I knew we were gonna be pummeled but just could not resist the opportunity to follow Nancy Glass’ advice (see her Night on the Town column dated July 30, 2011: http://eugenedailynews.com/2011/07/30/night-on-the-town-16/) and see two of Eugene’s finest metal bands lined up with two bands from Roseburg to make a seriously hard freaking rock show for a Saturday night. It was all that – we had an awesome time, and even got a chance to sneak in a few surprises to boot!
Dead Horizon (Ryan Gould-vocals; Jake Logsdon-drums; Rosco Perkins-bass; Paul Radon-guitar; Brandon Chapman-guitar)
So, remembering that neither photographer Jeanice nor myself find ourselves seriously hard-core screamo fans (no apologies here!), we decided to focus primarily on the musicianship for this Roseburg-based band. And we were definitely not disappointed – this is a very tight band, with a lot of energy and good stage presence. Front man Ryan knows how to pull the crowd in, Shephard pounds on drums (without a shirt on which was a different kind of distraction!) along with Rosco’s ripping bass, and both Brandon’s and Paul’s guitars are hard-driving solid walls of screaming sound. They did a great job of mixing up the music between the guitars, and it was so nice to see Rosco not playing the typical hide-n-seek bass player role – he was front and center, directing traffic alongside Ryan! Ryan’s vocals did include some spoken/sung parts which were nice when they happened alongside Brandon’s occasional vocal contributions. Their timing was perfect throughout the set which was also really nice – an excellent set by a great band! Find them here: http://www.myspace.com/thedeadhorizon; http://www.reverbnation.com/thedeadhorizon; http://www.facebook.com/thedeadhorizon?
Gladhander (Mitchell Chamberlain – vocals/guitar; Kasey Waite – drums; David Ghelfi – bass)
The last time I saw these guys was during the 2011 Last Band Standing competition, and getting a chance to catch up with Mitch after the set tonight was awesome (thanks Mitch!!). For a trio, these guys have a much bigger sound than the sum of their parts. Dave’s bass snaps and pops, and Mitch’s guitar work is always a treat, with silky-smooth transitions from running rhythm guitar backgrounds while carrying the lead vocals to killer lead guitar riffs. Kasey’s drumming is still flawless, using the double-pedal bass kick to full effect and keeping the different time signatures flowing smoothly within the songs. I especially liked the two song medley (“Spit” which transitioned into “Fine”). Always a pleasure to see these guys again, find them here: http://www.facebook.com/gladhandermusic?; http://www.reverbnation.com/gladhander; http://gladhandermusic.com
Lidless Eye (Matt Webber/vocals), Jay Stanturf /rhythm guitar, Brian Auer/lead guitar, Tony Marin /drums, Nick Kirby/bass
With screamo lyrics by front-man Matt that I could understand mixed with straight vocals, I actually enjoyed this hard-core set from the second Roseburg band of the evening. They have an excellent, tight sound, with Jay and Brian’s guitars blending seamlessly, Nick’s bass in-your-face pounding, and Tony’s drumming was just spectacular. Not to mention Matt’s serious energy (the pictures show nothing – it was just impossible to catch him standing still!) combined with this solid wall of sound – I kept saying “Wow!” over and over (to Jeanice’s annoyance after awhile!). Since these guys are based out of Roseburg, I didn’t do a lot of research on them prior to the show. It wasn’t until Jay popped a string right after the second song and Matt asked Brian to do a guest guitar solo that I realized there was more here than I first realized – for that you have to backtrack five years, when I lived for a year in Roseburg and got to know the most amazing cover band that has ever existed called “Silent Witness” (which I think has since disbanded). They still have a video floating around (although someone completely over-produced it after the fact) called “Technical Difficulties” where you can see the lead guitarist playing the most amazing guitar solo… well, it used to be the most amazing guitar solo, until I heard Brian tonight. But it was Matt’s use of the phrase that clued me in – he kept repeating, “we are experiencing some minor technical difficulties…” and then would glance at Brian. After the second time he did that, I took a hard look at Brian – and realized it was the SAME guitarist from my favorite Roseburg cover band! What he did tonight was so astounding (and it is probably just normal messing around for him) – I’m not sure who the composer is and title of the piece, but I can recognize classical music (especially piano) when I hear it, and the guitar solo Brian performed sounded like nothing I’ve ever heard before – a freaking harpsichord on steriods!! Simply amazing, he is absolutely one of the most gifted guitarists I have ever seen, and of course we chatted really briefly after their set while they were tearing down. Finally, you had to see Matt during the last song when he decided (with a cordless mic) to take a tour through the club while singing the vocals and ran out the door to the street, then back in and out on the floor with the crowd just screaming… Who cares what the people outside the club thought – it was just awesome!! Do NOT be surprised when these guys go national – I suspect that is just a matter of time. Find them here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lidless-Eye-Band/189361904415097?; www.reverbnation.com/lidlesseyemusic
Vial Experiment (Kevlar/ guitar-vocals; Gary Hutchings/lead guitar, Tony Hahne/bass; Linn Wheeler/drums)
It was so late by the time these guys hit the stage (2am) that their set was cut short, but I’m glad we stayed to catch what we could from them! First, I really like their “grunge” drone sound, and Kevlar’s vocals that mix screamo with regular lyrics. Their sound reminds me like a cross between Pink Floyd and Rush, but gone completely metal – Gary’s guitar drives freaking hard with Kev running alongside him, and Tony’s bass work is excellent. Linn’s drums were awesome as well, timing dead on and without a flaw. The lead vocal mic could have used a little less reverb, but otherwise it was a great set. Being a huge AIC fan, I loved their cover of “Junkhead” with their own unique twist, turning this hard rock song into screamo-metal but it worked! I’ll be looking forward to seeing them again for a full set. Find them here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/vialexperiment/103480626362242?; http://www.reverbnation.com/vialexperiment
What can I say about John Henry’s? It felt like coming home (we spent ten successive weeks there covering the 2011 Last Band Standing competition), with Brooklyn Jay behind the bar pouring the baddest-a$$ drinks in town – always ready with a joke, snarl, or a grin (sometimes all three at once!). The club is creepy, with cobwebs hanging from the rafters (untenanted as far as I can tell) that apparently are leftover from some previous Halloween party, your basic black and red flat finish paint for decor, a spacious black and white tile dance floor, and a killer house sound system – we just love the place! Definitely one of my absolute fave clubs for live entertainment – they have fun stuff happening every night of the week so you have zero excuse for sitting on the couch bemoaning the fact that your social calendar is empty on any given day… Check out their Facebook page for regular and special events and be sure to “friend” them or you’ll seriously miss out!