So after a very busy weekend, and with local music being put to the test against events like the American Royal BBQ, and other large events, SLAMDOWN II that was held at Aftershock on Oct 5th and 6th still showed success.
Playing across the two nights were 14 bands, many that have never played Aftershock or for a Project Backstage show before. The event was to help continue to raise money for SLAM Radio which operates out of Aftershock in its own studio, and stands for Supporting Local Artists and Music.
The whole thing kicked off on Friday night with Caucasian Debris which heavily impressed the staff with the direction that they have taken their music. They have become a lot more solid, tightened up some loose ends, and were more solid with vocals.
Another highlight of the Friday show was Population Not which is fronted by Patrick Hart and a popcorn machine as a bass player. While generally one man bands do not impress many because of the level of difficulty involved with performing that style, this is the second PB show that Population Not has played and the show that Patrick and “the popcorn dude” put on in amazing in itself. People that did not know what to expect because they have not seen the red door tradmarked performance before, well just say they were standing speechless.
Stealing the show on the Friday night performances though had to be Sicadis. While all bands had some very strong points and the talent across all 7 on Friday were above what was to be expected, Sicadis showed why they are veterans of this local music scene and that they deserved the title in 2012 from the Midwest Rock Awards as “Metal Band of the Year”. The energy projected from the stage and the performance that was given was phenomanal and flawless.
On Saturday night there were 7 more bands that took the stage that was kicked off by Armed 4 Vengance. The spot that Wicken was supposed to play in was switched when there was an unfortunate accident where the bass player for Wicken was involved in a pretty serious accident on the trip into the show. Armed 4 Vengance did not have their normal lead singer availabile so they had a female (the name escapes us) that was nothing short of amazing. The entire staff agreed that if a replacement could sing to the level that she did, maybe just maybe they should consider keeping her in some form. Armed 4 Vengance was without a doubt the sleeper performance of the entire two nights as people kept asking the staff “where did they come from” and other comments like “these guys f*cking rock”.
Wicken did take the stage 2nd on Saturday, and you could tell they were off from the days unfortunate circumstances. Those that saw Wicken for the first time that night did not get the real performance of what Wicken can do. Many people did not know of the incident that took the band off their game, and we only hoped that for many the first impression would not be their last. We have to give all the members of Wicken serious props for continuing to do whatever they had to and made sure that they took the stage. They had the oppurtunity to drop from the show after the problems, but by their own choice wanted to continue and play the show. To be honest, the entire staff felt that was honorable and we can not say that we would have done the same.
For the nights highlights, it was actually a one-two punch from two bands. Red Velvet Crush (Not Red Velvet Revolver as JBabs introduced them as) played an acoustic performance that blew everybody away in the venue. Jillian’s vocals were dead on key and powerful and the music was not that of a normal acoustic show. The stage presence and ambiance that Red Velvet Crush put forth was nothing short of top-tier level entertainment.
The second punch was 9 Volt Junkie. They took the stage immediately after Red Velvet Crush and even the lead singer flashed back to Jillian and how much he loved the performance. 9 Volt came out swinging from the first song to the last. The timing of all the songs were dead on, and at one point they were compared to many National acts that have passed through town lately. The entire staff on review sheets also made comment on how it did not feel like a local band, nor someone that you would expect to see on a 14 band bill. If 9 Volt Junkie continues to put up performances like what they did on Saturday, there is absolutely no doubt that they will go far in what they are doing and in rapid pace.
The Devil’s Marmalade and Razing Paradise were equally as hot and burned through thier sets at levels we had not seen before. Devil’s Marmalade hit it very hard but some sound issues (which is not their fault) we think kept the crowd from fully getting engulfed into their performance like they did during 9 Volt Junkie and Red Velvet Crush. The same can be said with Razing Paradise as some timing issues kinda hurt the vibe but once again the monitors apperantly were not where the bands could hear what they were doing. Both of these bands are rapidly becoming top bands in the area and for very good reason. The performances on Saturday night once again does not reflect the talent and the skill that these bands perform at and achieve at their shows.
Unfortunately after 16 hours of event we did not catch the band to close the night, Pair-A-Dice but were told by fans they were awesome. Many people have emailed PB to book these guys again to another show so that they can catch them again. We will be in contact with Pair-A-Dice to find out their schedules and post to let people know where they can catch them again.
Across the two nights the schedule lined out like this:
7:00 – 7:30 Caucasian Debris
7:50 – 8:20 Bleed The Victim
8:40 – 9:10 The Sibyl
9:30 – 10:00 Population Not
10:20 – 10:50 An Endless Chapter
11:10 – 11:40 Sicadis
12:00 – 12:30 Order Number Eleven
7:00 – 7:30 Wicken
7:50 – 8:20 Armed 4 Vengeance
8:40 – 9:10 Red Velvet Crush
9:30 – 10:00 9 Volt Junkie
10:20 – 10:50 The Devils Marmalade
11:10 – 11:40 Razing Paradise
12:00 – 12:30 Pair-A-Dice