Sunday, December 22, 2013

Iris Divine/ Pain/ Opteryx/ Feritas/Silence the Blind/Cammo Shorts at Tally Ho Theater 12/20/2013

I went to the December to Dismember II at the Tally Ho Theater in Leesburg ($13 at the door, I should have thought ahead). It was the first I had been to that venue, but I've heard good things since LA Guns (among others) played there.  I saw Scott and Nids, Annie, Joel, Brian B, and Mike G and Dan there too. The couple who was at The Agonist was there too... I really can't recall their names but they recognized me!?

I got there and some young lad immediately asked me if he knew where I he could score some reefer. I politely told him I didn't know. I walked a little bit around the venue, and there were several people hanging out, Iris Divine carrying their stuff in, and one could totally hear the band, whomever was playing, from outside the theater!  So when I say theater, this place used to be a movie theater.

You get in and the ticket counter... is still a ticket counter, with a chalk board of a decent amount of drinks (looked like only beer and wine tho),  and a slim food selection. To the left after the counter were the restrooms, a bit in disrepair, and with a long hallway.  The main room had a nice stage, with 2 large screens (or 1 ever larger one with a 'Tally Ho' divider in the middle), a concessions area (bar), and then a merch area near the back. There were stairs to the upstairs on the right, which lead up to the 2 projectors that were in use, and maybe a small balcony (I didn't go up). There were also several tables, stools, and chairs- which gave a nice feeling of 'oh I can rest there' as well.  The top area had some steps that lead down to the floor, which was odd in that it was sloping downward, such that people closer to the stage were lower.  I liked that so short people may be able to see better.
I needed food, and I decided, why not try some wings? I did like that they had draft beer, but when they brought me my wings... lets just say they were the tiniest wings I've ever seen.  Slivers of celery and carrots were provided, along with a little blue cheese/ranch/something. I can't recommend them. I heard the pizza was hand made/in house, and it looked a bit better, but I dunno. 

ANYWAYS, so there was a really good turnout, it was more packed than I had expected it to be- about 100 people or so at the high point. I must say that there were a lot of people in bands there, so that will cushion those numbers.  Regardless there was not a shabby turnout.

Back to the bands- Cammo Shorts was the first band that I heard. They were a three piece with no drummer (some backing track)- allegedly because the band didn't want to deal with unreliable drummers or something. They were basically a 'joke' band that kind of reminded me of Stormtroopers of Death (but not nearly as good or intelligible), with their carefree attitude. They had some odd video playing in the background, but it didn't seem to add much, apart from the shots where it said 'Cammo Shorts.'  I didn't think they were very good, but there were a couple people who were into it. Every time a good riff started, either the song stopped or the vocalist distracted from it.  I have to give them props for having fun out there, tho.

Silence the Blind (verb the noun noooo) was up next and they...had a drummer. I swear they said they were from the mean streets of Wheaton (interesting cause that is where I am from). Their brand of metalcore was not bad, but it wasn't very memorable.  Their drummer was probably the best of the lot, maybe a bit high in the mix, but it sounded really good. Their vocalist was very into it and his performance seemed like he was putting his all into it. Musically they sounded pretty tight, but there was nothing like a screaming guitar solo or wailing vox to make things really stand out to me. They ended with a Cannibal Corpse cover, which was well received. Not a band I'd go out of my way to see, but I've seen way worse. They were way better than Cammo Shorts, and did add more variety to the lineup, which was nice.  

Feritas was up next- they were a 5 piece death metal band with a female drummer (I suppose I am just pointing this out, cause the only one apart from Vixen that I can recall is Justine from Blackguard). These guys were pretty fun, even if the guitars were a little buried in the mix. At least the rhythm guitarists' notes seemed like they were a bit muffled, but when the lead took his solos it was as if he was playing about 2 volume levels above  and/or clearer. The bassist looked like he was having a ball, the rhythm guitarist's super long hair was constantly in motion- at one point the vocalist had to rescue a lock from the neck/head of the guitar!  Overall, a pretty good set, and pretty solid performances from all

Opteryx, who I swear didn't mention their name and didn't have it on any of their visuals, was on now.  Now I gotta say Silence the Blind was amazing compared to these guys. I couldn't get into this deathmetalcore with pig vox. Something about their energy was just lacking. The guitarists all looked like they were just phoning it in. I couldn't distinguish the songs musically from each other, they were all very similar sounding. Combined with the less than distinguishable vocals- it was kind of a wall of noise to me.  I obviously didn't like them.

