Let me set the tone for the evening. It was a perfect Southern California evening. The weather was perfect and the mood was meant for music that would knock your socks off. It also seems that Downtown Los Angeles is fast becoming the place for rock/metal bands to play. Last night was worth the trip for sure.
Kicking off the night was the very alluring Mustard Gas & Roses. Their brand of doom metal set the standard for the evening. This Los Angeles based four piece is the perfect band to get you in the mood for a night of great music. They are cinematic and proficient in their performance. I’ve been hearing about this band for a little bit now and they were everything I thought they would be.
Next up was Helms Alee. This band left me absolutely breathless. I’ve been meaning to go see them live for some time and I finally had my chance and WOW. Their blistering set was visceral and inspiring. The magnitude of tone they delivered from their drums, bass and guitars made it seem like they were playing an arena. I’m always intrigued by melody and even with their doom approach, the melody was not lost. With all three members doing vocals, that really gives a whole different dynamic to their style of music, There were times during their set that they reminded me a bit of Siamese Dream era Smashing Pumpkins and self titled era Alice In Chains but with a bit of doom to it. Helms Alee is the type of band that releases great albums but, in order to fully grasp the greatness of this band, you NEED TO SEE THEM LIVE.
The main event of the evening was Mutoid Man. They are another band that I’ve been really wanting to see live. Their albums are stellar and the fact that drummer Ben Koller and singer/guitarist Stephen Brodsky were finally able to get together and form a band makes me extra happy, being as I’m a HUGE fan of Cave In and I really dig on Converge. The addition of bassist Nick Cageao adds a whole other layer and dimension of heavy to the band. Mutoid Man really knows how to deliver a great night of riffs, pummeling drums, jokes, and great performances. Like Helms Alee, Mutoid Man puts out great albums but, it’s really best to go see them live. Their set featured songs from both their full length albums (Bleeder and War Moans) along with songs from their debut EP. They drove the crowd into a frenzy, with a perfect mosh pit as well. My friend and I couldn’t resist joining in on the pit fun, as we moshed our way to the front of the venue.
What a great night for a show. Three great bands on one bill to make it known that heavy music is alive and well along with the take no prisoners approach. I highly recommend you all taking the time to go see them live and give a listen to these three great bands albums. You will not only thank me later but, you’ll feel compelled to go buy their albums.
Review By: Brian Lacy