After attending an exciting metal show last Friday at the Phoenix Theater, I found myself returning to the Petaluma based venue for another night of talented local metal acts. The night would feature seven local acts from the Northern California region. To put it simple, there was a substantial amount of metal inside the Phoenix Theater last night...enough to build another Bay Bridge...okay, that example is an extreme exaggeration.
Still, the billing for this show was quite solid and the venues ability to handle seven bands with two stages worked out perfectly. The acts who performed last night were as follows: Kaptowka, Gangrene, Scrape the Earth, Shadow of EVE, The Leaders, Trecelence and Skitzo.
Opening the show on the main stage right when I arrived to the Phoenix was Kaptowka. Interesting band name that I am still trying to figure out how they came up with. This four piece seemed to play a very basic form of heavy metal with plenty of modern metal influences. One could tell they were just starting out and still need to work on getting down their timing. They covered a Killswitch Engage song and some people in the crowd responded positively.
Following Kaptowka was Gangrene who played on the stage set up at the side of the main floor area. I had the opportunity of seeing Gangrene before when they played in Sebastopol. I noticed the young death doom dudes were maintaining their slow casket crushing sound. The band’s singer has a powerful death growl which adds a heavy foundation to the music. Their set was short yet for the most part solid, and I think they are still working on crafting a unique extreme sound. Overall, they seemed to be in good spirits which carried over into the audience.
The third act of the night was a band called Scrape the Earth. This Novato, CA trio played a mix of death and thrash while adding a variety of other metal elements. Their instrumental compositions were clever and fairly technical, but the lyrical delivery area needs some more attention. The band’s bass player had really good stage presence and I commend him for interacting with the crowd in a way that did not come across as too desperate. I honestly get tired of those bands who constantly tell people to form a pit or come close to the stage. Win them over with your music and then they will form pits and come close to the bloody stage!
Switching back over to the floor stage and taking the fourth slot was Shadow of EVE. These Sonoma County Metal newcomers were positively welcomed by the crowd. For their first show, I was impressed by how this young group of headbangers was able to conduct themselves on stage. One could tell they have been working on getting their songs down and each member played their instrument well. Also, the younger fans were starting to form a more energetic mosh pit, so Shadow of EVE looked to have won the crowd over which is great to see for their first show.
Once Shadow of EVE finished their set the crowd began to focus their attention back to the main stage. The Leaders, were the fifth band to lay down some metal riffs of brutal destruction. Unfortunately, the Leaders seemed to have lost half the crowd as I noticed the floor was not as full during their set. The band’s music was slightly repetitive with a continuous style of composition. The Leaders finished in a quick fashion and came and went just like the 49ers chances of winning another Superbowl.
After seeing Trecelence put on a smashing set last week, I was expecting to hear them offer up that same mind shredding technical thrash sound once again. Bassist Zane Covington worried me at first as he took his time setting up, but he eventually allowed me to put my worries aside by leading the other three members in a furious metal jam of battle like proportions. Some of these songs are full of technical genius and standout when listening to the different parts. I especially cannot stop focusing on how well Trecelence utilizes the two guitar attack approach. The riffs are amplified to another level while the bass and drums maintain a tight backbone. Trecelence you could tell has been working hard for a while now and the hard work is paying off through their strong heavy metal sound.
The final act Skitzo, added a veteran presence to the night. These guys have been around for some time now and even though they may be older, they connected with the young fans who began moshing around right away. The band’s bass player wore a kilt, the singer/guitarist had on his shades and the music was thrash’n good. Throughout their set I was banging my head along withe the other enthusiastic concert goers. Then out of nowhere the band brought out a female with a shaved head and the singer/guitarist “spit up” on her chest. I have seen Gwar live and can say at least I knew what I expected to happen before hand. Skitzo literally threw a curve ball at me and I was still processing what I had just witnessed while the band closed their set with covers of Motörhead's “Iron Fist” and Kiss' “Love Gun.” They know how to add shock value to their set...that is for damn sure!
Well, a night of young talent working to improve their musical chops, Trecelence continuing to strive for thrash excellence and Skitzo completely leaving me with a live set that I will never forget, it was a great night to be at the Phoenix Theater! Just another reason why you should go check out your local scenes. You never know what you might see?...Trust me.
|Shadow of EVE Live|