Live Review

Live Review: Onesidezero, Minus Knives, Antenna The End, Satellite Citi & Heavy Machinery at The Viper Room

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Saturday night was one of “those” nights, where it was just meant to be. The perfect venue, a solid bill from beginning to end and an audience that was full of energy and packed the house. Since their return, Onesidezero has been back with a vengeance. The few shows they’ve played have all been something to remember but, this one, this is the one that had it all and really cemented their return.

Opening the night and setting the tone was the great Minus Knives. I’ve been really impressed with this band. They’ve got the right amount of heavy and melody to compliment their sound. Playing songs like “Cope,” “Shallow & Grave,” “Seconds Past,” and “Splntr,” it was evident that the guys in Minus Knives came out with purpose to rock the house and destroy. Singer Brandon Espinoza, was in control of the audience and delivered a vocal performance that was seething with passion and determination. Bassist Kevin Lewis held down the low end with extreme precision and a sense of reckless abandon that was invigorating. Guitarist Bill Schultz got to show off his guitar chops and nailed it each and every song. Drummer Greg Wroblewski was in the pocket the whole show and his thunderous drums along with Kevin’s low end, created one hell of a pulse inside The Viper Room. I highly recommend you checking them out live and via however you listen to music these days. Minus Knives were the perfect band to get things going this evening.

Next up was Heavy Machinery. These guys continued to bring the energy that Minus Knives did. They brought a different flair to the night injecting a bit of funk into their music along with some cool prog influence to compliment their sound. You could tell by watching them, that they are super into their music and believe in it too.

After them was Satellite Citi. This band brought a really cool vibe to the night. Their spacey prog rock sound was perfect for the evening and time slot. Led by drummer/vocalist Anna Gevorkian  and guitarist/vocalist Shaunt Sulahian, they delivered a rocking set that kept the crowd engaged and dancing.

Antenna The End was on right before Onesidezero and they too delivered a set that was full of energy and rock. As Satellite Citi did, they had the crowd dancing a bit. During their set my friend and I were trying to figure out who they reminded us of and we came to the conclusion that if you mixed System Of A Down and Coheed and Cambria, you’d get Antenna The End.

The main event of the evening though was Onesidezero. As soon as the stage curtains opened, the roaring crowds attention was drawn straight to the stage and then it hit. Opening their set with a brand new song called “Preacher” everyone in attendance was immediately enthralled by the song. It’s one of those songs that when it hits, you know it’s Onesidezero. Throughout their set when the classic songs like “Tapwater,” “Shed The Skin,” “Instead Laugh,” “Holding Cell,” and “Eight” were played,  the audience was singing louder than the band. A couple other new songs were played as well. I have to say, when their new album comes out in the new year, these new songs are going to become instant fan favorites as well as be a very welcome sound to those that are missing great rock music with substance. Another highlight of the night was the inclusion of some really cool older songs that were never released but the audience knew like “U4IA,” Brocwurst” and “Chasing The Sun.” The latter of which will be included on the re-release of the bands self titled album (that never got the due it deserved). Closing out the night with the song “New World Order” was perfect. The lyrics to that song resonate ever so much to today’s climate and the crowd’s energy was so overwhelming that the microphone was passed into the audience to sing it. The band itself was absolutely on fire too. Singer/guitarist Jasan Radford was a monster this evening. His vocal delivery was top notch and the spirited audience only fueled his performance more and more as the set went on. So much so that during “Eight” the crowd was basically calling for him to jump off the stage and really get in the nitty gritty with the crowd. Guitarist Levon Sultanian is an absolute beast on guitar. He was playing with so much gusto that I swear I saw smoke coming off his fingers. Bassist Cello Dias really brought a roaring sound to the low end and kept that rhythm rocking throughout the night. I’d also like to mention that the backing vocals of both Levon and Cello were superb and are often overlooked. Drummer Michael Tarabotto really hammered his drums with rigor and brought it all together.