PAIN! was on now, and the frontman looked the part, which was cool- vaguely Misfits esque makeup and garb. But then the rest of the band seemed a bit more... rag tag, in black but with a bit ...less care... into their stage outfits and makeup. From what I know about the Misfits, these guys are a living homage to them- so if you're into that scene, you'd probably love 'em. Regardless, the energy that they brought was pretty fantastic. Their sound itself was a bit...rough.  The small group of about 8-10 PAIN fans went ape for them, and put everyone to shame with their mini pit, singing along, and overall rowdiness.  I will say that PAIN! mentioned that they were a punk band at a metal show about 3 or 4 times.  OK bro, we get it... it's fine.  I gotta say despite "being a punk band at a metal show," theirs was the best performance this night so far- they were mostly positive and feeding off of the crowd's energy (well at least 10 of them). They were finishing up and then discovered they had 'more time,' so they did one last song! Not to mention their fans def had the cutest girls of the night.

Iris Divine finally came on around midnight, and I was a bit tired... but they were the main band I wanted to see this night, so I manned up. They, as expected, sounded pretty great- better than at the Fates Warning show at Jaxx /Empire, Tally Ho's sound system is pretty nice.  They started out with what sounded like an entirely instrumental song, which IMO I thought was not such a great choice (but hey if you like Prog, you wouldn't really care, right?) for the uninitiated.  Anyways, I still didn't really recognize any song 100%, but they did sound familiar (like from last time or maybe from their album)- but they all sounded like a solid slab of prog metal. yusssss.  However, prog metal at such a late hour may not have been the best thing, as some of the proggy passages (PP) kind of zoned me out a little bit- which would normally be fine, but it was kinda danger at this late hour, after a full day of work and a lot of driving.  Regardless, they were IMO the best of the night, and I was pretty glad I came out. The 3 piece was very gracious (despite one member's horrible Dillinger Escape Plan love) of the crowd's pretty decent reaction, and I def want to see them again.

I think Dispellment was on after that, but they would have come on around 1 AM, and I really just wanted to go sleep and start my holiday. So, I missed out on them I think

And now the dicey subject of venue comparison...not once, not twice, but at least thrice the subject of 'oh man Empire better watch out if.... came up. So there are a variety of factors here. Below is a list of Pros/Cons that I came up with. I think the biggest negatives are the actual acts coming (or NOT coming here) and maybe the distance. However, I am a believe in if you book them, people will come. Hell, I came out for this show (but I missed Acrassicauda).  We'll see how 2014 is- if  Tally Ho gets their act(s) together, they have the potential to be some pretty decent competitors for Empire.

  • Better sound than Empire
  • Nicer stage setup (including screens) 
  • Sloping floor, better for shorties
  • More seats
  • Re-entry
  • Draft beer
  • interesting bars and restaurants around
  • About as far or further than Empire
  • Worse food, not much variety either
  • Don't think there was any liquor
  • Not great bookings so far (Acrassicauda, LA Guns, Johnny Winter are about the only national acts I see that are/were interesting)
  • Dirtier restrooms than at Empire

Overall- it was a good night to see people, some bands I'd not seen before, an check out a new place. I did not like how long the set changes seemed to take, but I'd go back to Tally Ho (tho I'd eat before hand next time). Now it is that time of year- I missed Kixmas, didn't have interest in Pig Destroyer, don't really want to pay money to see Clutch. So it looks like this was the last show of the year, 2013. Time for the year end review perhaps.

Cammo Shorts
Silence the Blind
Iris Divine

Cammo Shorts  (notes missing)

Silence the Blind
  • Built to Suffer
  • No Salvation
  • Carcinoma (YCKMMF)
  • Face of Death
  • Violence Erupts
  • Wither
  • Stripped, Raped, and Strangled (Cannibal Corpse cover) 
Feritas (9:15- 9:43)
  • ?
  • Symbiotic Dependent 
  • Grief Circus
  • Mask of Satan
  • ? (new song)
  • Overthrow Your Oppressors

Opteryx ( 10:03-10:37)
  • ?Sati
  • ? (pit)
  • Doesn't Matter if I am Drunk
  • ?
  • ?Runes... proggy
  • ?Zenbeat
  • ?

PAIN! (10:56-11:30)
  • Halloween (Misfits cover?)
  • Dr Frankenstein
  •  Mother (Danzig cover)
  • ?You Suck
  • ?Rot
  • ? howl
  • Rebel Yell (Billy Idol cover)
  • ? Victory ?
  • Redrum
  • ?Buried
  • ?One more time

  • Astrozombies (Misfits cover?)
Iris Divine (12- 12:30ish)
    • In Spirals (yup, ballsy instrumental opener!)
    • Fire of the Unknown
    • A Suicide Aware
    • Prisms 
    • Everlasting Sea
    Updated: 12/27/2013 w/ Iris Divine Setlist, STB setlist