This past Monday, I went to The Masquerade in Atlanta to see a show. Kyng was the headliner, but I was going to see Kill Devil Hill. I really dig the debut Kill Devil Hill, full of heavy, down tuned guitars, and rock and roll attitude. Their second one is not as good, but I still dig this band.
So anyway, what happens? For some reason, Kill Devil Hill dropped off the tour, or at least this is what I was told by a Masquerade employee. I was very disappointed, but I planned on having a good time anyway. And I surely enjoyed this show.
The very first band was a local Atlanta band called The Blessed Dead. Very heavy, down tuned, fast and furious rock. Sort of like a speed or thrash metal band. The vocals were completely and totally Cookie Monster vocals, which normally I can't stand. But this band's lead singer at least growled and screamed in key, so it was listenable.
The drummer of this local band was an excellent time keeper. The two guitar players played well, but I don't understand how a guitarist plays an entire gig, and never once (not even for a few seconds), changes up his guitar tone. How about a "clean intro" or bridge, in amongst all the heaviness? Anyway, they were good players, but I don't understand not being more diverse. I enjoyed this band, but not enough where I would seek to see them again.
The second, or middle band, was a replacement, I believe, for Kill Devil Hill. And I was completely blown away. This band put on one of the best sets I've seen in a long time....and I've seen a lot. From Pennsylvania, if you ever get a chance to see "Crobot", do yourself a favor, and go check them out.
I liked them so much, I bought their CD. I've listened to it once so far, and my thought so far is that they are even more enjoyable live. These guys absolutely killed it, with an intense, high energy performance that was so enjoyable, I absolutely will go see them again. The lead vocalist has a great voice, and does not "lose anything" live, either. The guitar player sang some outstanding back-up, harmony vocals.
Speaking of the guitarist, he was playing a Fender Telecaster, which to me, is always a very "clean sounding" guitar, and is better fitted for either country or southern rock players. And this guys sound was clean...but yet heavy at the same time. He had a great style, and was constantly twirling his guitar around his neck, catching it again, and not missing a note.
The bass player was perhaps the most energetic bass player I've ever seen. I mean...this guy rocked! Plays very much like Billy Sheehan, with his "picking fingers" never leaving the end of the neck. Most bass players pick over the body of the guitar, or over the pickups, but this guy kept his picking fingers on the neck....much like the great Billy Sheehan does himself. But again, this guy was just an awesome performer. He played like there was 100,000 people in the audience.
The energy level of this band was awesome...and contagious. Crobot is an incredible live band. And that should say something to you. Meaning, this is a band I had never heard, or seen. Did not know one thing about them at all. And now, I'm a big fan. Even though they are from Pennsylvania, apparently they play The Masquerade a good bit. They will be back in late May, and no matter who else is on the bill, I'll be there. They are an excellent live band, with contagious energy, and a touch of blues added to their writing style.
Finally, the headliner, Kyng finished the night off. This threesome makes a lot of music for just 3 guys. But first, a little "lead in" about this band. I have a friend by the name of Jeff Langston, who is a great dude, with a ton of talent himself. He is the lead singer and lead guitarist for Atlanta's own Ledfoot Messiah...a band I totally dig. Well, we were discussing bands and music a few weeks ago, and he just happened to mention this band "Kyng" that he really liked.
He even mentioned that they spell it with a "y", instead of an "i". But, if Jeff Langston likes them, then there's a real good chance I would like them. And then, a week or so later, RJHog just happens to post some Kyng in an NMC post. And he links it to another earlier post with Kyng music. So I get to hear some tunes from this band, and I like what I heard.
So the timing of all this is just kind of funny...and kind of cool. Someone mentions this band, then someone provides me a chance to hear some of their music. And then, I go to see Kill Devil Hill, and it just so happens they are supporting this Kyng band (well, that was the original plan).
But Kyng was good live. Their live vocals are very good, as the bass player sings harmony back up very well to the guitar player's lead vocals. Speaking of the guitar player, his guitar was a very beautiful guitar I've never ever seen before. I've seen plenty of Dean guitars, and I've seen plenty of Gibson SG's, but I've never seen a Dean with an SG body.
This guitar had a beautiful "tobacco" sunburst finish, and I bet it was a guitar built by Dean's custom shop. A very rare, good sounding guitar. Even though I got to hear some Kyng music before this show, I did not recognize that many songs, only having heard them a little so far. But it was a very enjoyable set, and there was one completely killer...and shocking...surprise.
And that is the one cover song Kyng did. They whipped out a fantastic, tight, killer version of Van Halen's "Hot For Teacher". And they did it with "great justice". The guitar, even the lead, was right on. The vocals, even the "spoken rap" parts, were right on..."I wonder what the teacher's gonna look like this year...". I dont think I've ever heard anyone cover this, and Kyng did a remarkable job, and it was the highlight of the set for me.
So all in all, a great evening of entertainment for just $15. Enjoyed all 3 bands, and I'm already a Crobot fan. The Kyng, I'll listen to some more here on this site, and possibly purchase something at some point. The show ended up being good enough, to where I was able to quickly get over my disappointment of Kill Devil Hill's cancellation.
I am not sure what happened with all of that, but I can't help but wonder if the real, true reason, was the fact that the show did not draw well, and perhaps Kill Devil Hill was cancelled because of lack of finances to even pay them? There was probably 40 to 50 people there, tops. The Masquerade actually has 3 different venues within the same complex, and this show was at the area where probably 250 to 300 people would "pack it out". It was a Monday night, but still a very disappointing turn out for the bands. But they still rocked, and it was a night I won't forget.