What a great evening all around. Every band on the bill brought something different and it all worked. I do have to say though that besides Onesidezero, Minus Knives were my other favorite band of the night. Nights and shows like this need to happen more in the area. This show was very reminiscent of what the Sunset strip used to be like. It felt alive through the entire night and that is something that the area is in need of. I’ve mentioned this before but, it’s true, having a band like Onesidezero back is very welcoming and actually refreshing. Knowing that they still believe in what they do, just shows that the power of music and especially rock music is alive and well.
Review By: Brian Lacy

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Live Review: The Cult at Greek Theatre

 

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There are always certain bands that when they release new music or come through town I get excited about. The Cult is one of those bands. Ever since I was a little kid and heard “Fire Woman” back in 1987, I’ve been hooked. So, when it was announced that The Cult would be celebrating the 30 year anniversary of the album that got me into them, Sonic Temple, I knew that I had to be there.

Surrounded by the clear skies on a perfect Southern California evening, tucked in the hills at the legendary Greek Theater, The Cult took the stage at 9pm and rocked the house for the next 90 mins. The opening notes of “Sun King” rang through ever so brightly and the roar of the crowd was invigorating as the band kept the rock going with songs like “New York City,” “Automatic Blues,” “American Horse,” “Soul Asylum,” and “Sweet Soul Sister.” I have to say one of the highlights of the night for me was when they played my favorite song off Sonic Temple, “Edie (Ciao Baby).” When they played that, I got chills and was singing at the top of my lungs. What a great song. “Fire Woman” was the last part of the Sonic Temple portion of the show. When they played that, the crowd rose to their feet, danced and sang along like it was 1987 all over again. It was quite a sight to see. For the second part of their set, they stuck to older material along with a couple songs “Rise” and “American Gothic” from their very great 2001 comeback album, Beyond Good and Evil. Even “Spiritwalker” from the bands debut album, Dreamtime was played and it sounded like great and fresh, even with it being almost 40 years old. Of course when “She Sells Sanctuary” was played the crowd again was in full force. Their encore set was badass as well. “Wild Flower,” “Rain,” and “Love Removal Machine” sounded amazing. Ian still has the mystical rock star swagger he’s had since the beginning. You could tell he was feeding off the energy and really giving it his all the whole show. Billy Duffy was ripping it up on his guitar and wailed out on some pretty sweet solos. When it was all over, I really wished they kept playing for at least another hour.

Opening the night was Vowws, a band that should be on everyone’s radar. Their short yet sweet set was superb. They had the right energy and songs to kick off the show. Those that were there early enough to witness this great band were truly in luck. This two piece band played and sounded like they have a full band accompanying them. The bands dreamy synthpop sound mixed with the perfect gothic/industrial undertones, makes Vowws a perfect band for today’s musical climate.  I can’t wait to see them in a small club but, for my first experience seeing them, their performance was understated and quite interesting to watch as they were drenched in sunlight.

Also performing this evening was Zola Jesus and Prayers. Zola Jesus was interesting but, really didn’t do anything for me. I could sense that this wasn’t the right setting to see a band like this. You can tell that there is something more to this band but it needs the right place and vibe to really come to life. Prayers on the other hand… maybe it’s because I’m older and don’t get it or maybe it really wasn’t good. Either way, they didn’t really do anything for me. After they were done I told my friend I was with that Vowws should have been at that spot. Granted this is just my opinion, and I saw a lot of people there that were psyched on Prayers but, for me, that’s a big no.

All in all though it was a great night. The Cult are still badasses. Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy are one of the best songwriting tandems. If you haven’t checked out their last couple albums, Choice Of Weapon and Hidden City, you are missing out. Those are 2 of the best rock albums in the last 10 years. I’d also like to acknowledge the fact that John Tempesta has been killing it behind the drums for The Cult. He’s such a great and versatile drummer and a great addition to The Cult’s sound. If you haven’t check out the Testament album, Low, and you’ll really get to hear how good of a drummer John is. Also Damon Fox on keys and backing vocals along with Grant Fitzpatrick on bass and backing vocals as well, really compliment Ian, Billy and John perfectly. Do yourself a favor when The Cult comes through your town and go see them. You’ll for sure have a great rocking time.

