We attended the show “Big Bob’s Birthday Bash” on April 13th, 2012 to check out some of the local hardcore/metal scene and local bands here in the Milwaukee area… something that I feel Milwaukee could use more of. First of all let me start out by acknowledging the fact that from an outsider’s perspective most people wonder why anyone would be in to this sort of music. After all, how much fun can a loud concert full of screaming, people running into each other and arm flailing be? I know this perspective myself, as I used to be there. After slowly being introduced into the genre by my brother giving me CDs, I began getting into it myself, and now am a big fan. You come to realize the powerful emotion of the song, the heavy beats, and the musical talent is awesome. Unfortunately many will never come to realize this, as they can’t get over the initial shock to the screamed lyrics. There is also a certain “brotherhood” at these types of shows, more so than with other genres. We know we are into something that is different from what people perceive as normal, so we take in the fact that we are all a gathering of friends with the common music bond. The moshing and hardcore dancing further emphasize this fact, as no one is there to hurt anyone. If one person falls, four people instantly pick them up.
Now this was my first show at the Miramar and I didn’t know what to expect. From the outside the place looks a lot smaller than it actually is inside. When entering from outside and checking in, you are immediately in the “bar area”, where fans are gathered from a break from the main music. Since it’s local, people really seem to know each other here. I was happy that drinks weren’t as ungodly expensive as they are at some venues. Next you enter through another set of doors into the main stage area. The layout is kind of cool, almost reminded me of a movie theater, minus the screen. Unlike a lot of venues, there is seating in the back and surrounding the main dance floor (standing area) and stage. Now I know some will say “It’s not a concert if you sit”, which is partially true, but it was nice to be able to sit down somewhere between sets. It’s also a much more intimate venue due to the small size so you can literally get up within a foot or two of the band if you like. This of course being a metal show…the middle area opened up into a nice pit. Overall the Miramar was better than I had expected, and I will definitely be looking to attend more shows here in the near future!
Now onto the show…Unfortunately I was not able to see every band in the lineup. This for me wasn’t a problem though, as there were eight bands playing with plenty to see. I went into this show with a clean slate, not knowing really anything about any of the bands besides a bit about A Night At the Chalet. Luckily my brother did, so he filled me in beforehand, all of the bands are local from the Milwaukee area, some with a bigger following than others. Now let me state that I am more a fan of hardcore/metalcore bands, and a little less of my collection is death core, however I am interested in the genre & partake in a show from time to time.
For sake of time I will keep comments on each band fairly short, plus many of them have a similar sound. Level the City was first up & it was very loud in the theater so it took a minute for the ears to adjust, but the band sounded great. I also noticed and liked that they threw in some clean lyrics occasionally, which isn’t typical of the harder death-core style. Next was A Place for the End, again another brutal death core band here from Milwaukee. They had a GREAT lead vocalist/screamer for a local band, with a very deep growl. Great sounding guitar riffs backed him up perfectly. Here was the kicker with this band… they were selling t-shirts for $1 at their merch table. So of course I picked one up…Hell ya I’ll help them get their name out there for a buck! Next on the list was the band Micawber. Now this band is also deathcore, but has elements of thrash metal in it as well… such as FAST guitar and drum riffs, as well as their appearance… long hair on every member of the band. This enabled a sick display of headbanging, on the stage, and in the crowd of course. They also fired up a great circle pit that I was sure to get in on. Afterwards was Meth Tooth with a different style than the previous bands that I can appreciate, with a slower tempo, but more random screaming. The drummer for this band really stood out. Last but definitely not least came A Night at The Chalet, the only band that I had listened to previously. Again, another brutal death core band and everyone in this band really played and looked the part. Deep growling, quick drumming, and excellent guitar work.
I was not able to stay for the last band, but I’m sure they put on a hell of a show. Overall these bands were all solid performers. All had GREAT sound quality, and I hope make it big in the music industry. What a sick show! When these bands play locally again soon (hint hint) I will definitely be in attendance.
Photo #1: Micawbre Photo #2: A Night at the Chalet