Avi Dell AyoH

Indie Band AyOH Brings It's High Energy Show to Lincoln Hall

Monday, November 30, 2015 Louis Vasseur

One of the great things about indie music is when you discover that exciting new band.  I first saw the band AyOH when they played as part of the Hancock Summer Concert Series sponsored by Music Dealers and HEARN.  Industry friends had raved about this indie/pop/dance band from Chicago so I made a point to come out to see them.  From the first chords of their set, the stage exploded with energy and excitement.  Frontman Avi Dell works the crowd all along the 360 perimeter of the outdoor patio in front of the John Hancock building.  The fans respond to the attention, dancing along with the music.   It is clear this is a band that wants the audience to experience their music along with them.  "We just want people to have fun," says Dell.  "It's all about the experience.

AyOH Frontman Rocking the Crowd at the John Hancock Center

The band AyOH is composed  of Avi Dell (vocals & guitar), John Arrotti (drums & vocals), Lin Takrudtong (bass & vocals), and Austin Russell (guitar).  The band literally comes from all over the world.  They first started when Dell (newly located from Pittsburgh) met with Arrotti to work on some original tunes.  Thai native Takrudtong and Russell soon joined and began contributing in an ever increasing way. The band name originated from the lyrics of one of their early songs.

The Deli Chicago describes AyOH as "poised to be the next big thing coming out of Chicago."  AyOh continues to play high profile shows such as CMJ Music Marathon (NY), Pittsburgh's Brillobox, Cinefest 2015, and SXSW 2015.

AyOH will bring their high energy live show to Lincoln Hall in Chicago on Friday, December 11. While the band has played this 500 seat venue several times in the past, this is the first time they have been the headliner.  "We're really excited about this."  Also on the bill are Tall Walker, Big Paraid, and Ballroom Boxer.

The band has released two successful EPs, the latest of which, Dangerous Questions, was released in early 2015.  One reviewer described Dangerous Questions "as the sound of traveling the length of Chicago - by car, by train, or by foot - on a drizzly, desperate evening."  This project draws its inspiration from Paul Simon, Coldplay, The Killers, and Imagine Dragons.  "We just wanted big sounding songs," explains Dell.  "The first EP was mostly just solo work we adapted to the band. The new collection is much more a reflection of us as a unit, both musically and lyrically.  Everyone played a much larger role in bringing these songs to life."

Dangerous Questions was also AyOH's second project working with producer Steve Gillis (of Filter fame) at Transient Sound Studio in Lakeview.  "Steve took this project to a different level.  He is a master musician who brings so much depth to every note conceived during the project.  This was a labor of love.  Steve is a mentor and a friend, almost like a fifth member of the band."

The band members share an open minded outlook on creating music and sharing ideas.  In addition to being talented musicians, each member of AyOH is also a gifted songwriter who contributes ideas for new songs.  "Everyone is equal in the songwriting process.  We work on each idea but, ultimately, it is the song itself that wins out," says Dell.  "As a lyricist, I try to find the truth in whatever I'm writing, whatever story I'm trying to tell.  It has to feel honest to me or else it's not going to stand the test of time."

In addition to the upcoming Lincoln Hall show in December, AyOH has several plans in the works. The band is scheduled to return to the studio in early 2016.  "We have way too much music we need to work on."  They are also looking to return to SXSW again in 2016 and possibly tour more in the future.  No matter what happens, AyOH plans to remain based out of Chicago,  "This is our home," Dell maintains. This is definitely a band with a plan and a future.

Tickets for AyOH's December 11 show at Lincoln Hall can be purchased through the band's website, www.AyOHmusic.com, or at the Lincoln Hall box office.  You can also check out AyOH at AyOH.bandcamp.com or www.facebook.com/ayohmusic.

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