The Cult Setlist:

01) Sun King
02) New York City
03) Automatic Blues
04) Sweet Soul Sister
05) American Horse
06) Soul Asylum
07) Edie (Ciao Baby)
08) Fire Woman
09) Rise
10) American Gothic
11) Spiritwalker
12) The Phoenix
13) She Sells Sanctuary

Encore:

14) Wild Flower
15) Rain
16) Love Removal Machine

Live Review: Birds In Row at Bootleg Theater

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When I first heard Birds In Row’s new album, We Already Lost The World, I knew I had to go see them live. There is this electric energy about this record and a sense of urgency to it that really was compelling. It’s like that book you’re reading and can’t put down. So, the moment I saw they announced a Los Angeles date, I was going to have to be there.

Around 9:15 on a cool May evening, the crowd moved in closer to the stage, the three members of Birds In Row took the stage and then an ferocious explosion occurred. For the next 50 minutes, the intensity that radiated from the stage to the audience was astounding. Blasting through their album We Already Lost The World with songs like, “We Count So We Don’t Have To Listen,” “We vs Us,” “15-38,” “I Don’t Dance,” “Love Is Political,” “Remember Us Better Than We Are,” as well as “O’Dear,” and  “You Me & The Violence,” showed that the punk spirit they inhabit is alive and well. These songs are more than just songs, they are anthems. This wasn’t just a show, it was an exercising of anger and frustration and a coming together of like minded people. Members B (guitar/vocals), Q (bass/vocals), and T (drums) are beyond tight and together as a band. They played off each others energy and absolutely crushed. As I mentioned above, the sense of urgency that they play with comes through in their performance. The songs live have a different vibe and really come to life.

 
Birds In Row are the type of band that take a chance and create something that is full of vigor and vision. The bands sound definitely blurs the lines of punk and hardcore but has a helping of melody to balance the aggression. They are definitely one of those bands that when they come through your town, you should run and go see. This performance last night is in the top 3 of the shows I’ve been to this year. I can’t wait for them to come back.

 

Review By: Brian Lacy

Birds In Row- We Already Lost The World:

Live Review: Ho99o9

I’m sure you’ve all had this thought before. You hear an album and it really impresses you and then you start to wonder how they are live. Will they be able to pull this off live? Will it live up to the feeling you got when you first heard the album? Well, let me tell you, if you’re like me and you listened to Ho99o9 and thought those things, you will absolutely 100% not be disappointed when you see them live. As I watched the crowd explode into a frenzy and the band utterly decimate the small venue, I knew from the first minute in, that Ho99o9 are without a doubt, the real deal.

 

At a little after 10pm, the lights went down and projections appeared on the brick wall behind the stage, then 3 figures appeared on stage. From that point, it was a burst of chaos and excitement. Eaddy and TheOGM owned that stage from the get go along with drummer Brandon Pertzborn. The amount of energy radiating off that stage was reminiscent of my time going to see punk and hardcore shows in small/tight venues. Over the course of an hour, Ho99o9 blazed through songs from their debut album United States of Horror as well as their Cyber Cop EP. Songs like “War Is Hell,” “Street Power,” “Money Machine,” “Face Tatt,” “Knuckle Up,” “United States of Horror,” and “Mega City Nine” were commanding and performed with a take no prisoners approach. Their unique blend of hip-hop, industrial and punk rock is pummeling and vigorous while at the same time full of piss and gasoline.

 

I’ve seen a lot of shows in my life (and I mean A LOT), and this was one of those shows that will be replaying in my head for days, weeks and months to come. Ho99o9 are taking over and you should prepare accordingly. If they are on the bill and playing early, do yourself a favor and get there to see them. They will also be the band that steals the show from whoever they are playing with. I can’t wait to see what they do next and where they go musically. As I said above, Ho99o9 are the real deal and they should be on your radar.

