March 6, 2006

Concert Review: Powerman 5000 w/ In This Moment, Audible Thought, Metadox 3/4/06

This was my third opportunity to see Powerman 5000 live, and just like the previous two times they did not disappoint. They may not be among the most prolific album producers, but they now how to work the stage. Before we get to their performance, there were a few other bands to check out.

I got to The Chance around 8:30, the scheduled door open time. To find that despite the line of people still waiting to get in, the first band had already began their set. By the time I was able to get my ticket and get inside, that initial act had already finished their set and the next act was bringing their equipment up onstage. I hate it when they advertise one thing and do another. I have experienced this a few times at a couple of different venues. Anyway, let's move on to the acts that I did get to see.

First up was Metadox. These guys are good, but their sound is beginning to develop a little more. I had seen them a few times in 2005, and they kept getting better, delivering power metal in an Iron Maiden styled package. Now the music still has that power metal feel to it, but they have increased the speed to thrash like levels in some cases. I noticed a couple of lineup changes, a new bass player and drummer gracing the stage around the core of the singer and guitar duo. Their 25 minute set was good, most of the material seemed to be new, or at least newly arranged from what I had heard previously. Nothing struck me as instantly catchy as past tracks, but the increased speed was interesting. Overall, they put on a good show and it will be interesting to watch as their sound continues to evolve.

Next up was an act that I saw for the first time a month ago, Audible Thought. These guys are good, and the month between the last time I saw them and now. The sound is a blend of influences, such as Disturbed and Sevendust. The last time I saw them, I had a bit of criticism for the drummer, and I stand by the assessment for the time, the past month has shown a big jump in their becoming a stronger unit. His sound has become bigger and more in line with the thick wall laid down by guitar and bass. This band has nowhere to go but up and are becoming a favorite of the local circuit. Big metal sound from the four piece, a sound that fits in with the current metal scene, yet with songs that stand on their own. The music hits like a ton of bricks and has an incredible fullness to it, at times it sounded as if they had 2 guitarists at times. Looking forward to hearing studio recordings from them.

The final opening act is a band from LA that is out on the road with Powerman, as opposed as the local acts that played earlier. They were called In This Moment, and I do not think that I was quite prepared for what they brought to the stage. The lights went dark, then a spotlight came straight down illuminating a lone figure onstage, a woman with her back to us and an arm raised to the sky. She was dressed in what looked like an "Alice in Wonderland" costume, a short blue and white dress with knee socks, kind of like what is on this page. The music began, soft and light, her voice then came in, light and ethereal, then the lights came up, she turned around and the real show began. The guitars kicked in, and then we heard her "real" singing voice, a throaty scream that commanded attention, along with the jack hammer drums, the hard/metal core music took over for the opening lightness. The motion in the pit kicked up as the pile of bodies moved from one side to the other and back. This is not my favorite style, but In This Moment was very good, loud, raucous, with a great lead singer that grabbed your attention and proceeded to blast your eardrums out.

Now, the moment that we had all been waiting for, In This Moment had vacated the stage and the curtains had been drawn, you could here the activity on the other side as the stage was being set for our main event. It was just about 11:30, the curtain went up and Powerman 5000 was onstage. They opened with "Supernova Goes Pop," which is a good way to get a crowd fired up. Spider has enormous energy reserves as he was in constant motion for virtually the entire performance, jumping around pumping his fist, sneering, I swear he is channeling Billy Idol. They sounded as tight as ever, playing straight up rock and roll, the kind that makes you want to jump, which is what a lot of the crowd was doing for most of the night. Spider announced that we would be getting a new PM5K album sometime this year. We got a peek at a couple of those new tracks, one being the title track "Destroy What You Enjoy," a great track from what will hopefully be a great album. The setlist was a mix of tracks from the last two albums, with "Nobody's Real" and "Automatic" joining the opening song from Tonight the Stars Revolt! blended in with songs such as "Free," "Action," "Transform," and "Theme to a Fake Revolution" from Transform. Closing out the main set is one of their most popular songs, and one that hasn't been officially released on an album, it was from the scrapped Anyone for Doomsday? album, and popularized as an entrance theme for former WWE wrestlers, The Dudley Boyz, "Bombshell." That one got the crowd moving again, a sort of second wind. The came out and played a three song encore closing with "When Worlds Collide." I wish they could have played more, but am happy for what I got. Powerman 5000 is a great live band and have crafted a lively form of rock and roll, see them if you get the chance.

I would have to say, the one thing I wish that PM5K did was to dig a little deeper into their catalog. They have some good tracks on their big league debut, Mega! Kung Fu Radio. That doesn't even get into the excellent cuts collected on The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Vol. 1. Spider has a voice that is a lot more multifaceted than is exhibited in the most recent releases. The throaty rumble, along with the jazzier, funkier tracks of the early days would be great to hear live. In any case, I just hope they come through town again soon.

Categories: , , , ,


Post a Comment