My day started like any other person’s day would.
Woke up with a mild hang over that I quickly remedied with massive amounts of caffeine and aspirin. Discovered something I thought I dreamt happened. I apparently retard strength-ed a hutch into the back of my truck on my way home the night before. (It’s still in the back of my truck a week later)
I got my equipment situated and packed up in the truck on my way to a music video shoot for locals Bravo Delta before making my way to Backstage Bar & Billiards to meet Farewell to Fear for an interview about strippers and music (but mainly music). The Triple B staff were kind enough to allow us to use the Fremont Country Club stage next door as an interview space rather than the Green Room while sound check and load in were happening.
It made no sense to go running around town after the interview before the show. So
instead I decided to play tourist and take a bike tour Jurassic Park style around Fremont Street. The guide in his bad ass T-Rex costume played slayer in between the talking points of the tour. Drunk people and tourists filmed from the side of the streets while I soaked in the dorkish awesomeness that was this touristy thing I paid a whole 25 bucks for. An uneventful, yet satisfactory, dinner was next before heading back to check out the show.
Nebula X kicked things off. What I thought was still their sound check ended up being the start to their set. It did not matter where in the venue I stood (and I made a full circle of the venue to try to find a sweet spot) this was the 2nd time I had seen the play and the 2nd venue at that. I was not a fan of how lose their sound came off the first time and there did not appear to be all that much improvement the 2nd time around. They did not seem to be in sync with each other on stage. Fumbling on keeping in time, particularly with the drums. The composure of their songs leaves some variety to be desired. They all sounded the same to me despite clear lyrical changes.
While I admire the bilingual aspect of the vocals, if a band is not performing well it is going to urke me. Vocals were pitchy in certain areas and perhaps that is the intention of their sound, but not for me. They covered Prong‘s “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck” but I felt underwhelmed by it. Unless I am hearing things, vocalist Javier Rojas even said on stage to the crowd they needed practice. It appeared that some of the band had taken some pre-gaming liberties before taking the stage which may have contributed to the lack of “WOW” in their performance.
For their last song which was in Spanish they brought up a friend of the band, Machete. It was a vast improvement to the entirety of their set. Mind you they seemed to get better as time went on, I still expect more from a band that play so often around town.
During the set up of Taking Dawn‘s gear the venue playlist consisted of early 2000’s alternative and hard rock music. I sang along to serenade my gal pal Courtney with songs from Linkin Park to Hoobastank and everything else in between. It was nice to let lose and have some sober fun. She was super amp’d to see these local Vegas dudes shred again, sporting one of their shirts underneath her camera gear and straps.
When Taking Dawn finally took the stage I was all about the shred-tacular event before me. The showmanship of this band was phenomenal. Vocalist Chris Babbitt was writhing with energy. Jumping off of one of the monitors and in the process dislodging his strap from his axe. That energy even with limited stage space is amazing and completely contagious. the minor strap mishap. While he fixed his strap on stage he did not break from the song even for a minute. I watched in awe of this. It’s rare that the guitar isn’t handed off stage to some tech to fix in the interim.
During their rendition of Fleetwood Mac‘s “The Chain” He jumped off stage into the crowd and landed about 4 or 5 people from the stage with his guitar. Jamming and interacting with fans, followed by climbing onto and playing guitar all the way down the top of the bar and around the entire room. I thought Courtney was going to swoon. Musically everything sounded on point for them despite the strap mishap.
Farewell to Fear gave the performance I was expecting. With more room to play with on stage the same amount of energy as Taking Dawn but a different delivery method making for some variety .
They brought their own rock star style to the stage with a different tone starting off with Dead Generation. They were very engaging with the crowd. Singing into fans phones as their performance was live cast and face timed, posing for pics to be taken by our much loved local photographers Courtney and Randy. The set list consisted of primarily songs from their latest released album Voices to include Broken Wing and Your Cure
Vocalist Mike Craig sang into a mic shaped like a red phone from a UK phone booth. This mic was set to give a unique sound on top of guitarist Mojo’s screaming vocals. I love live layered vocals like this because they just make the lyrics hit you harder.
F2F’s set ended and then the extra level of anticipation came for the band from the land where LOTR came to life. Like A Storm‘s crew was setting up these magical skeleton pieces on stage with PVC pipe didgeridoos. I was a bit embarrassed I didn’t recognize the bassist Kent Brooks when I ran into him outside the back entrance of the venue. I was patiently waiting to do my interview. He was extremely kind even though the conversation only lasted for a minute before he went on to greet his VIP’s waiting for the band at their tour bus.
I waited for my pal Ric and his lady to show up. Ric was star struck when vocalist Chris Brooks touched him. It was probably a very #swoon moment for anyone as big a fan as these 2 are of them. I started listening to Like A Storm last year when they came up on a playlist spotify had put together for me at my day job.
They have that perfect level of folk metal meets melodic meets prog rock that i can get behind with their own distinct sound. The didgeridoos were played throughout the show by vocalist Chris. An electronic Drum set was brought out for Complicated-Stitches & Scars. Played by Matt brooks it was almost like a drum duel between him and drummer Zack Wood.
Among the many songs on their set list they played one of their popular cover Gangster’s Paradise joined on stage by Code Red Riots singer Corky G and Mojo from Farewell to Fear. The crowd sang along to the classic Mid 90’s song without hesitation making it a great memorable moment for anyone in attendance. Although the crowd’s energy was definitely comparable to when they played Love the Way You Hate Me which I also very much so sang along to between head banging and just thoroughly enjoying myself.
Stay Tuned for the Interview with Farewell to Fear…coming soon 🙂