 

Review and Photos By: Brian Lacy

(I was too into the show to really take many pictures)

 

Live Review: Daughters, Cult Leader & Hide at The Regent Theater

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Awestruck is a word that comes to mind when describing what I witnessed the other night after seeing Daughters live. The plethora of adjectives to describe the sheer amount of awe is astounding. From the start of the show with Hide, to Cult Leader and then Daughters, there was magic in the room this evening, thats for sure. Every band on the bill brought something interesting and explosive to this evening. I’m still trying to piece together the right words to explain this amazing show.

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Hide was the first group to take the stage. The industrial goth group really knew how to set a tone for what was to come. Their short set was one of those that got you up and paying attention. The beats ruminating from the stage and the performance from singer Heather Gabel was quite stunning as she thrashed around to the music. The dramatic lights and strobes made the beats pulsate from the ground up. They definintely had the crowd building into a frenzy as they played.

 

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Next up was the mighty Cult Leader. I’ve now had the pleasure of seeing them four times now and they have fast become one of my favorite bands to see live. Also I’d like to mention that this is the second time I’ve seen them at the Regent and there is something about this stage and the band that are meant to be. Riding high off their most recent album, A Patient Man, Cult Leader tore the audience up with their blend of heaviness and poetry in motion. There is something about this band that is truly hypnotic. Every time I see them I get more and more into it as the set goes on. The use of just a red light as they play along with the driving force of the music and vocals is the perfect encompassing of controlled chaos. Their set included songs “I Am Healed,” “Great I Am,” and “Sorrow” as well as epic numbers like “To Achyls” and “The Broken Right Hand Of God.” It was a perfect set list for anyone that’s a fan of the band or if this was your introduction. I also have to note that even this performance was the best I’ve seen of theirs. I was at a show of theirs a couple months back that I thought was the best but, this one just blew me away even more. What a way to set the stage for what was to come next.

 

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Daughters took the stage to a roaring ovation and then unleashed a fury that I have been wanting to see for years. I have been a fan of the band for some time but, never got to see them live until now and it was worth waiting for and in no way did they disappoint. Their set contained a slew of songs from their new album (and first in 8 years) You Won’t Get What You Want, as well as others from Hell Songs, and their self titled album. Watching them on stage you wouldn’t ever think that they haven’t been a band for the past 8 years. Seeing them tear through songs like “The Reason They Hate Me,” “Satan In The Wait” “Our Queen (One Is Many, We Are One),” “Long Road No Turns,” “Less Sex,” “The Hit,” “Recorded Inside A Pyramid,” and “Ocean Song” was beyond words. The crowd was engaged from the very first note. While surveying the audience there wasn’t a still body in my line of sight. Getting to be right in the middle of the chaos and experiencing danger being restored in rock music was a joy to be around. Daughters are more than just a “heavy” band, they are artistic and poetic, thus providing a package of true substance. Having them back is a real treat. I truly hope they continue on and keep delivering inspired music and words.

 

Daughters Set List:

01) The Reason They Hate Me
02) The Lords Song
03) Satan In The Wait
04) The Dead Singer
05) Recorded Inside A Pyramid
06) Our Queens (One Is Many, Many Are One)
07) Long Road, No Turns
08) Daughters Spelled Wrong
09) Less Sex
10) The Hit
11) The Virgin
12) Guest House
13) Daughter
14) Ocean Song

Cult Leader Set List:
01) I Am Healed
02) Curse Of Satisfaction
03) Isolation In The Land Of Milk & Honey
04) To Achlys
05) Great I Am
06) Sympathetic
07) The Broken Right Hand Of God

More Cult Leader Shots:

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More Daughters Shots:
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Review and Photos By: Brian Lacy
(Side Note: I didn’t take many pictures because I was too into the show.)

Live Review: Onesidezero and Slant at Whisky A Go Go

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It’s always fun when bands you grew up with return to play the venues you once saw them at. Over the many, many years of going to concerts, there is still something fun about heading out to the Sunset Strip and seeing a show. Sure there’s a bit of a nostalgia factor and all the history that is there but, there is something else about seeing bands you really dig at places like the Whisky, Viper Room and Roxy. The other evening, I got to see Onesidezero rock the Whisky stage for the first time in a very long time and it definitely brought back many great memories of seeing them there so many times before.

