Champaign’s own Highdive has played host to events from local bands to DJ ’80s nights, and the upcoming September calendar is bringing Bottle of Justus, the party band from Illinois State University, back to the stage. The Bloomington-born group, featuring brothers Chris and Joe Quinlain, Erik Bogdonas and Justin Routh, have been a popular presence in the indie-alternative rock scene since 1997 and have been the heart of the party ever since. Last year in February, the troupe performed at the Highdive and has been packing rock and acoustic beats around Illinois.
BOJ will be playing selections from their six studio albums, including the most recent, Say It Now, revealing a softer side to the group’s otherwise roughed-up sound. Chris Quinlain’s vocals highlight the group’s signature sweet and sour melodies with refined lyrics that play the heartstrings like a guitar. Say It Now is exemplary of the group’s polished performance quality and of their mastery of accessible pop sensibility that just can’t be argued with. Lend them a listen; you’ll find their versatile jams translate to anyone who knows the Starting Line, Dishwalla or Tal Bachman.
With upcoming shows in Bloomington and Lexington, Ill., the boys of BOJ continue to reach new levels of musical expertise and will soon be burning up CU’s musical arena. So make your way to the Highdive to experience Bottle of Justice Friday, Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. Tonight, we dine at the Highdive.
Five pre-Justus songs to listen to:
1) “Fifteen Steps” from Say It Now:
The perfect driving song. It’s ridiculously relatable: amazing lyrical energy and exactly what a girl wants to hear. Oh, and the best song to showcase Quinlain’s vocal range.
2) “Angels Fall” from Say It Now:
Sweet, steady beats and lyrically, their most soulful piece.
3) “Me and My Friends” from Suddenly O.K.:
Not to be mistaken with the Rascal Flatts. This is a chill song for chill people.
4) “Unbreakable” from Say It Now:
This features their bassist the best. Take that, White Stripes.
5) “Sweet” from Say It Now:
Title aside, it sounds a lot like their others, but why not play to your strengths? Say It Now, while lacking variety, capitalizes on mellow and more maturely composed tracks. It’s a really easy album to love all the way through.