Live Show Review
LaGoon, Ethereal Sea, Head the Hive @ The Twilight. 4-19,2018
As usual, I’m going to preface this review in regards to the sound man of the show. At best he was inexperienced, at worst he was incompetent. Either way he did not do three really good bands justice. I probably made an enemy saying this, but that’s nothing new. Thus, onward through the fog..
Head the Hive
Rating: 9 out of 10
Genre: Well…? Rock, Punk, with a touch of the psychedelic.
Hometown: Portland, Or
I have to say right now, this is a band to watch. They bring it live. Strong compositional skills, excellent use of effects, tight beyond belief and they had one hell of a lot of stage presence. I might have given this band a higher score if I could have heard them, at least better than I did, and again thanks to the sound man. Still, even beyond the previously stated, these guys really brought it. This is what other three piece bands should strive for, Tony Lavadie the bands guitarist and vocalist is a VERY talented individual. His vocal chops are as good as anyone out there within this genre, if not better. His lead work was completely on track, rather than the meandering, pentatonic nonsense we hear in this genre all the time. Mark Grzywinski on drums, combined with Kris Corona’s outstanding bass work gave this band the bottom end they needed to sound heavy as hell, yet they did it without sounding cliche. And they did it ever so well. On top of all of this, Head the Hive is a fairly fresh band, straight out of the gate, yet again they are a band to watch.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Genre: Rock, Stoner Rock
Hometown: Vancouver, Wa
Again as I said earlier, this band was not done justice by the sound system or the sound engineer. Still, this is a really good five-piece band, that could have received the higher score if I actually could have heard them. Beyond limitations of the previously aforementioned, this band has some serious compositional skills as well as a very tight and unique sound. They contrast each other greatly, yet in a very good way, delivering at times a very spacey vibe, while delivering a solid rock punch that you have to hear live to really appreciate. The only critique I have of this band concerns the use of dual vocals. They have two vocalists in this band, Dustin Bartee, also on lead guitar and Hunter Rhodes, again on lead guitar both of which are above decent, but rather than use harmonies they tended to scream in the same range when singing together. Again, they may have actually done this, but it was hard to tell due to the limitations of the “sound engineer” in general. I used the term “sound engineer” generously. Above and beyond all of that, this is a really good band worthy of a listen who managed to deliver beyond the obvious handicaps of the sound system.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Genre: Stoner Rock, with a generous splash of Skate Punk.
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
I have to say that I went to this event fully expecting to be disappointed, if only for the fact that it was a two piece and I thought they probably wouldn’t be able to deliver live. I was wrong and I stand corrected. This is probably the best two piece I’ve ever heard live, and that’s saying something. They had a thick, rich sound, which again you don’t typically get from a two piece in a live format. Anthony Gaglia, the band’s frontman and guitarist sounded every bit as good live as the recorded tracks. Once again, it was hard to hear his vocals, but we have been over this already. Brady Maurer, the band’s drummer, sounded better live than he did on his studio work. That’s saying something because it’s usually the other way around. I’ve given LaGoon a positive review previously, so I don’t need to go into detail here. I do have to say this is a very good band, especially for the genre, and even without the studio use of samples, sounded outstanding. This is another band to watch.
All-in-all, I would say this is one of the best shows I’ve been to in quite some time. I myself have played at the Twilight perhaps a half a dozen times, and I have to admit the place has changed since I was there last and for the better. I would encourage the Twilight to find a real sound man, yet despite that, it’s still an awesome place to hang and listen to some very good local talent.
Robb Benham – Independent Reviewer