Live Show Reviews

Live Review: Spirit In The Room at The Satellite

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Spirit In The Room is one band that I’ve been meaning to check out live for some time. Ever since I started Audioeclectica, I’ve been drawn into the music created by this group. Main man Dennis Sanders is a fountain of inspiration and truly has a knack for writing great songs. The footage I’ve seen of their live shows has always peaked my interest but it wasn’t in the cards for me to get to a show until last night.

On a perfect late summer early fall evening in Silver Lake at The Satellite (formerly Spaceland), Spirit In The Room headlined and gave one of the most passionate performances I’ve seen from a band all year. If there is one thing I’ve come to want to see from a band on stage it’s belief in the music they are playing and Spirit In The Room does just that and then some. Songs like “Cut To The Crash,”  “Lick Your Friends,” “When The Spider Disappears,” were not only great live but, just the tip of how good the songs really are. Dennis Sanders along with bassist Darren Howard and guitarist Kyle Nadeau are are astounding live. The element of “recklessness” goes a long way with these three. By combining influences ranging from Depeche Mode and Black Sabbath, to noise rock and bits of dance and doom, Spirit In The Room has created something that stands out. Not only do they get you wanting to dance but, they get you riled up in such a way that is reminiscent of going to an old school punk/metal show.

Do yourself a favor and go see Spirit In The Room live.

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Live Review: Gojira & Pallbearer at Ventura Theater

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When a band goes on tour these days, it’s always best to take other bands out with you that can keep the attention of the audience. That’s exactly the case with the latest tour that Gojira is on. In between their off dates from the Metallica tour, Gojira with special guests Pallbearer, are taking every venue by storm and leaving it in shambles. When you have two powerhouse bands playing on the same bill, you know you are going to get something special.

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As Pallbearer took the stage, the crowd began to fill into the venue. From the first note of their set, you could sense that you were about to hear and see something substantial. Touring in support of their latest epic opus Heartless, Pallbearer took no prisoners as they pummeled the audience with a sonic assault of 70’s inspired rock and doom metal. But it’s not your run of the mill doom, instead, Pallbearer instills a sense of melody that drives the songs to epic proportions. Though their set was only 4 songs, Pallbearer managed to leave the crowd wanting more but also absolutely warmed up for what Gojira was about to bring. On a side note, I’ve been wanting to see Pallbearer live for some time, and they didn’t disappoint. In fact, I really enjoyed their set and hope they do a headlining tour soon with a Los Angeles stop so I can really see more of what they have to offer.

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Now for the main event of the evening, Gojira. This was my fourth time seeing them live and each time I see them, they get better and better. I honestly don’t know if there is a band out there that is as tight as they are. As a band with 6 albums into their career, it gets a bit difficult and interesting when putting together the set list but, Gojira really knows how to pick songs that will drive audiences wild. Songs like “Only Pain,” “The Heaviest Matter Of The Universe,” “Silvera,” Stranded,” “Flying Whales,” L’Enfant Sauvage,” “Oroborus,” “Vacuity,” “Toxic Garbage Island,” are absolutely stellar live. In fact, I’d dare say that Gojira are better live than on their albums. They have also really developed a show with lights, fog, and jams, the latter of which makes the songs feel like different beasts entirely. At the end of their set for the evening, they even graced the crowd with a rousing rendition of “Territory” by Sepultura. A song that they have now made their own after that performance.

What a great night for heavy music and live music in general. Seeing these two bands not only left me inspired to want to go play but, also to want to go see more shows. Bands of this caliber make nights like this all worth while. Gojira are on their way to becoming a band for the ages and Pallbearer are on the verge of taking the rock world by storm. Do yourself a favor, go to your favorite record store and pick up albums by both Gojira and Pallbearer, play them really loud at home, in your car, or wherever. You will be glad you did, and those around you will be too.

