My two buddies and I went to a serious rock & roll show a few weeks ago. This was a 5 band bill, all on the “heavy” side of things. We’re talking metal. I’m a metal freak and love them heavy, groovin’ & technical.
My two pals and I are fans of Otep & Candiria big time. I just looked for Candiria’s web site and found out that www.candiria.com had expired. Turns out that’s not their site, it is candiriamusic.com. I was just thinking of registering it but I digress.
So the 5 band show was to be at a local comedy club. We showed up at the club only to find the doors locked and 1 small black & white piece of paper stating that the show had been moved to a boxing gym about 30 minutes away.
We got to the gym and jumped in line outside. It was freezing and we waited for a good hour before they even opened the doors. Once inside we waited for close to another hour before the show started.
The first two bands pretty much sucked. They were touring metal bands but there was nothing special about them.
The 3rd band was Candiria. If you are into rock & roll on the heavier and more technical side, with a hint of rap then you’ll love these guys. No one can make an 11/8 to 9/4 to 3/4 to 7/8 to 6/8 to 5/4 groove like Candiria can. Heavy guitars with some singing and rap vox and a drummer who grooves big time. These guys put on a hell of a show. The singer jumps up really high in the air and puts tons of energy into the performance. He’s got about zero percent body fat. The drummer has this crazy technique for playing his hi hats where the arc of his stick is literally 180 degrees with every hit. I tried that and couldn’t play worth a damn like that.
The 4th band I’d heard a few tunes but I wasn’t very familiar with: American Head Charge. Their site is headcharge.com but americanheadcharge.com is available. I thought about registering that too. But I digress again.
At this point of the show we made it to the front of the stage. The stage was actually a boxing ring.
American Head Charge’s drummer wore a hospital gown. Nice touch. The bass player was a BIG guy and played a great big bad ass 6 string bass. They had two guitar players and the guitar player in front of us had quite the look. The only way I can describe him would be “Satan firing a machine gun.” They had a keyboard player who played some key and bass lines and also made noises. The noises were very cool and added a whole new texture to this heavy band. Last, the singer was cool as hell. He was an excellent performer. He had the technique of those grindy vocals down. He could grind and then turn around and sing awesome full melodic vocals with absolutely perfect pitch. Some vocal parts the singer had a special mic mounted to a mic stand. The mic was inside an actual gas mask. He’d have to put the gas mask on his face to sing those parts!
What a great performance by American Head Charge. Loved it.
The 5th and last band was Otep. I first found Otep on the “metal” channel of my DirecTV music channels. I was first drawn in by the incredible heavy guitar tone, along with the insane drummer who played double kicks faster than most could play with their hands. I was intrigued by the vocalist’s tone. It’s mostly rap-ish vocals with metal screams, grinds and breathy tones. I thought this dude had a very cool voice. One problem…it wasn’t a dude. Otep is a female singer. I was even more blown away.
Otep’s bass player was jazzed to play the gig. Before they were even on stage he was pacing around like a caged animal while he downed his energy drinks AND coffee. This bass player is so good he could play in ANY jazz or fusion band. His gear and technique are amazing. I could tell the guitar player was a total veteran. He (and all the guys in the band) was older than I expected. He was stage right and we were stage left. I could have used more guitar in the mix for sure, but he was right on with his tone and his playing. The drummer was a bad ass mo fo. He had a big kit with double bass and tons of toms. He played incredibly difficult hands/double bass parts with surgical precision. This drummer is one of the best I’ve seen live.
Now for the climax of the show: Otep herself. When Otep came on the stage a magical aura entered the hall. Otep commands respect from her audience and from her bandmates. She’s in yer face and balls to the wall (if she had them). I loved it when she flipped off the audience and the audience loved it too. The passion with which she performs with is just plain brutal. You just can’t keep your eyes off of her live.
There were three very interesting events during their show. The first was at the beginning of one of their songs. The guitar player started the tune and she got in his face and stopped him in is tracks. She said “Hold on! These people paid their money and we need to play this song at the right fucking tempo. Now start it again at the right tempo.” Funny part was that the guitar player started the song back up at the same speed.
The next funny event (especially if you are a liberal) was when she did some “anti President Bush” commentary. The audience then followed with the chant “fuck Bush, fuck Bush.” I thought that was quite funny.
The 3rd and most amazing event: At the most passionate and peak part of the show she actually RIPPED HER OWN HAIR OUT! We were all in awe.
The tickets for this amazing show were $20. All three of us have agreed this was the best $20 we’ve ever spent.