Aug. 16th Was another satisfying night at the Viper Room, for Metal Assault‘s Warchief, Motorbäbe, Ironaut and Crowned by Fire show. Four crazy-talented bands, all highlighting many of the elements that make metal great.
Opening the night was the hearty depth of Warchief, featuring a whirlwind of seismic bass, super-shreddy six-string-stylings all expertly conducted by the authoritative drumscore. The layers were many and varied, from the blood-pumping, throbbing rhythmic structure to the melodic treble lines, this mighty metal unit has marched squarely into my head!! Want more? Find that beat below!
One of the things I’m loving right now is the number of women stepping up and taking charge of the songs we’ve come to know from the guys. The second band of the night sang directly to this; Motorbäbe brought the traditional power trio, high-standing mic, and raw power of Motorhead, with a woman’s attention to detail! This is NOT a novelty act – these ladies know what they’re doing and do it well!! Find more below!
Ironaut gave us a delicious rockin’ range of steely flavors, from firestarter fuel to dungeonous doom – all narrated by gravelly, flinty vocals and rumbling bass. The classical arrangement boomed through the Viper, moving me to move… so I had to stop recording!
Crowned by Fire has been at this game for some time, and their mastery was evident in their too-short set. The fire burned through my crown, and into the darkest corners of my imagination. Their fanbase kept the energy up and as the room filled, it became as infectious as the doom groove cast by the band.
Aug. 19th is another date that’s been marked on my calendar with a big red M, for months. MIDNIGHT OIL is another favorite international act that I can never pass up!! They’ve been on this current tour since mid-April, and I’ve heard they haven’t played the same set twice in a row! Always fresh and relevant, The Oils maintain the Power and the Passion I fell in love with, back in the 80’s.
But first, the supporting acts, who were also plucked from the Land of Oz! The Smith Street Band, who are new to me, opened the evening with cheerfully driving Aussie pop – relentlessly sweet and hopeful, with a hearty dose of 90’s cynicism and richly deep bass. Not to be missed!
The Living End is a band I’d once been familiar with, but had long since forgotten. I’m really not sure how or why I let them escape my attention! Take one part road-warrior-surf-a-billy-rawness, one part raw, punk edge, standing atop a stand-up bass base and slathered with juicy gobs of 95 mph guitar picking… yeah, they’re definitely back on my radar now!! They’ll be back on Sept. 16th, in San Pedro for Horton’s Hay Ride!
Riding the current is something you can expect from these guys. Regardless of what is happening in the world, they’re always speaking to it – regardless of when the song was written. The human condition, politics, the planet we call Home – topics that are always relevant – Midnight Oil speaks to these. And last night, without a hitch, we were treated to several bites of Peter Garrett’s eloquent expression of his frustration with current political strife, at home and abroad. Some, as solo rants, some woven into the songs we longtime fans know are perfect containers for a timely edit.
Musically, I couldn’t tell the difference between the first time I saw them, at the Paramount Theatre (Seattle, 1993), when I saw them in college, at Irving Plaza (New York, 1996) or May of this year, at The Wiltern!! The consistency of talent in this band never lags, even after a hiatus from 2002 until they began to reconvene in 2009, the tightness remained, and eventually lead us to this incredible world tour.
I can never get enough of The Oils, and happily, there are some new tunes to devour – songs that ring so true, finding my ear at the exact right moment in my #RockLife… and, of course sensible advice for all time…
Thank you to all the bands that fed my earworm all week!! Life has provided so much inspiration for art recently and your soundtrack was purrrrfect!!
I’ll be staying in and working away on all things rock n roll this week, so next week’s post will be a bit different! Stay tuned!!