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