Saturday, February 8, 2014

Heavy Thursday #1 Concert Review!!

After a bit of a delay (blame video upload difficulties for part of that), we have our first concert review of 2014 for you guys this morning, as I was in attendance for the first installment of Heavy Thursdays at The Roosevelt Hotel the other night! Though this was a new series distinct from the original early-2010s metal nights, it was nice to be back in familiar territory for the launch, so here's what went down on Thursday night!

The lineup order was different than advertised, but after a brief introduction from promoter J.D. Pearce, the first Heavy Thursday kicked off with local death metal quartet The Bear Hunters (20 time veterans of the original series), so they were a fitting choice to lead off! The guys powered through a dependably brutal set of their original songs (plus "Guardians of Asgaard"), including newer originals like "The Void" & "The Omen", and despite some early glitches, they shone as usual! Granted, I'm sure some of the newer songs weren't heard under optimal conditions given that they were sans Josh Stephney again, but their abilties were without question, and Mitch Sirie in particular laid it out there on guitar! Also of note: Johnny Belanger played on an electric drumkit (a'la Kyle Umgeher), but I'm not sure if that's a permanent change or not. My biggest complaint is that the guys didn't seem to be overly energetic, but hopefully that'll be amended on the next time out, and The Bear Hunters' brutal originals were welcomed once again!

Next up was debuting local rock quartet The Elements, and now that we've seen them live, what do we know? Their lineup does include Side FX singer Rob Speers, Jack Spades guitarist Jesse Cook, and Redundant bassist James White, while their drummer is actually Alex Hagerman from Changing Waves! A little odd seeing him on stage without his brother, but it's good to see him back in a new band finally! In terms of what they played, The Elements' set was all covers, including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, and System of a Down songs, and while the early indications of a funk/alternative sound held true, they covered enough hard rock songs for them to fit our coverage! Now, they just need an online page. For a first show, I won't be too critical, but Jesse and James were solid all night, Alex's drumming meshed well, and while Rob's vocals fit the more energetic material, softer clean vocals like on "Everlong" were not very audible and mught not be his best fit. Solid debut though, I'm curious to hear more!

And headlining on Thursday night (albeit following some uncertainty surrounding Ben Boudreau's drumkit) was newer local hard rock supergroup Punch in their Rosie debut, so how'd their third live set go? Pretty well, and they played with a lot of enthusiasm despite the smaller crowd numbers late! One thing I noticed is the relative similarity of their set on Thursday to their debut set at Viva La Battle last fall, both of which featured originals like "Road Rash" and "By The Hand" along with Van Halen & Alice In Chains covers, among other tracks. Though similar, the pressures of a battle weren't there, and the guys shown their talents nicely! Daniel Horton was particularly solid on guitar, and Steven Flint's bass work was very nice as well, and their sound caught on well as the night wore on! I know with their other bands, Punch may not be as active, but hopefully they add to and lengthen their set, as they're a talented band with great chemistry, and I know they're on to big things!

Overall, this was a solid debut for the new Heavy Thursday series, and kudos to J.D. for kickstarting it, and I know it'll take off! It's worth noting that Alex Hagerman's last two bands (The Elements & Changing Waves) played their first & last shows the nights of the last original Rosie metal night & the first Heavy Thursday, which is definitely ironic! I did get photos & videos, so click here or visit our Facebook page to check them out, and also keep an eye out for Donna Hopper from SooToday's pictures from the show as well! As for my videos, here's The Bear Hunters' new song "The Omen", The Elements covering The Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Parallel Universe", and Punch playing the former Haggith original "Metal Cage"!

That's all for now, but stay tuned hopefully tonight for a new news post, and don't miss the local openers for Anvil at the next Heavy Thursday in just 5 days! Thanks everyone!

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