Pallbearer Set List:

1) Thorns
2) Devoid Of Redemption
3) Dancing In Madness
4) Worlds Apart

Gojira Set List:

01) Only Pain
02) The Heaviest Matter Of The Universe
03) Silvera
04) Stranded
05) Flying Whales
06) The Cell
07) Backbone
08) Terra Inc
09) L’Enfant Sauvage
10) Drum Solo
11) The Shooting Star
12) Toxic Garbage Island
13) Band Jam (with Joe and Mario switching instruments)
14) Oroborus

Encore:

15) Vacuity
16) Territory (Sepultura Cover)

 

Review By: Brian Lacy

Photos By: Alisa Lacy

Live Review: Mutoid Man, Helms Alee & Mustard Gas and Roses at The Resident

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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

Live Review: L.A. Guns at The Canyon Club

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I have a deep love of bands from the 80’s. When I was a very young kid, the 80’s were my jam. I loved (and still do) Bon Jovi, Guns N Roses, and Metallica but, I also loved Poison, Motley Crue, Def Leppard, and all the other bands in between like Ratt and L.A. Guns. Last night was a real treat as I finally got to see L.A. Guns, and boy did they rock the house. Last year singer Phil Lewis and guitarist Tracii Guns reunited for the first time in over 15 years. They rekindled their friendship and musical chemistry and are back firing on all cylinders just like it was back in the day.

On a Sunday night in the suburbs, the venue was packed, and fans were ready for rock. As the band took the stage to a thunderous roar from the crowd, you knew that this night was going to be a treat. Starting their set off with “No Mercy” was a hell of a way to get things going. The sheer magnitude of rock coming off the stage was contagious as the crowd was beyond into it. As the show went on, the band ripped through song after song in an uncompromising fashion. Other highlights of the night were “Electric Gypsy,” “Sex Action,” “Don’t Look At Me That Way,” “Kiss My Love Goodbye,” “One More Reason,” and my personal favorite “Over The Edge” complete with Tracii playing the intro with a violin bow. Even the new song they played “Speed,” was a solid song, and shows that rock music is alive and well. Closing out the night was “Never Enough,” “The Ballad Of Jayne,” and “Rip and Tear.”

There wasn’t one moment throughout L.A. Guns’ set that slowed down. They kept the fire burning through each song, making a statement that the band is back and are going to rock you to the core. Phil Lewis sounded great. His vocals are top notch and his delivery was impeccable, especially when he would go for the high notes. Tracii Guns is one of the most underrated guitar players in the last 30 some odd years. His solo’s are tasteful and astonishing. The ability and talent he has is without question. It’s really great to see Tracii and Phil back together doing what they do best. The other guys in the band really bring out the best in those two. All night long you could tell they were enjoying playing.

What a great night not just for me as a fan of the band but, for rock music as well. Seeing a band like L.A. Guns still out there and kicking ass gives me hope that rock music will never die, contrary to what Gene “I’m in it for the money” Simmons says. L.A. Guns wasn’t the biggest band in the world but, they sure do write great songs and perform the hell out of them. Do yourself a favor and go see them when they come through your town. You’re in for quite a treat.

 

My Favorite L.A. Guns song-

L.A. Guns- Over The Edge:

 

 

Review By: Brian Lacy

Photo By: Alisa Lacy

Live Review: Superjoint at The Whisky

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Last night was one hell of a night. The last time I saw Superjoint was in 2004 at the Ventura Theater. I don’t really remember much about the show but, I do remember the sheer intensity that came pouring from the stage to the audience. Fast forward 13 years and that intensity is still pouring from the stage, only this time, it was a direct punch to the face. After being on a “hiatus” (I really hate that word) for the past 10 years, Superjoint returned with a sense of urgency and truth. Their performance this evening was beyond what I thought it would be and then some. But first let’s get to the other bands on the bill.

When I arrived at the venue and stepped inside, Child Bite was just taking the stage. I purposely didn’t check them out before seeing them, because I wanted to experience something I have never heard. Wow, was Child Bite superb. They had an energy and attitude about them, the permeated through the Whisky. Those that were there early got to witness a truly enigmatic performance. Singer Shawn Knight, is one hell of a frontman. He’s got the screams, cleans, and charisma that every frontman needs. Sean Clancy (Bass), Brandon Sczomak (Guitar) and Jeff Kraus (Drums) are tremendous and tight. The band is a very interesting group, as their influences range from Mr. Bungle/Faith No More to The Jesus Lizard, with a bit of Black Flag and a dash of Pantera. Child Bite are a band to look out for when they come through your town and steal the show.