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During this evening there were two additional bands that I saw that left a mark on my mind. The first band that intrigued me was Hyvmine. This four piece band reminded me of a proggy version of Sevendust with Meshuggah breakdowns. They were quite a good live band. Their set was full of great riffs and vocals that were soulful and melodic. I wasn’t familiar with the band before this evening and I’m most certainly interested to see where they go with their style of rock. Definitely give them a listen.

 

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The direct support for Onesidezero this evening was the band Slant. This band I’ve heard of and checked out before and was quite interested to check them out. Over the course of the last year or so, they have been building quite the fan base and leaving their mark on the scene. Slant’s set was quite rockin. They have a very cool alternative rock side to them with the right amount of “heavy” to accompany them. Something else that stood out about Slant is their positive outlook in their words. It’s not something you notice right off the bat but, as you listen you really start to hear it. They know how to put on a show and their excitement for playing live shows. I will say though, they really need to not play their cover of U2’s “With or Without You.” Perhaps it’s just me (and I’m pretty sick of bands playing covers) but, it just didn’t do anything for me and it was generic at best but, minus that song, they had quite a good set.

 

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Onesidezero took the stage later than scheduled but, those that were there to see them, like myself, made sure to stay. Since Oneside returned to the stage at the end of 2018, it’s been quite a welcome return. Looking around at the crowd as they played, I saw many familiar faces from over the years and it was quite cool to reconnect with a bunch of older fans like myself. Oneside’s set consisted of gems like “New World Order,” “A Point In Time,” “Instead Laugh,” “Eight,” “Carry Your Gun” and he very awesome “Sleep.” Also played was the soon to be released “Chasing the Sun,” as song that has been around for a bit in the bands history but never got the proper treatment and their new song “Eleven” which is one hell of a good song.

 

Having a band like Onesidezero back is genuinely a welcome return. They have always had great songs, and are still making great tunes. Plus it doesn’t hurt that they are nice guys too. The whole evening was a great night for rock music and rock music in Los Angeles. Bringing together bands like Slant and Hyvmine to accompany Onesidezero was the right choice. All three of these bands are definitely worth the time to check out and see live. You won’t be disappointed that you did! Also on a side note, the whisky seems to have updated their lights and sound equipment, making for a very enjoyable listening and visual experience!

 

Review and Photos By: Brian Lacy

Live Review: Minus Knives at The Viper Room

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Over the last couple of years while doing Audioeclectica, I’ve been able to see and meet some really great bands. And over time I’ve been able to watch these bands grow and continue to get better and better. A while back I was informed about a new band that was forming with members of previous bands I really dug, and my curiosity was most certainly raised. Fast forward a couple months and that band would become Minus Knives. 

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Last night I had the pleasure of checking out Minus Knives live at The Viper Room and it was quite a gem. For it being only their second show, they really played with a sense of vigor and gusto along with an unrivaled belief and passion for the music they have created. Playing songs off their debut self titled album, heir 30ish minute set was chock full of hard hitting melodic riffs, soaring vocals and rhythms that pummeled all the while being bright and crisp. Songs like “Disfigurines,” “Seconds Past,” “Origin Of Fracture,” “Splntr” along with new song “Cope” were stellar and really showed what a great songwriting band Minus Knives is.

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Each member of this band brings something unique to the table in terms of their styles. Singer Brandon Espinoza sounded great live. He’s got this really cool voice that is a little similar to that of Daryl of Glassjaw mixed with a little Chino from Deftones in the Around The Fur era. Guitarist Bill Schultz was dialed in with the riffs and melody. Bassist Kevin Lewis really let it all out on stage while making sure the low end was steady and punishing. Drummer Greg Wroblewski was in time and made sure those fills were tasty.

 

Minus Knives are definitely a band to be on the look out for. They have the songs and live show that will leave you wanting more. Rock is not dead and never will be as long as bands like Minus Knives are delivering the rock!

 
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Review By: Brian Lacy
Photos by: Joshua Guesford (@gues_vita)