Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Halloween Nightmare Concert Review!!

I'm back from out of town, and as promised, I hit up last night's Halloween Nightmare concert at The Rednecks Saloon! I missed most of a packed weekend for hard rock shows, but I wanted to make it to something, and I picked a good one, as 4 bands rocked out last night at the former Nicolet Tavern, though as this was a Monday night, attendance was only so-so. Likewise, costume participation wasn't as universal as I assume it was on Friday and Saturday, but there were some fun getups, and I dug out a viking helmet for the occasion!

After a half hour delay, the opening band last night was The Autumn Roots, the debuting indie rock band featuring former March Into Regression bandmates Jeremy Hannah and Travis St. Amour (the latter in Game of Thrones mode for his costume), plus bassist Greg Carscadden. Musically, if you're familiar with Jeremy's old band Like Father Like Son (a.k.a. Ocean View & The North Shore), then you'll know The Autumn Roots' general sound, though this band played new originals for at least most of their set, including "Back to the North", "The Sink", and "Means & Circumstance". Despite a cold, Jeremy's voice wasn't too affected during their set, which was proficient and a solid launch for this new band, though some of their songs seemed to get repetitive, Travis' drumming was often too loud in the mix, and Greg was very stiff throughout. Indie fans should enjoy The Autumn Roots though, and it'll be interesting to see what's next for them!

Though advertised on the poster as headlining, local classic metal quintet Project 421 swapped places with sister band Eclipse due to early work commitments for guitarist Frank McGillivray, so 421 played second, roughly giving the last three bands a chronological order by date of their covers! A planned Iron Maiden cover was dropped due to time constraints, but Project 421 still delivered a solid set featuring covers of the likes of Diamond Head, Poison, and Van Halen, as well as originals like "No One Rides For Free" and their newest track "Running Away". No costumes here, just a straight forward blast of nostalgic metal and hard rock, with Curtis McKenzie's vocals on point, and both Frank and Blair Burch nailing some solid solos throughout, while Daniel Horton kept up the energy on bass, even playing with a beer bottle at one point! The Rednecks stage seemed very crowded with the 5 of them, but Project 421 delivered nicely!

Funk/hard rock cover quartet The Elements hit the stage next for their second Halloween show in three nights, and while I can't confirm their Saturday lineup, they once again had Winkstinger's Jonas Gasperas on drums in place of Alex Hagerman, and saxophonist Josh Norling again played as a guest for the whole set. Arguably the band most playing up to the Halloween themes, guitarist Jesse Cook broke out a banana costume, while frontman Rob Speers wore a dragon costume for the set's first half, both of which were fun to see! The Elements played a set that was full of 1990s rock covers, no doubt similarly to Saturday's tribute band set, with bands like Primus, Rage Against the Machine, and Sublime getting the Elements touch, plus originals like "G20". Fun set, with Rob even leaving the stage to mingle with fans and even jump onto some tables, while fans even got to vote between the "Ax Man" and the "Sax Man" late. Bassist James White could have been a little more animated, but The Elements delivered a fun set!

Headlining last night to cap off the Halloween Nightmare was local hard/modern rock quartet Eclipse, who traded in their System of a Down tribute set from Saturday night (complete with band member costumes!) for a more varied set tackling bands like Seether and Billy Talent, plus their own originals like "Tyranny", and they got a good reception despite not even starting until 1:30 AM! I couldn't stay for the whole set, but Curtis, Daniel, and drummer Chris Thompson picked up where they left off with Project 421 with energy and enthusiasm (not to mention a less crowded stage), while bassist Fred Dunn played to his strengths throughout, and even broke out a skull mask early on! Nice touch by Curt & Dan to change their shirts for this set too, as this was a different band, after all. Hopefully Eclipse continue on this path and add/revive some more originals in short order!

Overall, this was a fun capper to the Halloween season, and all four bands delivered a solid set! It would have been nice to see more band members dress up (not to mention, attendees), but I know it was a Monday night, and that many people focused on weekend events instead. You can check out our videos from the show at this link or via our Facebook page, and as for our videos, here's The Autumn Roots playing their song "Wanderlust", Project 421 covering Dio's "Rainbow in the Dark", The Elements covering Pearl Jam's "Even Flow", and Eclipse covering Seether's "Remedy"!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for this month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post next! Thanks everyone!

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