The direct support for the evening came from Detroit, Michigan’s Battlecross. I have heard them before and Battlecross sure brought the energy. Ripping through their set, the metal was delivered. Their sound is a mix of thrash metal and a bit of metalcore. These guys know how to play and rock a stage. Battlecross are on the right track of flying the metal flag. I have to give them their due for the showmanship while playing. The guitar solos and bass solo really added a layer of enjoyment to their performance.

Now Superjoint was what the crowd was waiting for all night. Philip was looking in shape and ready to get back to doing what he does best, decimating stages and audiences. Joining Phil in Superjoint are long time guitarists Jimmy Bower and Kevin Bond and two newcomers Joey “Blue” Gonzalez on drums and Stephen Taylor on bass. Both Joey and Stephen are perfect fits for the band. From the moment the set began with the instrumental “Obilvious Maximus” you knew that Superjoint meant business. Ripping through songs from their first two albums and their new one, Caught Up In The Gears Of Applications, Phil and company have never been tighter. Not only that but, they genuinely looked like they were having a good time. Other songs like “Ozena,” “Waiting For The Turning Point,” “Fuck Your Enemy,” “The Alcoholik,” “It Takes No Guts,” and “Everyone Hates Everyone,” really stood out to me. The new songs played, sounded better live than on the album. Interestingly too, the evening’s show was being filmed for a future release. Needless to say, this was a special show. Superjoint was on fire and blazing. The crowd was into every minute of it. This was a truly great show not just for the band, but those of us who were there.

I also feel the need to mention something else. The Whisky, has really stepped up their game in regards to making the bands sound great. The new system they have in there, really makes all the difference. So, thank you to the Whisky for doing what was necessary. Next thing, is getting a credit card machine at the box office!

 

By: Brian Lacy

Live Review: Oathbreaker at The Roxy

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Do you remember that feeling you get when you hear and see a band that leaves you utterly in awe? I’m still in a daze from seeing Oathbreaker last night. I’ve been looking forward to seeing them live since I first heard their masterpiece Rheia, and they were every bit of what I expected and more. Seeing Oathbreaker live is poetry in motion. The true essence of artistry and personal connection seethes through every note played and sung/screamed. The purity of how the music and words come through live is beautiful. This show and band is a perfect example of how to leave a lasting mark.

Kicking off the night was Jaye Jayle. Conceived by Evan Patterson of Young Widows, this group set the night off with a stark mood that was drenched in blues and dreary vibes all the while creating a sense of calm before the storm. I’ll admit when I checked them out before seeing them live I wasn’t sure what to expect but, as they played through their set, I became more and more engrossed in what they were doing. Mixing blues with bits of folk and southern gospel, Jaye Jayle is quite the sight to see live. As good as they sound on their album, seeing them live really makes it stand out.

Direct support came from Khemmis. Their doom metal meets 70’s rock vibe was a wise choice for the evening. Dueling guitar solos and tight rhythms bellowed through the Roxy as Khemmis played through a chunk of songs from their highly touted new album Hunted. At times during their set I kept thinking that Khemmis is what Rush would sound like if they were metal and didn’t have the synths. With that in mind, Khemmis delivered an epic set that left the audience lining up by their merch spot after they played.

