Sunday, July 26, 2015

Phoenix Theater Concert Review: Sepulchre, Phaneron, 5 Days Dirty, Death’n Taxes and Thought Vomit

    The local metal and punk fans were out this Saturday at the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma, Ca for a rip roaring show. Now, there may have not been the same amount of people there as at the Rush concert I attended a few days earlier... but there was a passion for the music being played at the Phoenix.

    The five bands billed were Sepulchre, Phaneron, 5 Days Dirty, Death’n Taxes and Thought Vomit. First off, when there is people skate boarding in a venue before the show you can tell the place is a casual and welcoming environment. You do not see that at Sonoma State's Green Music Center!    

    To begin the show, Santa Rosa’s Sepulchre went on about eight o’clock and did not let the small turnout from being the first opening band affect them. The band even handled themselves very professionally, especially when there was a drunk couple who were being extremely obnoxious. The band’s guitarist/singer had a very creative and dynamic approach to extreme metal guitar playing. He played some impressive leads that explored a variety of technical scales. The band’s drummer and bass player sounded very tight and added an extra explosiveness to the slower and more aggressive sections. In Sepulchre’s sound I definitely hear some Death influence mixed with the more progressive technical death metal elements from bands like Atheist. I think they have a lot going for them and can hopefully bring something exciting to the death metal world.

    Taking the stage next was Phaneron from Lake County. This band was a mix of metal and hardcore which if we do the math is metalcore. To be extremely truthful I find metalcore to be very repetitive and the lyrical phrasing can be simply uncreative. I could tell Phaneron’s singer had passion for the music and was getting into his performance. I commend him for that, but the songs were just not there. When the guitarist pulled off a blazing lead part, only then did I start to take more notice, but for the most part I just felt this band had nothing new to offer that I had not heard before.

    The third act 5 Days Dirty from the East Bay played a style of pop punk and slight hardcore. If anything they played pop punk that would sporadically change to metalcore. When a fan next to me with a DRI and Exodus patch kept shouting for them to play some hardcore style punk, I knew he was not going to get his wish. I am sure there are people who enjoy pop punk that might find 5 Days Dirty to their liking. However, I was lost in a cosmic sea of confusion and not really digging the songs. Also, their stage banter was juvenile to say the least.

    Coming in as the fourth act was Death’n Taxes. This group from Clearlake seemed to be the night’s wildcard and completely took me by surprise. All he musicians sounded very accomplished and the songwriting was unbelievably solid. Their sound was this unique blend of psychedelic garage rock and punk with a little drop of funk at times. Probably a band who I could see attracting a wide range of music fans. Their songs flowed with catchy riffs and jamming drum beats.

    The final act of the night was the local punk/metal band Thought Vomit who were able to take a small crowd and turn the place upside down. They just did not let anything bother them and played a confident and wild set. I think, respect, is the right word for what I have for the band after I left the Phoenix Theater. Any singer who will jump in the mosh pit and run around with the crowd, is very passionate about the music and determined to put on a killer show for the audience. Everyone seemed to be having a great time during Thought Vomits' set. There was even a dog running around during the band’s set!

    Wrapping up this review I want to say, please go out and try to support your local punk and metal scenes. These local acts can offer exciting entertainment at an affordable price. Also, places like the Phoenix Theater need to keep going strong. This world needs more venues that can put on awesome all ages shows for fans of extreme music. Again, keep supporting your local scenes!

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