HIM; Fails To Outshine Opener

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Fists pounded fiercely in the heavy air of the Commodore Ballroom on Friday evening. A well planned show by four just-under-the-radar bands. First to the platform was Drive-A a high flying LA based punk outfit. Next to show was Dommin a theatrical styled goth rock faction, also from LaLa land. Third in the lineup was We Are The Fallen, the female lead metal mash up. Lastly we were graced by HIM, the Finnish rock powerhouse. The entire night was amazing through and through, it was a true rock show.

[singlepic id=1162 w=320 h=240 float=left]Drive-A is a pure punk band. The moment they stepped before the horde, they were on fire. The lead singer is like a Tasmanian devil, shooting around wrapped in pure chaos. The bassist and axe man lept in the air constantly through the set. Everything about this act is powerful and assiduous, they are raw punk. Halfway through, the vocalist jumped on to the fence that was holding back the anxious crowd. He stirred the floor up like a swarm of angry bees. Without a warning he joined them, igniting a frenzy. From his new perspective he yelled “Where are the true punk rockers at.” Chaos ensued and the fans started into a giant slam dance circle, and at the center Bruno, the singer, spouting out punk perfection. Driver-A is a mass explosion of punk chaos.

Dommin took to the stage in a morbid mood. The set was covered in the hanging stems of dead red roses. Eerie sounds filtered through the PA, the band then flowed into a dark set. This post-goth trio was quite stale out the gate. The reliance of their act was based on the Bauhause feel and the Cure sound. Nothing seemed to be refreshing about the display on stage. Until the three piece dove into a cover of I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight by the Cutting Crew. The mass in attendance ate the feeder piece up quickly and again chaotic moshing erupted. Though a slow start the finish of Dommin was hard and passionate. They are definitely the base line of true goth darkness.

[singlepic id=1165 w=320 h=240 float=left]We Are The Fallen is a band fronted by Carly Smithson a former American Idol contestant. Their sound is again like Dommin, they are not new nor refreshing, but still play with power and passion. The comparison of this group to Evanescence is spot on. They are the exact replica of this strong female lead with a heavy dark backing style. Carly is a extremely sexy center piece and draws in your attention immediately. Her haunting vocals are filled with a unique tiny rasp that bring something beautiful to her sound. The ones manning the instruments aren’t playing limp ducks, they play with fun and explode with energy throughout the set. This band is something to lookout for. Although nothing new, I think they will do great in this climate of bands. If they have the right management they could be huge in a year or so. We Are The Fallen are intense dark rock with a sexy cherry on top.

HIM was bland. To put it bluntly they just didn’t seem to care. Perhaps that is a little harsh but the lead singer, Ville Valo, was the embodiment of this statement. He sat center stage and mumbled out his unrecognizable lyrics. The jibbing of jaw render each word inaudible. The band on the whole was really good, but lacked energy or effort. It felt like the line up of this night was completely backwards. HIM should have been that boring opening act, while Drive-A should have headlined. Although the anticipation in the crowd was huge, that potential energy faded almost immediately. This act was disappointing to say the least. Despite the fact this band is known for image and crazy antics, this was not reflected at all on this evening. They will lose their legacy quickly if they do not put thought and heart into their future shows.[singlepic id=1173 w=320 h=240 float=right]

Overall the night was wonderful, despite the lack of effort during the last leg. Drive-A was by far the best band of the night. They deserve good things and soon. With the passion and anthematic punk pieces they play, their fanatical following grows each night they take to the stage. Another take away was the refreshing 4 band grouping. Rarely do you see a small club gig with this setup, it was great and took away those long windows of waiting. Rock was plentiful and varying, it was amazing

Happy Concerting

Jamie Taylor
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