Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Night Out with a Bill That Rocked Out

So it's been a while since I posted anything here, and though I'm still not quite ready to unveil a new group in full detail, I went to an amazing show this past Friday which most certainly deserves my attention. Up at Swayze's Venue here in Marietta, I saw an amazing lineup comprising NRN43 veterans Have You Seen My Ghost and Fit For Rivals, as well as a couple new groups who impressed me so much that you guys can definitely expect some more literature on them real soon. In the way that only small venues can, Swayze's atmosphere brings with it the from-the-street-grit and musical originality that is oh-so-lacking in big arenas and concert halls. Granted bands like Van Halen or Alice in Chains are much too popular to play small venues anymore, but the point stands, small venues are where the passion can really be felt by us out in the crowd.
Though I missed the first act, number two on the bill was a band from here in Marietta called Valbanera. Now I'll be the first to say that screamo-punk is a very acquired taste, and especially for me, it takes time to really be able to appreciate that kind of sound. What really impressed me, however, was Valbanera's stage presence, and the way they really worked the crowd. It didn't matter if they were playing to 25 people or 2,500 people, the effect was the same: when they were up there doing there thing, there was nothing this side of the Milky Way that was gonna stop them. Holding the microphone over the crowd like he was playing Madison Square Garden, lead singer Gavin Caffrey brought all the emotion and artistic integrity right to the forefront of the blistering set. Valbanera's guitarists too, Peyton Foley and Brian Caffrey, shredded away blurring the lines between emo-punk and straight metal. But Tyler Seaman (bass and vocals) and Anthony Founds (drums) were not to be outdone either, and the rhythm section was as dynamic as could be asked. A powerful performance augmented by technical musicianship, Valbanera will most certainly find their way to my pages again. Keep your eyes open for them.
As if Valbanera's performance wasn't enough, the next act was LOVELOUD, an alternative-hard-rock quartet from Florida. I'd heard these guys on their Myspace and they were most certainly one of the bands that drew me out that night. I can say with concrete certainty that they will most certainly be featured here again, and very soon. A powerful performance that was pushed over the top by songs with amazing melodies that stick in your head, LOVELOUD's sound was so refined and brilliant, I could close my eyes and swear I was listening to a professionally-produced album. These guys sound amazing live, and after the show I caught up with Steven (guitar and vocals) and Jason (guitar) to talk about their sound and plans. These guys are down to earth, and with a set that blows fire and static in every direction, they're not going away any time soon. Keep your eyes open, LOVELOUD will arrive on New Rock News 43 in all their hard-rocking glory very, very soon.
The third band on the bill was also one of my main draws that evening: Fit For Rivals. I'd last seen FFR a few months ago when they played with Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and just as they rocked that show, this one was insane too. FFR have finagled their way onto Warped Tour for a few dates, and I'm stoked to report that one of those dates is here in Atlanta. These guys, for those of you who didn't read the last article I wrote on them (and shame on you for that), are amazing, and last night was no exception. Renee Phoenix's vocals were sharp and serrated, and the guitar interplay between Thomas Amason and Jesse Carroll was fantastic. I could go on and on about these guys, but I'm sure they'll be back here soon, so why take away from from a great article that's sure to grace us sometime soon? Point stands though: Fit For Rivals are definitely one of the up and coming acts from the Florida panhandle and nothing is gonna stop this gritty five-piece.
My last group that night was Have You Seen My Ghost. Once again, HYSMG's music is a bit of an acquired taste for me, but their shows are nonetheless incredible. Blasting off with the simple power-trio formula, HYSMG rides along pulse-pounding bass lines delivered by Lee Jennings and guitar fretwork that bounces back and forth between emo-punk and alternative-rock by Grayson Blanchette. These guys, whether or not you like their music, just give one undeniably amazing show. To detail just how different and incredible it is, for their encore last song (and yes, people were calling for an encore, so that should tell you something), HYSMG pulled everyone in the crowd up on the stage to provide crowd vocals. That is an amazing thing to see. The whole of everyone in the venue up their rocking out with the band...unheard of, and still so fucking cool. These guys definitely outdid themselves, and it was a night well spent.
If you're wondering if there's anymore to come from these guys, there most certainly is. A night spent with Valbanera, Fit For Rivals, LOVELOUD, and Have You Seen My Ghost: who could ask for more? Definitely the best concert I've been to in a long time.

Check out Valbanera more at:
Check out LOVELOUD more at:
Check out Fit For Rivals more at:
Check out Have You Seen My Ghost more at:

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