Today’s show review from the First Angel camp is going to be a little different. Today you get a bird’s eye view of a performer and a fan. A menacing fly that was hopping wall to wall if you will.
The crazy part about this review is that I almost didn’t have a show to play or write about for June 23rd. You see my band 9 Stitch Method was one of the opening acts for a band called Saul, an upcoming and growing touring act we were anxious and excited to see. On Sunday the 23rd we were going about our normal day-of-show routine (ya know, lounge around and procrastinate until an hour before we have to hit the road), when we received an email from Drusky that multiple members of Saul had fallen ill and they were going to have to cancel and reschedule the Pittsburgh date. The next question to come up was where was everyone’s ticket sales and what action should Drusky take: cancel the show or carry on with a local showcase?
Thankfully the latter option was what transpired. The show was going to carry on and would be comprised of the 3 opening acts (9 Stitch Method, Paradigm, and Neverwake). So all 3 bands packed up and headed to The Hard Rock in Station Square for load in and sound check.
For a Sunday there was a decent crowd. At first the crowd was a little thin. My band 9 Stitch Method opened the show up. I can’t speak for what everyone thought of us in 9SM, but as the opener I feel we did our job: get the crowd warmed up and the show started off on the right foot for the next act. We played a bunch of material off of our upcoming album which seemed to go over well. It was nice to see a lot of familiar faces and other peers within the scene show up to support. Not to toot my own horn but the round of applause we got as Josh and I closed our set with a rather emotional song assured me tonight was going to be a good night.
Paradigm was next to take the stage. If you ever get the chance to see these guys you are in for a treat, the perfect combination of brutality and melody in my opinion. The guys have been around for a while and with a set like the one they played it definitely shows. The band was tight and very interactive with the crowd which only helped build an amazing atmosphere. A definite stand out moment was the band getting the crowd to participate in chanting “One word, One voice” throughout the anthemic tune “One Voice”. It was great to be in the crowd as a fan and friend and watch them in action. As the band finished their set, everyone took a quick smoke break as Paradigm left the stage for the final act set up and start.
Now was the time for the main act of the night, Pittsburgh alt metal titans NeverWake just returning from their tour with Veer Union. I’ve been a fan of them for a few years, but this show was my first time seeing them hit the stage and man they did not disappoint. Everything was spot on, dialed in, and turned up to 10. An extremely amped up performance was just what the doctor ordered and these gentlemen closed out the night in high fashion. The vocal harmony work amongst all 4 members, the guitars ripping out groovy riffs and solos left and right, the crushing bass and drums…….it really was a sight to see and hear, there’s a reason they are one of Pittsburgh’s leading rock bands.
Chances are if you are reading this, you (like myself) do that “adulting” thing. We all have busy schedules and duties, but taking the time to actually go to a venue and attend a show like this……this is where it is truly at. You can watch the videos on Youtube and live streams on facebook all you want, but nothing will compare to the music hitting you in a live setting. The energy, the emotion…truly an addictive drug in itself. The meeting of friends new and old, hearing that wall of sound, and supporting the locals playing like their lives depended on it, just sends chills down the spine, and a show like this at The Hard Rock in Station Square did just that.
Photography by Reina Peli