Tuesday, March 13, 2007

No Fear - It was a good concert.

This past Friday, I went to The No Fear Music Tour stop in Columbus, OH. The line up, in order of appearance, was He Is Legend, Chimaira, Dragonforce, and Killswitch Engage.

My friends and I got there just as the first band, He Is Legend, started the sold-out show. They were okay, which is the same reaction I got when I listed to samples of them on iTunes before the show. They seemed a little more "rock 'n' roll" than metalcore, to me. The singer reminded me, in the way he moved and the poses he struck, of the singer from Tesla, even though he doesn't really look like him. They ended with some of Pantera's "Broken" mixed into their final song.

Chimaira was up next. Mark Hunter, the vocalist, was visciously intense. The whole band was solid, grooving, and heavy. Their set list was great, with Resurrection, Pure Hatred and Nothing Remains all being hit up front.

During their set, with one pit about 10 feet in front of us, I found myself on the fringe of another pit for the first time in probably eight years, this time behind us (where I didn't see it coming). In the early-to-mid 1990s, I was in and around pits frequently, but I have since lost my "sea legs" for them; I got shoved from behind and a third of my drink ended up on the people in front of me. Sorry!

It was a shift in gears going from Chimaira to the next band up: Dragonforce. Dragonforce's sound harkens back to the power metal and guitar pyrotechnics of the late 1980s. It is uplifting music, with soaring vocals and frenetic instrumentation. I read a review once somewhere that described their sound as Journey at 10x speed, and there's some truth to that.

Killswitch Engage were the headliners, and when they took the stage, people got very excited, and Killswitch put on an appropriately good show. It turns out that, despite the band hailing from New England, the Killswitch singer, Howard Jones, is originally from Columbus, Ohio, so it was a sort of homecoming for him.

In the end, I thought Chimaira put on the best show of the night. They weren't as technical as Dragonforce, but they were intense, with sophisticated drumming, rock solid guitars and bass, nicely subtle keyboards and backing vocals, and the brutal Mark Hunter on lead vocals.

The concert was worth paying for all of that TicketMaster convenience.

At the show, my friend Jason and I discussed his observations on how people come to be fans of metal. Some come to it from the hardcore scene (his situation), while others come to it from other sub-genres. In my case, KISS was the start of my path to loving guitar-driven music. Before discovering KISS, I liked Elvis and Beatles, but once I heard (and saw photos of) KISS in about 1978, things would never be the same for me. That started me on a path that lead me to a show like this all these years later.

After the show, Jason and I met up backstage with my brother-in-law Casey (who went to high school with members of Chimaira), where we hung out with a handful of people including Jim LaMarca, bassist for Chimaira, and ZP Theart, singer for Dragonforce. It was an entertaining way to end the evening.


At 11:04, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Kevin, I agree with your overall review of the No Fear concert. I too, thought that Chimaira put on the best show. But maybe I am a little bit bias. Regardless, I think they should have definitely gone on after Dragonforce. As always it was great hanging out with you and the bands after the show. Always a good time! Sorry I could not get us on the list. It was a little difficult with Howard Jones being from Columbus, and they were headlining. But it was definitely worth paying for the ticket to see that show. Especially for me since you bought my ticket - Thanks! Next time Chimaira comes to town I will definitely get us the hook up. Also, you are more than welcome to come check them out with me next month either in Mexico City, or Santiago, Chile.


At 11:45, Blogger muncman said...

Casey, if I could get to either of those places next month, even without a concert lined up, I'd be there! :-)


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