» Blog Archive Show Review: Protest the Hero with Battlecross! -
Hunter Young Hard Music, News, Reviews, Tours

Another great evening of music was put on display this last friday (03/21), with the tour featuring Protest the Hero and Battlecross, featuring The Safety Fire (UK), Intervals, Night Verses, and locals Violent Vendetta. An insanely solid lineup and show, this was a lineup that really any metal fan could just walk into and enjoy. Compared to the Friday before that, with the current tour of Between the Buried and Me, one didn’t have to be solely a prog metal guy to have fun. This tour lineup seemed to be just a bit more palatable to general fans, simply because it had a diverse set of talents, from the simply brutal Violent Vendeta, to the proginess of Night Verses/The Safety Fire/Intervals (all good at what they do), the absolute barn burner that Battlecross brings EVERYTIME, to the closing wall of eclectic heaviness that makes up Protest the Hero. Not a still body in the room!

Venue: Jake’s Backroom, see other show reviews for info! Smoky den of awesome!

For starters, a show that is $15 for all these bands?! HELL YEAH ALL NIGHT! That was a great way to kick off the night, as I got there early and was lucky to get to meet Battlecross and have protracted conversations with all of them, plus Shiner beer with sir Don Slater. Badass, yes I know. Then I was also lucky enough to Meet Ayoop (Hope that is spelled correctly sir!) and Lucas of Intervals, who were supremely awesome guys, talked about camaros and such. So, needless to say, I had a great kickoff at this show.

Opener: Violent Vendetta

A very strong opener for this show, VV is out of Big Spring Texas, and they are just a brutal young band. They were at the Halloween show last year, put on a great little stage show, plus have a pretty decent female guitarist who can handle herself on stage. Overall, very into what they play, they play it well, and don’t mind that the crowd wasn’t really warmed up yet. they have a modern playing style, the more common chugging style with very little string acrobatics, close to a Djent style. Not overly great, but very fun with how into it th esinger and co are.

The only snafu they had was a plug on their bass kit started to fuzz out, leading to only a slight hitch in the middle of the set. Undeterred, they kept on a rockin’, and the sound tech fixed it fast and easy. Really solid, no other problems that kept anyone from enjoying it. Will definitely be looking out for their shows in the future.

First Band: Night Verses

This is another prog band I just don’t get into. They do everything right, have the proficiency and moves down, perfect sound for it, it just feels hollow and noisy to me. I can’t get into many bands like this, but I have no problems watching and having a good time with it. They had a perfect set, definitely comfortable with the small stage area, and no hiccups at all. I had previously never heard o the band, so i can’t list any songs or anything about them, however, some friends of mine who were at the show did know them personally, let me know they were a band out of Texas, and they were crashing at another friends house. You know how it goes…

Short set, not my thing, but a good band to go watch regardless.

Second Band: Intervals

Another prog metal band, but I got a little more into these guys having met about half the band beforehand. They played with the same skill level any band who’s been around a while develops, played perfectly in-sync with one another, and totally put energy into the room. A much more well known group (again, not to me), they had a big reaction from the crowd, and got everyone moving. Ayoop, had some amazing drum skills, great poly-rhythmic double bass, with the technical playing from everyone else melding into a really cool set. Singer was as you’d expect, clean and skilled.

Would very much like to see these guys come back into town for another smaller show.

Third Band: The Safety Fire

Apparently I have just neglected all my progressive metal buddies out there, this is another one I just have never heard of! Out of the UK, The Safety Fire put on a very decent showing, with eclectic string skills, some amazingly beautiful Fender guitars, a very well-sounding singer (UK accents are awesome), and a drummer who apparently can’t imagine not using a Crash or Splash symbol. That was really my only complaint with them, that all the drumming sounded alike, what with all the horrible noise coming from abusing those 2 symbols (I also assume that these are the names of these symbols, not a drummer. I am not multi-instrumental guys). Overall, aside from my personal complaint, these guys were top notch in their genre. It was a very heavy set, had great rhythm from all those who contributed and switched around, and some of the best tones out of instruments I have heard in a while. They were definitely a band to look into later on.

Strange Fact: it seems that Progressive/Core bands tend to have a problem with announcing song titles in between said songs, which makes it very hard for those unfamiliar with them to remember how they sounded. Maybe do a survey to see if people would like that, or….? Maybe they don’t remember them?

First Headliner: Battlecross

Second time seeing these guys, just as great as the first! luckily, as I previously mentioned, I actually got to speak to these mighty metallers, and just shot the shit for a while, and bought a round of Shiner bock. Its a Texas custom, and should always be observed by those who wish to make the best of impressions. I digress. Here is how the setlist shook out:

1. Force Fed Lies
2. My Vaccine
3. Beast
4. Ghost Alive
5. Never Coming Back
6. Flesh & Bone
7. Get Over It
8. Kaleb
9. Push Pull Destroy

Literally one of the most solid sets from the last several shows I have attended, these guys seek to bring the roof down on all those who dare set foot on their floor! Thrashy, heavy, riff heavy, double bass drum filled, it was all there, with a fuck-ton of room left for their vocalist, Kyle “Gumby” Gunther, to belt out some of the sickest throat tones on the road! Many bands seek to incite a pit, Battlecross wants to launch the nuclear option. If they are anywhere near you, beg, borrow, steal, murder to get there! You will leave feeling better for it, maybe a little ragged around the edges, and just a bit bruised if you’re anywhere near the swirling maelstrom that is their pits.

Of all the bands up to this point, this was my favorite of the night, with the exception of the next band…

Main Headliner: Protest the Hero

With Batttlecross being the most known to myself, this was a close second. My brother had been a fan of theirs for a few years, so I had heard several songs from them. Originally, I was not a fan, didn’t really get their sound or why they did what they did. This show changed that outlook VERY quickly.

To start, they are all world class musicians of very high skill calibers, with a singer who sounds EXACTLY like the album. I mean carbon copy status. Perfect highs, excellent pitch, and was rapid fire even to the last note. And the band held their end up like the consummate pros they all are. Both guitarists are of the mind that anything worth playing should be done so as complexly as possible, with maximum amount of tapping per second. I have missed bands liek this for some time now, and took an incredible amount of joy in seeing guys who were just note mongers up on stage. And not to say the bassist was slacking at all, as he had some of the most complex parts of all, being that he plays finger style, with emphasis on jazzier parts mixed in with acrobatics for the entire set. Extremely fun to watch, especially when they went between songs.

This is when the singer really showed up, as he kept up a patter that would make a great stand up routine. He kept the audience heartily entertained with some stories about themselves walking about Lubbock, TX, and just general observations with the audience. It was a massively fun time, especially when he got really going talking with the rest of the band. They instantly pushed themselves onto my shortlist of go to bands to show people.

This tour, as a whole, is a NOT TO BE MISSED type of thing, which means if you don’t go, you hate puppies and kittens. And I’ll tell your mother about what’s on your computer history too…

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