The Rave gets a bad rap for just about everything these days, and it’s a tough sell, as 2 drink minimum ticket prices begin to look like a night at the Staples Center in L.A., and patrons are usually confounded which and where the act is playing inside the giant maze– all while looking over their shoulder in a less than safe neighborhood. But…the music makes it worth it…
The progressive metal/rock bill put on by Toontrack, Merch Now & Metal Sucks laid all the unrest to bed, as every act… rather every musician in every act, was top notch. Today I Caught the Plague, great. The Safety Fire, wow. Jeff Loomis, Christ. Periphery, unbelievable. Protest the Hero, yes. A true musicians’ show. Every guitar toting Milwaukeean should have been there, although they may want to give up guitar altogether after the onslaught called “Tuesday, April 10th @ the Rave.” I can’t lie, I actually did practice when I got home. Ha!
Today I Caught the Plague from Ottawa, ON opened the night, on their first tour outside Canada, and made sure the audience knew what they were in for. David Journeaux set the tone early in the vocal department, bringing a more than solid effort. Check them out at their website.
UK’s The Safety Fire featured two Telecaster playing guitar monsters named Joaquin Ardiles and Derya Nagle. The band is fantastic….Jazz influenced metal sounds with aggressive riffing and well produced vocals, while somehow keeping a very mainstream appeal. I fully expect them to get huge. They just released a full length album that you can grab for $1.89 on Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/Grind-The-Ocean/dp/B007QTAZ94/
For Jeff Loomis, there’s just nothing else to say but… JEFF frickin’ LOOMIS! He’s a hometown hero, and played with a full backing band…first time since the Nevermore days. 30 minute set of impossibleness. Head over to Jeff’s website to experience it for yourself. http://www.jeffloomis.com/
Co-headliners in my eyes, Periphery is a pioneer in the progressive metal scene, and is growing bigger with each tour. They arguably brought the most produced sound to the table, reproducing their album material with incredible accuracy. They still never lose their edge at all, not to mention the live show energy put the crowd into chaos mode. Guitarist Misha Mansoor was featured as his chops are amazing, but the riffing between him along with Mark Holcomb & Jake Bowen was equally impressive. A quality set. See more on their Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/PeripheryBand
Headliners Protest the Hero couldn’t raise the bar any further than the 4 bands prior to them, as that was simply an impossible feat, but they managed to keep the energy chaotic and the music at prodigy level. Vocalist Rody Walker was outspoken between songs, and dead on cue within them while guitarist Luke Hoskin was inspiring even without having to throw his body around. Check out their website at http://protestthehero.com
A truly impressive night of music from 5 bands that deserve their own headlining show.
Contributed by Sean Williamson