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Cleveland-based Yosemight hopes to groove at Jackie O's

Cleveland-based Yosemight hopes to groove at Jackie O's

Originally published in The Post.

The band will play Saturday night.

 PC:  Yosemight

Cleveland-based funk rock band Yosemight has gained quite the reputation touring through bars and venues throughout Ohio.

They’re bringing their grooves to Athens on Saturday at Jackie O's Pub and Brewery on West Union Street. The free show will feature two 90-minute sets consisting of original songs alongside a few classic covers.

“They cover anything from The Rolling Stones to the Bee Gees,” Michael Porter, the band’s manager, said.

The band is known for creating a sound audiences can dance along to and forget about their worries “and leave you feeling good,” Porter said.

It isn’t Yosemight’s first time in Athens. The band has performed at Jackie O’s, Casa Nueva and ColorDance.

Yosemight formed in 2010 when guitarist Luke Bergan and bassist Nick Shaver met up in Columbus and decided they wanted to pursue a career in music. A few months later, they added Tony Kazel on drums alongside keyboardist Chris Haas, trombone player Dan Dimarino and trumpet player Steven Magni.

“We played 152 shows last year and have made two tours in Colorado already this year,” Bergan said, also the front man for the band.

Fans who attend the shows can let go and groove to Yosemight’s funk-filled sounds.

“The Yosemight environment is great,” Bergan said. “When you mix music with hilariously welcoming, awesome fans that don’t care what anyone thinks of them, it creates a magical scene.”

The band also brings along one of its biggest fans, its mascot Garbonzo the Sloth.

“Every band needs to have a mascot,” Porter said. “It’s something to help build that family communion, something to make people a part of it.”

Porter said Garbonzo the Sloth is a stuffed animal that has taken Yosemight by storm. Fans at every show grab Garbonzo to dance and take selfies with. The sloth even has his own Facebook page.

“It’s original intention was to be a mascot,” Porter said. “But it’s turning into something much bigger than that.”

Porter hopes that as the band grows, Garbonzo can become a symbol every Yosemight fan can associate with.

“Can you imagine 20,000 people holding up sloths at every show? It’s more than just a marketing tool,” he said.

The band create an atmosphere fans can get into and enjoy while witnessing its performances. The music includes a little bit of everything, from funk to rock and even some jazz. Yosemight ensures the listener hears nothing but good vibes and gives an escape from the troubles in the band members’ lives.

“We want to make music people can genuinely enjoy and dance to,” Bergan said. “Whether someone remembers vivid details of the set or just didn't remember anything, we want to see people have a great time and hopefully alleviate any issues they might be dealing with through music.”

Yosemight’s debut album is available for free on its website. The band also has live recordings of its concerts available to stream on archive.com.

Bergan hopes Yosemight becomes something listeners can go to if they’re having a bad day.

The band thrive on making its fans happy.

“Everything has been going great. We're constantly working, redefining our sound for ourselves and our audience,” Bergan said.

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Phoenix Nest Games specializes in retro and role-playing games