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The main event of the evening though was Oathbreaker. To say that I’m totally enthralled by this band is an understatement. There is really something special about Oathbreaker. I haven’t been this excited by a new band in a long time. From the moment they started their set with “10:56/Second Son of R,” it was on. Unrelenting and beyond powerful, Caro Tanghe, Gilles Demolder, Lennart Bossu, and Wim Coppers delivered one of the most sonically menacing yet crisp sets I’ve seen in a long time. Other songs like “Being Able To Feel Nothing,” “Immortals,” “Needles In Your Skin,” “Where I Live,” and Where I Leave” each left their own mark. As I mentioned in the beginning of this review, Oathbreaker live is poetry in motion. Instead of the crowd stirring up a pit, everyone in attendance was fully engrossed in what the band was doing on stage. The translation from record to live is seamless and smooth and I’d even go as far as saying that their live sound is even more astounding than their album. Each song played seemed to really conjure up the sense of passion and belief from their band as they delivered their soul to you.

Seeing a band like Oathbreaker is a great reminder that music is art. And when you truly believe in what you are doing, the chances of making something substantial and great is even higher. My faith in music is alive and well because of Oathbreaker. I haven’t left a show in a while feeling this good and inspired. I truly hope that people recognize all the talent and art that Oathbreaker has to offer. They deserve to be held in the highest regards. Go check them out if they are in your area. You won’t be disappointed in the least.

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Review By: Brian Lacy

Photos By: Cam Smith https://camsmithphoto.com

Live Review: Code Orange & Youth Code

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I’ll admit, these days to get me to go to a show I have to be really into a band or at least extremely intrigued. Saturday night fell into the latter category. Code Orange is a band that has been getting bigger and more acclaim over the past year. They’ve been on tour with Deftones and will be on the upcoming Killswitch Engage/Anthrax tour. Their new album Forever is quite an interesting mesh of hardcore, industrial and some other genres. So naturally, my curiosity was peaked. Also playing this evening was Youth Code. Their blend of industrial beats, mixed with other electronic elements and harsh hardcore/thrash vocals, makes them a very wise choice for this tour.

Opening the night was two local bands Momentum and Disgrace. Both bands brought a strong energy to set the mood of the night. Maybe it’s just me, and over the years my tastes have changed but honestly, those two bands, while they are good at what they do, just didn’t leave a lasting mark on me.

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When Youth Code took the stage and their entrance music began, you knew you were in for something. Only a two piece, frontwoman/singer Sara Taylor and Ryan George on the synths/sampler and backup vocals, delivered a show stealing performance. The amount of energy mixed with their devotion to their craft was amplified as each song was played. There was a genuine amount of sheer excitement to their set. Personally, I was inspired at the end of their set. Sara and Ryan are masters at what they do. I can honestly tell you that Youth Code puts a majority of those EDM DJ’s (or whatever you call them) to shame. I can’t wait to see them again. Their 2016 album Commitment To Complications is a tour de force.

Headlining the night was Code Orange. As they took the stage, the crowd of many different ages began to assemble closer and closer. The younger kids in the audience were super pumped. As usual I was close enough to feel the vibe but far enough away to keep from getting hit by those kids that do their karate dance moves. On a total side note, that really has to stop. That’s not how you mosh. Kids today have no idea how to properly pit/mosh. But that’s for another day and topic. As Code Orange pummeled through their set a few things came across my mind. The first is, I’m really not sure they know what kind of band they want to be. They have so many influences in their music, that live it seems to get lost in translation. I’ve been to a slew of hardcore shows in my years, and there just seems like something is out of place. The bands drummer and main singer Jami,  has a growling/guttural scream, but I think he should pick either being the drummer or the singer. Jami Morgan is a talented hardcore drummer, but with pulling double duty live, it misses a step. The real bright spot of the band is guitarist Reba Meyers. She slays on her instrument and has the vocal ability to scream and sing. Certain songs played like “Bleeding In The Blur” and “Spy” were outstanding. I really dig these songs. It shows growth and maturity in their playing and ability to write. Other songs played that stood out were “Slowburn,” “My World,” “Forever,” and “The New Reality.”

All in all, this was a very interesting night, and Youth Code were outstanding. I’d really like to see them on a headlining tour in a dark small club with some crazy creepy visuals to accompany them. Code Orange with time, has the intensity to become a really solid heavy band. Once they figure out who they are as a band, they are going to be quite a force to be reckoned with.

 

Review and Photos By: Brian Lacy