The night opened with Solemn Promise, a local hardcore band. Most of the band are fairly static as they play, but Dan Hodgkins on vocals never stands still for more than a second or two. The band tell the crowd that the songs they’re playing tonight are all from their debut EP which is available to download for free. It’s a pretty good set although it does suffer by the lack of a decent crowd to add a bit more energy and atmosphere. The 25 or so people in the audience seemed to enjoy it but did stay a fair way back from the front, so weren’t over-excited.
Next up was Thera. An Alaskan band they were invited on the tour by 36 Crazyfists, and right from the start it’s clear they are a step up in quality from Solemn Promise. They have two singers – one male and one female. As well as singing, both play instruments (she plays the keyboards while he plays guitar). They follow the fairly standard formula for bands with male and female singers – clean female vocals with growling or shouting style male vocals. The twin guitar sound plus keyboards gives them a great full sound. By this time the crowd had grown a fair amount and they certainly seemed to enjoy Thera. The band all move around the stage and put in a very enrgetic performance makign them great to watch as well as listen to. For me they were the surprise find of the night so I headed to the merch stand after their set to get their CD, and I noticed a number of others doing the same, so they obviously made some new fans tonight, and deservedly so. Definitely a band worth a listen – www.facebook.com/wearethera
Next up were Armed For Apocalypse, a Californian metal band. Again they have two guitarists for that heavy sound, but only one singer (male). They’re very heavy and hardly ever stop headbanging as they blast through a very good set. They’ve got a new album out so play some of the material from that album tonight. They do a great job of engaging the crowd and getting them to come to the front of the venue, and were definitely well worth watching.
Finally came tonights headliners – the awesome 36 Crazyfists. By now the venue was pretty busy so they took to the stage in front of a good large crowd. Although their new album won’t be out till sometime early next year, tonight they treat the fans to three new songs from the album – “Sorrow Sings”, “Also am I” and “Time and trauma”. Playing songs that fans have never heard before is always a gamble – I’ve seen audiences stand there and just listen, and equally I’ve seen them go nuts when hearing songs for the first time. Happily tonight the audience really enjoy the new material and give it a great reception. Based on this then the new album sounds like it’s going to be great.
36 Crazyfists are great to watch live – they’re always moving and going crazy as they play, and Brock on vocals towers over the crowd as he stands on the monitors and bellows out the vocals. The band manage to get a circle pit going in the crowd for a while although in general the crowd are content to stand and headbang.
A great end to a great night of music.