Friday, May 6, 2011

Holy Grail - Cauldron - To the Teeth -- Red Palace - May 5 2011

To the Teeth - I like to go into shows cold, with only the research or experience necessary to get me to the show in the first place. A nice naive fresh listen is always best. I will research a bit before writing so as not to look quite as foolish as I could. I was pleased to see that my very first notation on this band was "these guys are so new, they don't even have a bass player yet". Turns out, this was indeed their first show. They had a vocalist, a couple guitars and a drummer. They were young and raw, but put on a nice pleasant set. Of course they have a long way to go, but the drumming was quick and the vocals assured, if not cliched (as I can say of at least 80% of metal vocalists). The guitarists did sound like they were working on compositional moves ala Opeth, so they are on a good path as far as I can see. The drummer was left-handed and playing a kit set up for a right hander, so that was interesting to watch (although not as mind numbing as Dick Dale or the Entrance Band's guitarist who do something akin to that). The small crowd was respectful and the band rightfully had a good time with their set.

Cauldron - Next up was "Uldro" as their massive backdrop showed in between the backline stacks. This power trio comes from Toronto and did close with a Rush song (sorry, couldn't get the title). Their half-hour set had an interesting mixture of west coast metal styles, slightly glam, but plenty fast and strong. Still a small crowd of 25-40, although they were quite supportive as metal crowds usually are. I liked the contrast between the clean stylish vocals and the murkier guitar sound underneath. Solid set, if not spectacular for me.

Tagged Photos by Kelly Lebron
Holy Grail - From El-Lay, comes this five-piece that shows their greater Los Angeles roots. The double leads come fast and plenty and the lead vocalist is a fine screamer. The bass player lays it down nicely, even if he does look like a Marshall Tucker roadie. No big deal, but the look seems important here right down to the singer's studded arm bands. Speed, energy, metal cliches... all the usual was present here tonight in a slick little package. I did like the new guitarist's spidery fingers flying around on his solos. All was agreeable, just not quite up to the elite levels of some of the other metal acts I have seen in recent months. But a good nation-wide tour is a way to pay your dues and toughen up for the next round of writing.

Quote of the Night: From Cauldron... "This one's for all you street walkin' hookers out there. We know you got 'em." Yes, well they aren't here tonight, actually it's a bit early for them and they have been regulars in my neighborhood for over a quarter of a century. I don't see them much in the NE.

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