This was such an amazing show, I hardly know where to begin! We came early (as usual) to the event, to be as close to the first in line as possible for a general admission show, and our first time at the historic Hawthorne Theatre. While hanging out on the corner of Hawthorne and 39th Avenue (aka Cesar Chavez Blvd), dodging Tri-Met buses, bicyclists on elevated bikes (how do they get on those things?!) and pedestrians, we had a chance to chat with other folks who showed up to get front-row spots (forget seats – the Hawthorne doesn’t have chairs!) which is all part of the event itself. Nevertheless, by the time we got in (doors opened promptly at 7:00) and got situated at a standing table in the 21+ area for a relatively clear shot of the stage), we were ready to be pummeled – and we were!
As I had told photographer Jeanice Marvel before the show, this would be an event of epic awfulness, or of epic awesomeness – I’ll let you decide! As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words… so I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves (with some editorial comments of course!)
American Bastard – Bob Merritt — Vocals/Guitar, Lee Lovell — Bass Guitar/Vocals, Dane Haase — Drums/Vocals, Brandon Cook –– Lead Guitar
While we only expected four bands playing, we were in for a treat – a premier showing of a Portland-based band opened. These guys gave us some serious a$$-kicking hard rock. The house sound was awesome for all of the bands playing tonight, and for the opening set it was no exception which is unusual, in and of itself – usually it takes a few minutes for the sound man to get everything all squared up but not in this case. We loved this band, with their Ozzy-like sound and persona, everything was tight and hot (like we like it!) – loved when Dane flipped his sticks, I couldn’t help but giggle – sorry! but it was cool! and Bob did an excellent job of making a connection with the audience. The set was entirely too short for this band, which is one of the “local” groups competing to play in the 2011 PDX “Save The Rock” Native Noize’ Rock Fest – check them out here: http://www.facebook.com/Americanbastard – and if you like what you hear, vote them in to play with Korn (one of our faves), Chevelle (another of our personal faves) and more here: http://www.pdxrockfest.com/bob/#listing
Heart-Set Self Destruct – Dave (Vocals/Guitar), Chris (Guitar), Dan (Bass Guitar) , Steve (Drums)
This Chicago band had some serious energy (love Dave’s skunk-tail!) on stage, and yet more amazing thrash metal, especially Steve’s use of the double-kick on the bass drums. Dave’s vocals are everywhere from a whisper to screamo (which actually works for them), and Dan’s bass is a droning magnet of power with Chris cutting the high-end on guitar. Reminds me a lot of a cross between Staind and Slipknot – and on stage? Dan is seriously dangerous, he wields his axe like the weapon it was meant to be! Jeanice was reminded of My Chemical Romance as well. Still too short a set, but fun!
Anew Revolution – Joey Duenas (lead vocals), Frank Salvaggio (bass), Robert Urbani (drums), Jay Frederick (guitar)
Pulling bands from all spectrums and sections, this is an Austin band who is touring on the current Under the Skins of Angels tour – and we completely fell in love with them. These guys f**king rock, bringing in the crowd with in-your-face, head-banging music that leaves no soul unturned. Joey does killer vocals, and Jay absolutely rips with Frank on guitars, with Jay pounding on the drums. An awesome set – we loved it! Find them here: http://www.facebook.com/anewrevolution
Saliva: Josey Scott – vocals, Wayne Swinny – guitar, Dave Novotny – bass, Paul Crosby – drums, percussion
Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, anyone who has followed alternative/hard rock for the past couple of decades knows these guys. What was completely amazing was they not only have not lost their edge, they have improved it. How can you say anything about legends? They did everything right – everything was tight (kudos to the house sound again – you could hear everything crystal clear). Think thrash R&B rock and you might have an inkling – they were just astounding. Their cover of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” of course brought the house down, and closing with favorite “Always” followed by their new “Limousines” was perfection. With their new album released, “Under Your Skin”: http://underyourskin.saliva.com/, Saliva isn’t making a comeback – they are making sure you know they are HERE!
FILTER – Richard Patrick – lead vocals, guitar; Mika Fineo – drums, percussion; Rob Patterson – guitar; Phil Buckman – bass
We were all so dead tired by the time they hit the stage at nearly 11:30pm on a Wednesday, we were about to drop where we stood. But Richard wouldn’t let us – he literally challenged us, stating “I know you’re tired – so are we!” But he wouldn’t let us get away with it anymore than he would let himself. These guys absolutely rocked the house down (is it still standing???) – the musicianship was awesome – Mika’s drums were amazing, Richard’s vocals are still perfect. Rob’s guitars were totally tight with Phil’s bass, and their energy was off the scale! Was Filter always thrash metal? Who knows (or cares)? They are now and they are amazing! I love how Richard’s vocals blend with the lead guitar at the end of the verses in particular.
And I don’t think Richard got a chance to read the Hawthorne’s multiple signs stating emphatically that there would be NO CROWD SURFING… but we caught him here!!
Their covers of ZZ Top’s “Gimme All Your Lovin” and Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” were fun, but of course we were blown away when they did “Hey Man (Nice Shot)” and as they closed with “Take A Picture” it was…yeah, it was epic. You have to see it for yourself (although I think you still had to be there to get the full effect). Richard seems… not brittle exactly, but sharp-edged and defined… Like all the fluff and stuff has been burned off, and all that is left is what is at his core. And then he came down to the merchant table to personally meet and greet anyone and everyone who wanted to… absolutely amazing! Find them here (of course) http://officialfilter.com/