Black Tide, All that Remains, House of Blues, Hollywood
Tue, 26 Feb 2008 08:49:29
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Black Tide's live show packs a one-two punch of classic metal virtuosity and raw, rock and roll attitude. At the Sunset Strip House of Blues last night, the band proved not only can they write killer songs, but they also can ignite a crowd. On a bill with underground metal stalwarts like Chimaira, All that Remains and Light This City, Black Tide stand out. Not because they're a new band, but because their tunes stay stuck in your head, long after they get off stage. It's a rarity for the second of four bands to steal the show, but Black Tide aren't your average metal band. Each of the band's four members hit the stage, exuding a rock star swagger that instantly hooked the crowd's attention. With their ripped jeans and cut-off t-shirts, they resembled the back cover of Appetite for Destruction. Don't be fooled though, this is badass, hard rock for the 21st century. Yes, with the constant hair-whipping and their grunge-metal look, the band pays homage to the masters like Metallica and G N'R, however, they also bring a modern edge to the sound. They're Guns N' Roses for the energy drink-fueled, MySpace generation.
The second song of the set, "Shockwave," set everything off. Guitarist Alex Nunez shredded with the smooth cool of a seasoned pro, while vocalist Gabriel Garcia commanded attention at the middle of the stage. "Warriors of Time" saw the riffs crescendo in and out of classically-infused passages. The guitar leads remained just as catchy as the lyrics, as Nunez let each note resound. Perhaps what resonated the most was the band's rendition of Metallica's classic "Hit the Lights." They breathed new life into the song, with a note-for-note rendition and a youthful exuberance that brought us all back to the days when metal ruled the roost. The pit started and the clapping didn't stop. Throughout the set, Zack Sandler's bass playing evoked Steve Harris of Iron Maiden, as he never stepped moving. Drummer Steven Spence bashed away at his kit and simultaneously threw in some hypnotic keyboard passages. After a fist-pumping set of songs from their forthcoming debut, Light from Above (3/18/08), the young metal gods took to backstage, leaving the crowd in awe.
Light This City brought an updated style of thrash that definitely hit hard when it had to. Vocalist Laura Nichol is still one of the most brutal female vocalists on the scene. Chimaira played their standard set of ripping leads and Pantera-style grooves; "Powertrip" being the standout. Headliners All That Remains also pulled off an admirable show, heavily culled from their 2006 breakout Fall of Ideals. With no "Cookie Monster" growls or death metal drumming, Black Tide separated themselves from their more metallic tour mates. The best part of the evening was that Black Tide gave the audience some fun, which is exactly what rock needs right now.