I should know better than to judge things immediately. First time I heard of Flaw, I immediately thought, 'yeah, I bet the only Flaw is that these guys have no talent.' It is a good thing that I've been taught to look a bit deeper, and to take that look despite first impressions.
Seeing Flaw for the third time in a few months, I just can't find much wrong with this band. Wielding a suitcase of aggressive emotions from hate to remorse and regret, Flaw manage to unpack night after night bringing the full scope of those feelings to their performances.
This particular night was no exception, as they played a good portion of their debut release, “Through The Eyes“. Usually a certain aspect or song from a group's performance catches my attention; there were no such things this show. With the dismissal of their second guitarist earlier this year, Flaw has a tighter, more polished sound that conveys their powerful lyrics. “Only The Strong” got the crowd to sing, “My Letter” got them to emote and “Payback” brought about the pit (in fact, the biggest one of the evening).
Addressing the crowd on numerous occasions, vocalist Chris Volz kept thanking the crowd for their support, when it could have, or maybe should have, been the crowd thanking him and his band. I find it hard not to jump on this band's bandwagon (if you haven't noticed) because of their music and what it represents, combined with their graciousness. These guys are just some of the few in the business that appear to feel truly blessed for what they have.
Flaw's guitarist Lance Arny spent most of the evening just like most fans. He stood in the back of the crowd and watched the other bands. From time to time he would be recognized and would talk or sign autographs, but he was there to see the show. Speaking of the other bands, they were (in order) Noise Therapy, The Color Red, and 3rd Strike.
Noise Therapy walked onto the stage and asked the crowd not to hate them just because they are Canadian. In the first song of their set they were yelling out for everyone to “Get up! Get the f*** up!” I think as the opening act, that was a dumb move. The band included a keyboardist (who keeps his hair in pig tails, for christsake) that seemed to have virtually no purpose except to look ridiculous and take up space. His contribution to the music was utterly lost in the mix. But, initial prejudice aside, as their short set went on I, like a good portion of the people, warmed to them. The lead singer managed to display a large vocal range despite the generic nu metal music.
The Color Red, who followed Noise Therapy, were actually amazing for a virtually unknown band. While most of the crowd seemed to not get into their set, their amped up modern rock sound should gather a big audience in the long run. Walking onto the stage with the Imperial March playing, they played with both sides of the force – from screams and growls with chunky riffs to softer, reflective moments of harmonies. They put on a very impressive set that will get me to buy their disc, all that you can ask from a slot like theirs on a tour like this.
Finishing up the undercard this evening was 3rd Strike. These guys clawed their way out of the crowded LA scene on pure aggression and the versatility and talent of their lead singer. While that is quite the achievement, most of their songs don't distinguish themselves and as thus, come out as generic rap metal. With just one album out, and just one song that people have embraced, they took the stage with a certain swagger that seemed undeserving. Not to mention that they used “No Light” way too early in their set, perhaps giving it less priority than it deserved, and thus it received less energy from the crowd in return. 3rd Strike attempted to regain some of that energy by playing a poor cover of Black Sabbath's “Paranoid” that somehow included a rapped verse. Ozzy should hobble over and kick their asses for that.