May 19, 2000
Last Friday night was pure mayhem. Although we started out somewhat slowly, by taking in a lightly attended show at the Troubadour, the attendance ratio didn’t seem to affect what was going on up on the stage.
Depswa banged out a mean set including tracks from their amped up demo – that has been being VERY warmly received throughout the Hollywood club circuit, and elsewhere. All ears were pointed towards center stage as Jeremy crooned and wailed in that forever pained voice of his as if they were his last words, while beating the life out his guitar. God, he’s intense.
Dan (guitar), Ryan (bass) and Collin (drums) all contributed in ways that only hungry, young talent can do. This music is religion to them, and it shows. You’ve simply GOT to see them and hear them do what only Depswa can do. With a formula of tribal drums, a touch of technology, and nothing but sincerity, you just can’t go wrong. Even if your sampler isn’t properly connected! Right, Collin?
After what seemed a streak of bad luck and many months of missing Fractional Importance shows, I had finally gotten my chance at witnessing their live show again. It felt like a homecoming. Douglas Gledhill is one of coolest, most versatile vocalists I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing and hearing. None of the other band members sing back up, but you’d never know it unless you saw Fractional play live. Douglas has a way of manipulating his voice into sounding like two, and sometimes even three different people. All this, and he plays a mean guitar while he does it.
I also decided that night, that Kevin Fessler is my favorite local drummer, (with Gordon Heckaman from Agrokulcher running an extremely close second.) ‘No Alibis’ is the best song to watch Kevin perform on. Zoom in on him next time you see Fractional play, and you’ll agree with me. Nate Perry (bass) is so highly-skilled, and completely cool that you would think he had to be a 70-year old blues player from New Orleans in a past life.
Fractional recently completed their first video, and if all goes well and it’s ready on time, the video will be launched for our viewing pleasure at the upcoming UnEarthed.com .H a r d S t y l e. event on June 17th. I’m excited to see this. I’ve heard great things about the result of filming these guys, and they’re all really photogenic, so I’m sure they’ll all look smokin’. The new material from this band is equally exciting. I’m not giving any secrets away though; just get thee to the next Fractional show!
We caught a small portion of the groovin’ set by Crisis before we had to leave. Karyn Crisis is such a little banshee on stage. She’s amazing. There are ten tons of power in that tiny little body. You just have to see her perform. Her band is totally Black Sabbath sounding, and the songs bring you right back to that era. Seeing Crisis play is a very good thing.
After that, it was off to the Roxy to catch what we could of LA2K. We walked in during Disturbed’s outstanding set. The industry audience was roaring for this band. They have immensely improved since the last time we saw them play at the Troubadour a few months back. Not that they didn’t rock then, but there was just something more relaxed yet refined about this particular show. They were great. It was also cool that David (vocals) seemed to have recognized us right away when we showed up. That type of acknowledgement from a hot, new band that meets multitudes of people nightly and sees oceans of faces all the time means that somehow, they’ve stayed grounded. I can respect that.
System of A Down is one local favorite that has totally earned it. They stir shit up like nothing I think I’ve ever seen. The SOAD audience is so loyal, and so intense about this band and what they do. It’s really a spectacle to watch just how many people sing along with every word so precisely. It was really cool to be able to see the band in such close proximity as well. With Daren standing right in front of me, I had to dodge sweat, flying guitar heads – very cool indeed. They were amazing, as they always are.
SPECIAL THANKS TO KNAC.COM for this excerpt from an article on LA2K. This is how they described night two:
“Saturday night belonged to Sharon Osbourne’s Divine Recordings label and Priority Records, which hosted a party on the roof of the Bel Age, followed by the performances at the Roxy, where a sneak preview of scenes from the Ozzfest movie (tentatively due out in September) played between sets.
Early arrivals were treated to Godhead, a black-clad gothic-looking band that played some surprisingly catchy, techno-tinged, heavy dance music with very melodic vocals, including a cool cover of The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby.” Signed to Marilyn Manson’s imprint Posthuman Records at Priority, the Washington D.C.-based quartet is now working on its fourth album and first for the label with producer Danny Saber.
Montreal transplants and Ozzfest second stagers Slaves on Dope, previewing some aggressive new metal from an in-production debut album for Divine, and rap-metal hybrids (hed) p.e., whose set included their NIB 2 cover “Sabra Cadabra,” warmed up the crowd for the incomparable Slayer. The brutal intensity and pure adrenaline rush of songs like “Angel of Death,” “South of Heaven,” and “Reign in Blood” even got laid-back music bigwigs moshing.
What followed would have been anticlimactic were it not for the anticipation of seeing Ozzy. The crowd, which included the Osbourne family, Blasko from Rob Zombie, Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath, Deadlights’ Jerry Montano, and model/actress Rachel Hunter (who plays Jason Bonham’s wife in the movie Metal God), waited patiently as Primus played two songs alone before Osbourne emerged to thunderous response. But his stage tenure was brief, limited to “N.I.B.,” the first single from the NIB 2 album. Nevertheless, it was a great way to end the night, and the convention. ”