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Saturday, April 6, 2013

I almost left it

The 'Take it or Leave It' tour rolled through San Antonio with a stop at The White Rabbit. Angel Skye wanted to go for her 17th birthday and see Sleeping With Sirens, so off we went to S.A.


So let's talk about The White Rabbit (http://sawhiterabbit.com). Seems that I am always hearing about metal shows going through S.A. and hitting the Rabbit, so I was actually pretty stoked to be going and check this place out. It is a totally inconspicuous place on a corner, just off of the hub bub of down town. The whole venue is comprised of 3 parts. The actual stage, which is situated at the narrow end of a split level, pretty large size, rectangle shape room with the bar opposite the stage. Then there are two outside areas on either side of the room. There are some picnic tables to sit at, but that seating is pretty limited. Hell, if you are gonna be at this type of show with screamo/punk music, you shouldn't be sitting anyway! I did take note, and pointed it out to Angel, that one side area seemed to have all of the parents herded off to a corner. Pretty fucking hilarious, seeing them sitting around, seemingly in a daze.

The issue that titles this blog is a play on the name of the tour and the hideous sound problem that was plaguing the mics for the bands. I do not want to crucify the sound man and venue or blame the bands, but it was monstrously fucking shitty. Angelina advised me that she has been at another show at The White Rabbit previously (same style of music) and there was a similar mic problem. SO...I refuse to point and blame, but seriously, as many shows that I hear about going through S.A. and stopping at the Rabbit, you would think they would have a better quality sound system, sound board, and sound man.

The mic issues had almost a 15 minute delay for one band while they tried to get the mics on. Another band had the lead singer struggling to keep his mic on by constantly fiddling with the cord while he was singing. Worse than that, the headliners (Sleeping With Sirens) lead singer, Kellen Quinn, launched in to their performance with pretty much no sound out of his mic for the first 2 songs. They only thing that saved the beginning of that performance was that every girl in the audience new EVERY SINGLE WORD to the songs and they were all singing at the top of their lungs. HAHAHA, didn't need a mic, the die hard, hardcore fans made the performance. The mic issue got fixed on the third song, but by then I was out the door to go sit in a corner.

Okay, now back to the music.

Lions Lions (https://www.facebook.com/LionsLionsMA?fref=ts) was the first band up and on stage. These guys are from Boston and definitely put on the 'A' game. With not as much gutturals as other bands I have heard in this genre, it was pretty much straight singing with some pretty crunching sound to back up those vocals. Speaking of back up vocals, I have to give a shout out to my new friend Jon, the bass player for Lions Lions. Here is this dude on stage with this gnarly looking beard, playing the bass, and makes you instantly think "Oh shit! That dude eats nails and spits bullets." HELL NO! (and the band and his friends will bust his balls for this) He opens his mouth and the most surprising, sweet voice comes out. Completely rivaling the lead singer, it just blew my fucking mind. I laughed from shock and told Angel, "Dang! Who would've ever thought a great voice would come outta that dude?!"  Overall, this was a great band to open the show. The music was very tight, it was energetic, and most of all the band looked as if they were having a lot of fun onstage...and THAT my friends, will make YOU have a great time at a Lions Lions performance!

DANGERKIDS (http://wearedangerkids.com) were the next up and yet another surprise. The drummer was a chick. Another 'Holy Shit!' kinda moment. Sorry, I am not sexist, I think it is awesome, but all of you know damn well that the music industry, this style of music, and that instrument is dominated by dudes! I thought it was pretty cool as I even addressed that question of chicks in the music scene with Chris Shelley from At The Skylines in a video interview I did (http://youtu.be/PXQMiVwZTdM). ANYWAY, gender aside, here was another performance that was top notch. I don't think any of the three bands that came on before SWS deserve to be called opening acts. DANGERKIDS absolutely took it to that next level, launching into song after song that had the audience in a frenzied mosh pit. Yet again here is another band that smiled and laughed the whole time they were onstage. Just great fun to watch and hear!


Conditions

(https://www.facebook.com/conditionsband) was a big surprise for Angelina Skye. She told me that she had sen them previously hear at The White Rabbit. Her complaint was that they seemed to have so much going on onstage, it gave her a headache. That was then, this is now. I understand what she said, there was no headache this time. They are technically pretty fucking amazing. They are super tight with their sound and performance and they seem to do things with the music and go places that some of the other bands in this genre don't do (I can name only one other band that is out there on the road right now also). Angelina was so blown away by the performance this time that she begged me to go get the CD for her when they got off stage. "Dad please! Dad! DAD! Please please please please? Dad dad dad dad please please please? DAD!" and then she was pissed when I didn't get the guys in the band to sign it, WTH!? So go see them, see them on a tour with multiple bands like this and you will get more than your moneys worth!


Sleeping With Sirens ( ) also know as Kellen Quinn's backing group of musicians or "OH MY GOD IT'S KELLEN QUINN AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" Jusus Christ! You would think that The Beatles and Elvis had a love child  thirty years late with all of the screaming, shrieking, creaming girls. WOW! A N Y W A Y, Sleeping With Sirens hit the stage and brought some pizazz and stage show with them. Moving beyond the issues I spoke of earlier, there is no doubt the charisma this band carries in their lead singer. I have seen, been at, and listened to hundreds of bands over a few decades and I think this took the cake for audience participation. It seemed that EVERY voice in the place, sang every lyric, to every song. What was even more impressive than that to me is hearing the band play and keep it together so well for the entire set. That was a lot of fun to experience and definitely worth the price of admission.

Part of doing this blog, is for the love of music. To tell you how much fun it was to be in the audience for any particular band. The other part of this is the memories I build, and the lasting memory of having a wonderful evening with my daughter, doing something that she wanted to do, will be forever in my heart, mind and soul. So to these four bands I will owe a lifetime of "Thank You's" for a wonderful 17th birthday with my daughter.

And if Lions Lions, DANGERKIDS, Conditions, or Sleeping With Sirens actually read this, I hope what I have said means a little something to you.

Laters