In this life you are faced with choices and sometimes you have to pick and choose which metal show to attend. In San Francisco you had the option of seeing thrash legends Overkill and the technical death metal masters in Nile on the same bill. Your other option was attending the five band show hosted by Seventh Sun Records at the Phoenix Theater. Also, Bret Michaels was performing in Santa Rosa, but no decent human would subject themselves to that hair metal hack’s music.
When it came to decision time, I decided to go to the Phoenix and support Seventh Sun Records along with the five bands who were playing the show. The bands who performed were: Eye for I, His Name is Robert Paulson, The Bill Decker Band, Cursed and The Ghost Next Door. I liked how this show brought together acts that I had not yet seen before with the exception being Eye for I who I saw last year at the Phoenix.
Starting the show off was the progressive hard rock/metal band, Eye for I. As of lately, I have noticed these guys working more towards getting their music heard amongst the local scene. Unfortunately, the band’s bass player was unable play due to back problems, which the band announced to the audience during their set. I hear people say sometimes that bass players don’t do much and why have them at all. In this case, I have to say that Eye for I is a band that needs a bass player, especially if you are going to be covering Iron Maiden’s “Number of the Beast.” I give credit to the three members who performed and worked hard to make up for the absence of that low end presence. I think their original material is creative, but needs a full band to really show what they have to offer. Then again, things come up and I commend Eye for I for showing up and giving the people a solid performance.
Eye for I
Second on the bill was, His Name is Robert Paulson, a band that writes heavy metal songs about Brad Pitt movies. Compared to Eye for I, His Name is Robert Paulson turned up the aggression and had a heavier and more thrash like sound. The band’s singer delivered some brutal vocals while the two guitar players were feverishly striking chords to follow along to the decimating drum parts. I am not really a Brad Pitt fan, but their idea is definitely unique. I just can’t wait for a band to come out that plays grindcore and writes songs about Aunt Esther from Sanford and Son and they call themselves, “Watch It Sucka!” Also, during their set I noticed these stepping stools the band would clime up on as if they were playing a massive arena show. They looked like they were having fun and the crowd was really getting into the music due to the band’s stage presence.
The His is Robert Paulson
Third up was the instrumental trio, The Bill Decker Band. I have to throw this out right away that these guys could play their asses off. Their skill level was very impressive and the songs sounded tight. Even though I usually get tired of hearing instrumental shredding after a long period of time, The Bill Decker Band knew how to create some dynamic arrangements. The guitar shredding by Bill Decker was amazing to watch, but the skillful bass playing and drumming definitely added to the overall sound as well. In the end, they demonstrated what it means to be a skilled musician. You won’t get that at a Beyonce or Lady Gaga performance...instead you have a higher chance of getting an STD.
The Bill Decker Band
After Bill Decker and his two other amigos finished their set the fourth band, Cursed, started getting ready for their performance of skull crushing heavy metal mayhem. After hearing about them from people and seeing their name numerous times on bills for other Bay Area shows, I had the opportunity to finally see them live. They seemed like passionate metal fanatics who are determined to make their presence known in the metal world. Overall, their sound is very straightforward classic thrash with other brutal heavy metal elements that resonates with fans who want something that is fast and unapologetic. I don’t know if they were able to play as long as they wanted to because of time constraints, but they put together a decent performance. Plus, the band’s singer provided some comedic relief by saying stuff like that they had 36 more songs when in reality they had about two.
The final band of the evening was, The Ghost Next Door. These guys came all the way from the great city of Oakland. Well, The Ghost Next Door was sort of dealt a rough hand and right from the get go their singer/guitarist let everyone know that he was upset. I understand his frustration with being the last band and noticing that half the venue has disappeared since the start of the show. Yes, bands should encourage their friends to stick around and support all the acts, but you can’t let that get to you. The Ghost Next Door seemed like they had a very atypical sound that I am not going to try and classify. The music varied from hard rock to heavy metal, which allowed for them to craft very progressive and diverse sounding pieces. The band’s singer/guitarist also said he was sick and I could tell during certain vocal parts, but he soldiered on through each song. Again, I feel bad about the crowd leaving early, but you can't let that get to you when you still have people there watching you.
The Ghost Next Door
How do I wrap this concert review up? One recommendation is...people...stick around if you can for the entire show! That behavior is extremely obnoxious. Next recommendation is about time management...bands should know how long to perform and the stage manager should be keeping a close eye on that too. Aside from my couple recommendations, it was a solid show for the most part and there are definitely some talented bands in Northern Californian who I recommend people check out. I truly give credit to all the bands who preformed, especially the ones who were dealing with illness, or had a member for the time being on the disabled list. Looking forward, Seventh Sun Records is going to hopefully build off this experience and put together another kick ass metal show for all the die hard headbanging fanatics.