonated with the audience, as they left their chairs and took to the dance floor, swaying to the rhythms, with “Education” and “Reach” especially leaving an impression. The duet with Jen Janet was another highlight.

The dancing didn’t end there, as Pittsfield, Mass., hip hop trio Nostalgia kept bodies moving and hands swaying with their original raps and rhymes. Similar to the Beastie Boys, each of the group’s three vocalists took turns on the mic, trading off raps with laser precision, all backed by a live DJ spinning turntables.

In addition to all the performers, DJ Minibuddah provided background music before Michel kicked things off, as well as in between sets to ensure a lively, fun atmosphere throughout the evening.

This was the second D.Y.D. performance at Olive’s, with the first taking place back on Jan. 10. That performance featured almost an entirely different set of artists, but still contained the same goal of getting artists and venues, the major players of the scene, to collaborate, work together and support one another toward building up the local music scene in Providence to be a lucrative place where artists can play and venues can survive and thrive. And while D.Y.D. has planted the seeds for revitalization, it can’t happen without your help and support. So, get out there, do your dance, and pay it forward.

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