This was a show that I was looking forward to seeing. There were a lot of reasons. I wanted to see a good clean all American heavy show. I wanted to see Shadows Fall and Kittie. I wanted to see how the new Killswitch Engage vocalist, The Howard Jones, compared to Jesse.
When I arrived at the Whisky around 7ish I noticed something odd, hell it was kinda funny, in the parking lot right behind the Whisky. There was a tour bus stuck in the middle of the lot. Now if you haven't seen the Whisky parking lot, you may be wondering how the hell can a bus get stuck in a parking lot. Well.. picture a venue at the base of a hill, with the parking behind the venue. The parking lot starts at the same height as the second story of the Whisky. The street that runs to either side of the parking lot is somewhat level, with all of the parking spaces uneven. Now picture a huge ass tour bus backing up the hill perpendicular to the level road. Now picture the trailer hitch digging it's way to China. The parking attendant said that it happened around 3pm. Luckily this was the last night of the tour, no need to rush to the next venue. From what I heard, it was Kittie's bus.
Time passes at the Rainbow.
I entered the venue right before Killswitch Engage was ready to take the stage. I'm very happy to report that the Whisky was packed for a non-headlining band. KsE is such a good band, their debut Roadrunner offering has been playing in my stereo for quite some time now. Last time I saw KsE was a few weeks back at the Key Club where they headlined the show because Hypocrisy and Soilwork's bus had some problems. I was looking forward to seeing the band again and to see how Howard performed the songs that Jesse sang, as he had some pretty big shoes to fill.
KsE played just about every track off 'Alive or Just Breathing', with Howard coming real close to the same style that Jesse had. Of course, it would be hard to find a new singer that sounds exactly like the original (Judas Priest got lucky with Ripper). KsE seemed to have been re-energized with the presence of The Howard Jones, as this was not the same band I saw weeks prior. Maybe it was the relentless touring, maybe it was Howard, whatever it was, to quote the immortal words of Shrek, “That'll do donkey. That'll do.”
Shadows Fall was the next band to take the stage. Now, there is a reason why I like to live in Los Angeles, as few as they may be. Last show shenanigans is one reason. This show, Shadows Fall was the “Last Show Shenanigans” bitch. Brian Fair (vocals), had to sing through a big black dildo, which he pointed out to the crowd numerous times. After playing a mix of a few songs off 'Of One Blood' and their up-coming CD, 'The Art of Balance' I noticed that there were a few pieces of male pr0nr on two of the amps. Brian also took a nice swig of hot sauce, expecting beer. Whoops. Gotta love the Last Show Shenanigans. Overall, Shadows Fall kicked some serious butt!
Their new tunes sound more defined, too bad the Whisky's equipment kept failing on Brian Fair, with the vocals cutting in an out after he had enough of singing through a cock and took another mic that was on stage. After two songs of broken vocals, Brian finally got a proper mic and cable and the last two songs were performed without a hitch! Definitely a band to see live! I believe this show makes three times for me!
Last on stage for the evening was Kittie. This was the first time for me to see Kittie with Jennifer J. Arroyo (formerly of the D.C. band Spine ) on bass and Jeff Phillips (guitar tech, filling in for the live performances). Needless to say, musically Kittie is just about the same as I remembered. Playing mostly from 'Oracle', Kittie tore through their set including 'Run Like Hell', 'Wolves' and 'What I Always Wanted'. The only things that disturbed me about Kittie's set was the very long intro song, by some pop diva and Morgan's vocals when she sang. The growling was what you would expect it to be, but her melodic side just wasn't there; it seemed more like she was whining. Maybe it was just me.
After everything was said and done, I got everything I wanted.
brian at unearthed dot com