NEXT STAGE #13 April 22 2005

Heavy Metal Meltdown
The Kids Are Alright

This past Friday was hot. With the fires from Alaska hazing the horizon it seemed proper, that I would head down to the Royal Canadian Legion local, and witness an awesome and powerful flash of music energy to rival the very sun itself.
Triple J's Music Cafe was presenting "Just Can't Get Enough Metal In Your Ear?" billed as “a mind-blowing metal experience” with five acts each playing a unique edge of metal.
Metal: black (hot), silver (reflects hot), jumping and thrashing, heads banging up and down (hot and double hot).
At the gig, stagehands were busying themselves with finishing touches. Looking up to the stage I saw Marshall amplification, a standard sonic tool, sitting astride a mighty drum kit. Someone had pinned the stage skirting down with rows of fist size rocks, giving the stage a Flintstones look. The ceiling fans were rotating: a good sign
Fullers Earth began the evening’s events with a set of originals. Their music is more rock than metal, with two singers; dual guitarists and a solid bass end including a frantic drummer to keep them all together. The lead guitarist that must have grown up listening to Californian acid rock witnessed by the noodling he was drawing up from his instrument. During their set I saw the first air guitar of the evening, always a good sign.
After a brief interval, Death In Venice launched into their set. This band headed by guitarist wunderkind Johnny Rodgers seemed to me a bit out of place in the line-up.
The music this band makes is rock to be certain, but is definitely more progressive and thematically driven. Rock and punk as well as blues and surf make up the backbone of the tunes but at any moment they may pull a 90-degree turn into a waltz or offbeat tempo. This is a band to watch for.
Friend Called Five play a hybrid flavour of punk that had an appreciative audience flailing about throughout their set. These guys thrash their guitars. With occasional ska breaks and amazing stage manoeuvres, Friend Called Five brought the internal temperature of the Legion up more than a few degrees.
Drifting is still looking for a drummer and bass player. The programmed drum and bass lines with dual guitars and Jeremy Jones prodigious pipes gives this band an industrial edge, for better or worse. I think better.
As the headliners, Nemesis, mounted the stage and stripped off their shirts, the crowd went wild. The entire audience crowded around the front of the stage and began to dance.
Nemesis has been playing at The Capitol this summer. The almost nightly gigs have given this band an extremely tight act, and by god they are a loud fury of sound playing originals and extreme covers. Look forward to a CD from these guys soon.
Overall the evening’s festivities went smoothly. The kids were great; they kept their cool in the heat of the night, out for a good time, to meet friends and dance.