Walking into this show I wasn't sure what to expect. I had heard Factory 81's debut CD and loved it, so I knew I was in for a treat when they performed, but as for the rest of the bill I didn't know what to expect. Kittie received props from everyone I asked about them, even people who weren't into this style of music, so I was very interested to see them, and Mudvayne was the crowd favorite on this night, so I knwe they had to be an inpressive act to see. The only band on the bill that I had never heard or received any feedback on was Nonpoint who were the openers. I arrived during their sound check and was impressed with their sound and energy when no one was even in the club yet. I was very interested in seeing their set.
Nonpoint went on at around 8, and I was quick to hurry to the edge of the stage to watch them. Lead vocalist, Elias Soriano, was off the hook. For some reason the club decided it would be a smart idea to put all Kittie's gear on the stage, then try to fit everyone else in the space left over. This led to the drum set being placed in front of the drum stand and making the stage about half the size it would normally be. Unfortunately this was one of the many inconveniences the bands had to fight through over the evening. This lack of space would have bothered a lot of bands, but Nonpoint played right through it. They rocked with some of the harder, heaviest riffs I've heard in a long time, then kicked into some of the smoothest grooves you could ever want to hear. Drummer, Rob Rivera, was off the hook. He would get up and smash his cymbals and never miss a beat. The entire band was pure energy. I was greatly impressed with the entire set by these 4 men.
After Nonpoint exited the stage, Factory 81 came on and took off right where they left off. Factory 81 came out and fucked shit up. They had some great hard riffs, and some sweet vocal grooves. I enjoyed the combination of rap style vocals with some almost Tool style vocals at times. Combine those with the hard edge screams produced by vocalist Nate Wallace, and you were given chills. These were four really cool guys laying down some of the hardest, heaviest riffs of the night. The were a perfect band to keep the power going from one band to the next. The sign of great show is seamless transitions from each band to the next, and Factory 81 not only made no seam, they kicked it up a notch and got all the kids at the show going complete insane.
The next band up was Mudvayne. My description of Mudvayne is this, they put on a 45 minute set of complete and utter insanity. When they took the stage I had to give them a double take. They were all in full makeup and looked absolutely wicked. They were very similar to Pantera or Slayer. Their music was fast and hard as fuck. Their lead vocalist spent his time between verses using the microphone to keep time by beating it on his head. He was a sight to see. He had a great demented Joker(yes, he made the Joker look more demented) look with his makeup and had a waist-length goatee made into 2 long braids. Granted Mudvayne isn't a band I'd listen to on a long drive, but I wouldn't miss their live show for the world. It's rare to find a band with that much power and energy.
The final band of the night was Kittie. I was disappointed by them at first because despite the fact their gear was on the stage hindering everyone else's set, they still took longer than anyone else to get their stuff ready to go. The lull in action caused a lot of the people who showed up to see Mudvayne decide to call it a night and go home. I was suprised at the number of people who left after Mudvayne's set. These people should all kick themselves in the ass, because they missed a great band. I will admit, at first I was caught up with the fact that they are all teenagers and made me want to write them off, but I got over that idea really quickly. Kittie came out and proceeded to rock. They played like seasoned veterans not teenagers. The were ultra tight, and the combined vocals of Morgan Lander(Vocals/Guitar) and Fallon Bowman(Guitar/Vocals) provided a great edge to their set. Morgan has a softer sound and more melodic as opposed to Fallon who was the embodiment of metal with her deeper growl. Being female vocalists in a hard rock/metal band I was expecting ear piercing screams similar to a lot of other female bands of the genre, but these ladies didn't go for any of that. They are serious musicians with great abilities, and wonderful themes to their songs. I was greatly impressed that their songs weren't your average tales of misunderstood female angst and were more serious and mature. These women were meant for this, and I'm glad I've gotten a chance to see them. Great musicianship and superior lyrics help make Kittie a great band.
Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.