The night started out like many previous nights. Cruising the Hollywood Strip, making our way to one of the many clubs that dish out local music. The destination this night was the Whiskey. More importantly, it was to see some of UnEarthed.Com's old friends, Slaves On Dope. The Whiskey has a nice line from the entrance to the club, rounding up the corner, which is always a good sign for the bands that play: lots of bodies.
Skindred was the first band that we saw. Hailing from the UK, this band took the fusion of genre's to the next level, fusing metal, punk and reggae. I have to admit that when I first heard the sampler for Skindred's album, I didn't “get it”. It took seeing the band live, to get what Skindred has to offer.
The crowd was really into Skindred, as there were a few circle pits and a lot of applause and appreciation of Skindred's music after each song. A few songs into their set, Benji Webbe (vocals) said, “You are a wicked crowd. You know what wicked means right?” Thanks to Harry Potter, I bet every one knew. The band, consisting of Webbe, Mickey Dee (guitar), Dan Pugsley (bass) and Dirty Arya (drums), played a very solid set. I was really shocked to see an LA crowd so enthusiastic about a performance. Usually the majority of the crowd stands with their arms folded and nodding their head, but this crowd was rock'n! When Skindred finished their set, the crowd was yelling for one more. Webbe, wanting to give his all for the LA crowd, went over to the keyboard and hit the demo tune. Waving his hands around to the music, announcing every note with his hands. At one point, he started to lick the keyboard. This was the funniest moment of the night.
Even if you don't get the Skindred sound from the album preview, check out the band live, experience the energy and the groove that Skindred creates. You just might surprise yourself.
Next up was UnEarthed.Com favorite, Slaves on Dope who played a blistering set taking songs from Inches from the Mainline and Metafour. Jason Rockman (vocals), was surprised when after playing a few of the new tracks from the unreleased Metafour that about half of the crowd was singing along with him. Slaves mostly performed songs from their upcoming release, Metafour, including: `Go', `Pattern', `September', `Poster Boy', and a few songs form Inches from the Mainline, the title track and `Pushing Me' among others. As with Skindred, the crowd was rocking out with the Slaves. This was Slaves first show back in LA, their second home. in at least seven months and LA had grown hungry for a Slaves show.
The introduction that Jason gave for 'Columbian Necktie Ascot', was a rather sad one. He said that the song was about their former manager who stole 18 grand from them. During the final song of Slaves set, `Pushing Me', one of Slaves on Dope's biggest fans, or SBF, was invited up on stage to sing with Jason. Soon Jason let the fan have the Ultimate Fantasy ™, to sing for Slaves on Dope. Jason sat down on the drum riser, while Frank Salvaggio (bass), Kevin Jardine (guitar) and Rob Urbani (drums) cranked out a brutal version of `Pushing Me'. At one point during the song, Jason used Frank's mic to announce, jokingly that he may be out of a job because SBF was doing such a good job. The only other time I saw a band do this was the movie Rock Star.
Overall, the show was killer.
brian at unearthed dot com