Taste the Scene Knees Freeze
Way Past Curfew, The Knickers, Dream the Hero, Call of the Fallen, Exostra, Almost All In Good Fun, Syringe
November 10th, 2012 The Vortex Akron, OH
Authors Note: I’m a member of the Syringe live band; portions of this blog may be biased.
Saturday found me returning to the Vortex for a wonderful night of music and fun. I felt a little dumb that Patrick (Syringe – vocals, guitar) had to tell me the venue actually was a strip club at one time. Upon reflecting that there are several other strip clubs in the area, a porno store attached to it, a stripper pole in the main bar and a shower in the band room I feel really stupid for not realizing this sooner. But give me a break, I’m a naive guy.
For more reflections on the atmosphere and layout of The Vortex check out my entry 24 March 2012
The first band to take the stage was Way Past Curfew, a group of high schoolers who may have actually be out too late. They played a good show, but I couldn’t help thinking of them as ‘high school rock.’ It was stuff that was a little bit edgy but not so edgy that you’re parents would kick you of the basement for playing it. I guess the best way to describe their sound would be to imagine Nickelback being played by people with the maturity of teenagers. I’m just kidding, they didn’t sound that bad. It saddens me that ‘Enter Sandman’ now falls in this category. I loved Metallica and it’s a shame that they now are so tame that high school kids can play their tunes.
The Knickers is a band I saw at my last live show (Disgraced 4/20 Fest at Peabody’s) but personal troubles prevented me from reviewing that concert. I really can’t say much about the Knickers that I haven’t already said about Way Past Curfew. On the outside they seem about the same and the members could be interchangeable. But I hear a lot more potential in the Knickers. Aside from an extremely silly name they are a solid band and very competent musicians. I look forward to hearing them as they develop their own sound and move away from the NWOAHM genre. As of now they sound too much like Trivium, BFMV and AX7 for my taste.
I really hate having to write about Dream the Hero. I also saw them at the 420 Fest and though they seem like great guys, really good musicians and great performers, I just don’t care for the style of music they play. If you’re into screamo (I think that’s what it’s called) look no further, this is the local band for you. Unfortunately they’re not the for me. I thank them for having my band play and I’d like to let them know that I wish them luck and I’ll continue to support them, but this is all the support I can give.
I should also inform you that this is the first show review that I’ve researched sober. I’m not sure if that’s why I started to get really bored by the time Call of the Fallen started playing or if there was some other reason (we were supposed to play second but got bumped due to forgotten equipment, my girlfriend was with me, I hadn’t eaten much that day, I had too many/few energy drinks) that everything started sounding exactly the same. I feel bad about this because it wasn’t the bands fault (though I am getting really sick of hearing covers of “Your Betrayal”) and after a smoke break I returned and found them to be one of my favorite bands of the night. They were a heavier and more intense than the previous bands. I’d definitely like to see more of them in the future.
Exostra is getting better by leaps and bounds. I used to think of them as just a sort of loud/noisy techno group, then at the 420 Fest they unveiled a new “video game metal” sound that I was really digging, but they just blew me away at this show. They’ve finally found a live drummer which makes them seem more like a ‘real’ band than they ever have before. Not only that, but I noticed more riffs and melodies in their songs. Fritz was using his own voice for most of the set, which was much better than the Kaoss pad he previously utilized and it was a much better musical experience.
Oh, and they had a GWAR type stage show with Mitt Romney being slaughtered, squirt guns filled with fake blood and about a half dozen pies thrown. Fuck the music, they could have played Michael Bolton covers on ukuleles and with that stage show I’d have loved it.
Almost All In Good Fun were the odd men out for the night. Whereas every other band was metal (or could at least have ‘-core’ added to their genre) these guys were playing some strange mixture of garage/jam/punk/country alternative that was unlike anything I’d ever heard before. It was hippy music with a redneck attitude, country-punk that sounded nothing like Social Distortion or the Most Beautiful Losers. I was very amused and impressed and even found myself unable to control the urge to knee slap at a few junctures.
Then Syringe took the stage proving that it is always best to save the worst for last. I was very grateful to everyone that stuck around to watch us play. I look forward to seeing you all in the future.
Remember that I’m only one person. Don’t let my thought/biases/ideas affect what you do with your band. Follow your dreams and others will follow you.