Saturday, December 7, 2013

Fates Warning/ Halcyon Way/ Brave/ Iris Divine/ Bachs of Rock @ Empire 11/29/2013

I went to see prog metal legends (?) Fates Warning ($18) at Empire. I am only somewhat familiar with them, but liked the few songs I had heard, so why not? There were a number of people there- Dave, Ariel and a friend, Bridget, Kris, Tom, Bobbie and Nick, Omar y Gori, and Michelle.


There were probably  150 or so people, and it seemed pretty full, way fuller than I expected, but it def was not sold out.  It was a healthy crowd, whatever the case, tho a bit...less energetic than last week's Overkill show. I think things were running late, because I heard the last song of whomever was on before the Bachs of Rock. This did not bode well- a long evening ahead X_X.

Merch wise- Iris Divine had Red or Orange on black shirts, their CD ($10). Brave had shirts and CDs, Halcyon Way had similar (shirts n CDs), but more as well. Fates Warning had a few kind of pedestrian proggy shirts, and I think they had their new CD.

The Bachs of Rock played a similar set to when I saw them with Adrenaline Mob, including the kind of messy "Trooper" cover, and the horrible Beatles song. They did play an interesting version of "Enter Sandman" called... "Enter Funkman," which is pretty self explanatory. Now let me remind you these kids were like 11 years old. So whatever fuckups they had were pretty excusable. And I am sure most of the bands on afterwards were crapping their pants... if they were this decent at 11, how the f am I not better at X age!??  I would be demoralized.  They sounded sufficiently heavy and really put on a solid set (minus that horrible Beatles song). I think that the last song of an instrumental was a mistake, but what can you do?

Iris Divine, local prog rock/metal band was on next- I wanted to see/hear their set after hearing a couple tracks. They were really solid, tho I could not really tell you what they played. They sounded really good, tho the vocalist  could have been more clear. Their proggy sound was pretty clean and flowed pretty well- well enough for me to purchase a CD ($10)! Not to mention that for a 3 piece, they were pretty strong, especially for the pretty complex stuff they were playing. I would def want to see them again- especially after hearing their CD and hopefully will be able to pick out the songs ;3

Brave was next- they had a female vocalist on keys, an electric violinist, a drummer, 2 guitarists, and a bassist. IMO too many people, and the mix was a bit off. The violin sounded fantastic- but was drowned out by most everything and didn't blend as well as it should have with the rest of the band.  I wanted to like them, but their songs (and not to mention the nigh impossible to google name) sounded pretty generic. The vocalist's style was kind of Within Temptation meets singer songwriter, but not good (IMO). Now this is not to say that she could not sing, because that is far from the case. But I didn't like how she was singing/the songs. So this was a hard set for me, because I was trying to find things to like, but things just didn't sound right (apart from the few violin solos).  I was trying to keep motivated all throughout their set :/

Halcyon Way- a band I had heard one song and figured they'd be good live, was definitely the best of the openers (well energy wise at least, Iris Divine may have been technically better)- with their combination of hair band and 'modern' Octane rock.  Despite their 'Children of Bodom' esque lack of originality album covers (1 and 2), their mix of clean and harsh vocals and somewhat heavy guitars and melodic hooks was drawing me in. Their singer's build, hair, and voice also reminded Ariel and I of Y2J Chris Jericho (who if you didn't know has his own metal band), so that was kind of fun.  Now I had not heard of these guys before like the day of the show, so I was pleasantly surprised by them. Now I'm not saying they are the best ever, but they had that 'fun' element of them that usually hair bands and power metal bands have. That I really appreciated.

Fates Warning finally got on to a pretty crowded floor. Again, I am only marginally knowledgeable about them, so I was mainly absorbing. The sound was pretty clear, which is fabulous for all the details going on with the technical music.  They played some songs off their new album, but I'm not sure what all the rest of their set was made up from without going off the deep end looking thru a ton of albums.  The vocalist had a nice clean singing voice and it soared over the music pretty well.  Some songs were heavier than others, and there were others that were smoother and caused a more introspective feels.  Those 'serious' proggy songs, causing the different feelings than more 'happy go lucky' musics.  So that was a different atmosphere- and the crowd was about the same- more laid back, but def appreciative. They played a full 1.5 hr set, which was very nice- it really didn't seem that long, it all just... flowed... well.  I wish I knew more about Fates Warning, because all I really can tell you is that it sounded very good, and those guys played their asses off. If there was a bad note somewhere, I don't think I heard it. Totally would recommend these guys for Prog fans- but more... thrashy... fans may be disappointed at the different type of energy these guys bring.

Overall, it was an initially stressful night, but the bands were very good (for the most part) and it was a pretty fun night.

next show: Alestorm in Baltimore (not Halestorm, who also will play on the same night... also in Baltimore)

Photos:
Bachs of Rock/ Iris Divine/ Brave
Halcyon Way
Merch
Fates Warning


Setlists:

Bachs of Rock (7:05- 7:36)
  • Injustice
  • Travel
  • Come Together (Beatles cover)
  • Enter Funkman (Metallica cover, funked up)
  • The Trooper (Iron Maiden cover)
  • No
Iris Divine (7:45- 8:13) (updated 12/7 w/ set for Iris Divine)

    • The everlasting sea
    • a suicide aware
    • Apathy rains
    • In the wake of martyrs

      Brave  (8:28- 8:51)
      • ?
      • ?
      • ?
      • ?
      • ?
       Halcyon Way (9:11- 9:56)
      • Rise to Revise
      • Inversion
      • Death of a Dream
      • Web of Lies
      • ?
      • Age of Betrayal
      • ? (our finest  hour?)
      • Desecration Day

      Fates Warning (10:26- 12:02) (setlist.fm, but my notes counted 14 songs?)
      • One Thousand Fires
      • Life in Still Water
      • A Pleasant Shade of Gray, Part III
      • Another Perfect Day
      • One
      • A Pleasant Shade of Gray, Part VI
      • Pieces of Me
      • I Am
      • The Eleventh Hour
      • Point of View
      • Firefly
      • Through Different Eyes
      • The Ivory Gate of Dreams: IV. Quietus
      • A Pleasant Shade of Gray, Part XI
      • Still Remains

      • Wish
      • Monument