The ground was shaking in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on the night on January 11th at Cattivo. Twist of Fate Productions rang in the new year with one banger of a show that surely marks one of the best line-ups the company has put together in its short but prolific existence.
To be point blank, if you missed this show, you missed something magical. Obviously it’s winter (despite the lack of snow and being handed copious amounts of rain, go global warming?), so shows are taking a hit in attendance, but a decent and rowdy crowd still showed up to throw down for two out of town acts and two Pittsburgh native acts.
Up first to bat was Connecticut based metalcore act Dread These Days. What was interesting about this band was the fact that the members had to play musical chairs due to their drummer being out of commission because of an injury. The bassist filled in on drums and the band brought in a hired gun to fill in the bass. The amazing part was you never would have known had the band not said anything. Early 00’s metalcore via Killswitch Engaged/I Killed the Prom Queen filled the venue as the band blazed through an impressive and energetic set to start the show off on the right foot.
Up next was Pittsburgh based rockers Hahn Drive. I have seen the name being thrown around quite a bit lately, but had yet to see the band live or really sink my teeth into them. If Jet and Everytime I Die had a whiskey- and cocaine-infused binge, the results would end up sounding like Hahn Drive. The band knew how to get the crowd rocking with their brand of Punk and Rock n’ Roll with their ruthless intensity. I could easily see why these guys have become an emerging name in the Pittsburgh Metal Scene with their youthful vigor and overall commanding stage presence.
Next up to hit the stage was the Michigan-based Heartsick. This was a band I have heard nothing but great things about since the boss lady over at First Angel Media (Miss Lady Jaye) came back from Rise of the Loser Fest in Indiana over the summer of 2019. The band hit the stage like a tornado as they rocked the f$!@# out. I got a lot of Deftones and Nine Inch Nail vibes from these guys (hell they added a NIN cover to their set) and it was quite the show they put on. One of the very few times where a band’s recorded material pales in comparison to the sounds omitted from their live performance. Definitely a band any fan of alternative metal needs to be acquainted with. Schizophrenic vocals, soaring melodies, and industrial tinged alternative metal done right!
Last but not least to hit the stage was Pittsburgh titans Greywalker. I’ve been a fan of these since the release of their album Beyond All Mortal, but had yet to see or play with them live. Greywalker has become a name that is inserted into almost any conversation regarding Pittsburgh Metal. I was excited to see whether their live show lived up to hype. I must say……man have I been missing out. You have to understand, these guys not only went up and crushed the stage with their brand of technical and melodic metalcore (sup Darkest Hour), but the band’s chemistry on that stage was a force to be reckoned with along side of the national acts that come through our area here in Pennsylvania. The band was in the pocket, the songs hit just right with enough flair, and most of all, they were having fun….and alot of it to boot. Hell at one point the band even had the crowd singing “Old McDonald Had a Farm” mid song toward the end of their monolithic set. If they weren’t wind milling or thrashing around, every member had the biggest smiles on their faces as they owned that stage. Truly one of the tightest acts I’ve seen live in every form and fashion. After witnessing their on-stage antics first hand, there’s a reason Greywalker have become a common name around these parts.
There’s been a lot of talk lately of how unremarkable the Pittsburgh Music Scene is. As a musician myself trying to find success and thrive in the market, I can understand some of the disdain and shade being cast to a point. What often gets overlooked though is there has been a surge of various podcasts and promotional companies that are musicians that have stepped up to provide opportunities and other various resources that simply were not there 5 to 6 years ago. Nights like January 11th, 2020 at Cattivo are a testament that there is a changing in the tide with the rise of promotional companies like Twist of Fate Productions that are doing their part to provide quality shows at quality venues and provide compensation to the bands that are putting in the foot work. There’s a reason these guys have become one of the hottest Hard Rock/Metal concert series in the area that elaborate and push local and independent talent into the limelight. Be sure to keep tabs on the bands mentioned above and keep up to snuff on what Twist of Fate Productions has in store for 2020. If Saturday night was a sign of things to come in the new year, I have a feeling this is going to be a great year of growth for the Pittsburgh Music Scene…
Article: Patrick McElravy
Photography: Jana Lee Macheca