Not all cult '90s rock bands are together anymore, let alone touring. But one still is, and it's heading to The Union Bar & Grill.
On Saturday, Hum will play at The Union at 9 p.m. with Dibiase and Megawave. Tickets for the show are now sold out.
Hum has played at The Union many times before, and it was one of the first out of town shows the bar booked, Eric Gunn, an owner of The Union, said.
“They really haven’t toured a whole lot, and they started doing some shows, so we contacted their booking agent, and we wanted to see if we could make it happen,” Gunn said. “Those guys were regulars here before. We had the opportunity so of course we jumped on it.”
Gunn said he’s personally excited for the show and the opportunity to see old friends that he hasn’t in years.
“Hum is a band that is very much a part of that quintessential '90s music era, but they don’t get the kind of mainstream buzz like other bands like Nirvana,” Megan Fair, a senior studying journalism and diversity studies, said.
Hum is originally from Illinois and started making music in the early 1990s. The band has had multiple members throughout the years, but is now a four piece, according to its Facebook page.
“They call themselves space rock, but I would even go as far as to call them a shoegaze post-hardcore band,” Devon Hannan, a sophomore studying journalism, said. “Their vocalist is the post-hardcore part, however they’re very pedal dependent. They’ve got a lot of that fuzzy stuff going on which gives them that shoegaze essence as well.”
Hum’s most successful song was released in 1995, titled “Stars” and was on their third album You’d Prefer an Astronaut.
Andrew Lampela, an owner of Haffa’s Records, cites Hum’s last album Downward is Heavenward as one of his favorite albums of all time.
“They’re just really one of those bands that really hit it with me,” said Lampela. “They’re awesome, just really good spacey rock.”
“They were one of the first bands that made people realize that you can write a dark song that sounds kind of bright, and that’s pretty darn cool,” Fair said. “They did a lot of things first, and no one really talks about it.”
One band Hum influenced is Megawave, one of the opening bands of the show, Fair said.
“Hum is a favorite for them, and this is (Megawave’s) last show,” she said. “What a perfect way to send off your career as a band with one of your favorite bands.”
Dibiase has ties with Hum as well. Matt Talbott, Hum’s lead singer, helped produce one of the band’s records, Gunn said.
Fair likes Hum for their noisy, unpredictable sounds, she said.
Tickets for the show are now sold out, and not everyone who wanted to attend got tickets. “Everybody’s really mad they didn’t get tickets,” Hannan said. “I’m pissed I’m missing this show. I would have carved my left kidney out to see them.”
Fair will be seeing Hum on Saturday and bought tickets as soon as they went on sale.
“(Hum will be) loud. Bring ear plugs,” Fair said. “They’re one of those bands that a record captures only some of the largeness and complexity of what's happening, but live will be really cool because you’ll be immersed in it.”
Gunn expects a very diverse crowd to attend Saturday.
“There’s people coming from all over, even Chicago,” Gunn said. “It’s gonna be a blast, a blast for the past.”
Gunn described Hum as a small indie band when they were starting out that just happened to blow up.
“I think we’re super lucky they’re coming to play in Athens and that The Union is back,” Fair said. “It rivals the quality of a lot of the popular mid-level venues in Columbus, so that means we’re going to have the opportunity to see more bands like Hum come through again.”
The Union hopes to host more bands like Hum in the future, despite Athens being a smaller market, Gunn said.
“It’s fantastic. It’s like Christmas early,” Lampela said. “I can’t wait.”