Show in Review: Throw Down At The Merrow (San Diego)
I finished cleaning out the back of Ernest to make room for additional passengers before heading out to meet with the band homies from Mynas. After some Google maps mishaps turning me in all the wrong directions fathomable, I was finally retrieved by drummer Mauricio. After which I was able to witness the most epic game of Tetris I’ve seen in a while. Band gear vs tiny ass trailer round 1, went to the trailer.
Road trip jams consisted of I, Pariah’s latest EP Hate Prayer before switching it up and listening to the playlists of the week Glasshouse , Circle Pit & Meine Schone Sophia. Mauricio’s brother accompanied me during the long and boring road trip to San Diego. Making stops at the M and then Baker , CA before getting to our hotel for the night which I beat the boys to by about an hour. After checking in and FB living the scoping out the room I found myself heading to the venue.
The Merrow is in a busy area of town. Street parking was definitely something I should have researched first but only cost me 1.25 at the end of the day (not bad in comparison to paying for parking in Vegas). Walking in, this place was bigger than I originally anticipated. Complete with classic renaissance style nude paintings , pool tables, neon and black lighting.
A Sailor Jerry and coke ran me 7 bucks before tip which is an amazing price, in comparison to Vegas where its $12 bucks for a tightly poured double in the same glass with way more ice or more. The pours were very generous here and I was thankful for it after a long day of driving. White Russians with vanilla vodka where there was barely anything but alcohol in them were $9 of magical strong as fuck deliciousness. (next time I will just order these).
Joe the day time bar tender was an absolute delight recommending drafts to indecisive patrons while being equally attentive to everyone else at the bar.
It was nice to scope shit out and grab grub before hitting the floor and having your ears blasted. Joe recommended a taco joint 3 doors down for some chow. It was not disappointed. 2 al pastor and 2 carne asada street tacos later my food baby was satiated with all the sinfully meaty gluttony.
POISON THE WEAK PRODUCTIONS put on this killer show, presenting the 1st Annual San Diego Metal Alliance. Combining forces from my very own Las Vegas, NV, San Diego, CA and Tijuana, MX for a night that aggressively fucked your eardrums into submission.
Doors opened officially at 7:30, and the show started around 830. Before it began, of course, me being me I offended someone. None other than the sound guy / booker for the night who had been taking shots at the bar walking up to the spot right next to where I was sitting.
I jokingly told him if he fucks up I’ll be writing about it to which he replied he just wont book metal anymore or something to that regard. I could gather by his reaction that our humor was not matching up. He proceeded to get his shots from the other part of the bar until the show started. It is what it is, that being said, the sound was pretty fucking great.
DEFY THE TYRANTS
All of the sudden these guys took the stage and it erupted with this enormous growl. These San Diego natives know how to rage. I had checked out some of their music a few weeks before the show and was already impressed with them. But to see them live…took it to a whole other level.
What got me hooked was their Sepultura cover of Roots Bloody Roots. What metal-head does not love that song? the vocals and composition are just magical to your ears. Tons of bands have covered that song and not done it the justice it deserves. Their rendition was the best I’ve hear yet, adding some deeper vocal tones that made it stand out at the same time.
Their Set consisted of songs from their 2017 EP Wrest the Crown along with singles like Dominate to Desecrate and Guillotine from 2018. I truely enjoyed every minute of their set. The windmills from Chris on stage alone were pretty amazing. I spoke to him briefly after they finished and secured myself a Band T-shirt to add to my collection/ wear out to slam dance parties.
This powerhouse from Tijuana, MX was next. Their bassist Malcon was taking advantage of the light box on his side of the stage doing semi squats and looking super serious while strumming the heart beat and complimentary aspects of each song. One of their guitarists was unable to make it out for the show due to illness . His band mates dedicated a song to him in his absence with well wishes for a quick recovery.
They were nice and heavy in all the right places and interactive with the crowd. Check out their 2018 EP Release Your Self on Spotify and other streaming platforms to share in my experience.
END THY SPECIES
Playing 3rd and bringing some front man power! Alex Garcia is in your face the entire time he is on stage. Having not had an opportunity to check out their music ahead of the show, I had no idea what exactly to expect. There were some moments where I felt the guitar missed a bit in timing with the drums. Overall they had me moving and had a solid set.
Their self titled EP released a little over a year ago can be found on SoundCloud.
Before Mynas’s set I got to check out some of San Diego Photographer Scott Clift‘s work. We talked about our shared experiences that not really pushed, but rather inspired us to pursue our dreams. Him as a show photographer and myself as a music blogger. He showed me a goos bit of his portfolio that included some phenomenal black and white portrait shots of band members as well as some killer drummer pics. Drummer pics are rare enough that they are in a whole other realm of appreciation.
And now…the boiz from Vegas. The homies that know mez taking the stage to spread the good word about their recently released album Dead to the Unknown. These guys have serious fire power with Maricio on Drums, Mark on Bass and the Dynamic Duo Vocalist Miles and Riff King Jeff on guitars. Their melodic yet hard and heavy style is always a joy to watch live let alone listen to through a set of earphones.
Playing last but not least to close out the show the stage filled up with big hair and clean vocals from another group of SD locals. Lead vocals and lead guitar were on point. It took my ears a minute to transition to super clean vocals vs. the previous bands in the line up but after my ears adjusted I had no qualms with their performance. They have some great energy while playing to an almost empty by now venue. Props are due. Not every band can play live to a small crowd and still act like they are playing to a much larger one.
They have some great jams on bandcamp to boot so check them out.
The Head -bang Over
There was no mosh pit but there was one guy who had a tshirt saying “fuck plastic bitches” who stayed in front the entire show head banging to no end.
While the boys were playing trailer tetris with their equipment again, I took myself back to the hotel and passed out. Headache and super irritability ensued the morning after …too many white Russians maybe. The drive back to Vegas was filled with rain most of the way but eventually we made it home. The rest of my weekend was filled with naps and preparation for another show i had been promoting for March 3rd at the Dive Bar
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