I had been wanting to check out the L.A.-based band Halo Grey for weeks. So when lead singer Dennis Hogan invited me to their show at the Viper Room, I was pretty stoked. You see, Halo Grey isn’t your typical Hollywood band. Their music transcends the everyday musical recipe, taking melodic rock one step further. Their lyrics are insightful, but don’t force beliefs unto the listener. Furthermore, I soon found out that their live shows are as energetic and dynamic as they are emotional and fervent.
From the minute that the boys stepped out unto the stage, dressed in black, you could feel the passion these guys have for their music. Often times, Hogan looked more like a man possessed than a lead singer. But what I liked most about Halo Grey is that the entire band gets into the spirit…jumping, bobbing, and moving about the stage. Their goal is to get the audience to feel the same euphoria that they feel, and as I looked around the room, I could tell that it was working.
Hogan’s vocals, as heard on their recordings, proved to be not the result of reverb and ultra-produced enhancements, as he pulled off every note flawlessly live. In fact, the entire band’s performance was note-perfect. This relative perfection did not detract from the rawness one would expect from a rock show. There was just enough crunch and distortion to give everybody in the crowd the expected post-show tinnitis.
Halo Grey’s name comes from the fact that we are all stuck in a “grey area of confusion,” somewhere between heaven (the land of golden halos) and hell. Their music is a euphonic rock, sort of like a modern-day Alice in Chains. Among the songs played at the show were the three wicked tunes available for download on the band’s web site, www.halogrey.com (“Strange Enough,” “Dawning,” and “The Grand Design”).
Halo Grey’s live show proved to be cathartic, for afterwards I felt cleansed of all the mundane noise that had been pumped into my head listening to the radio on the way to the club. It felt good to hear some real rock.