Last night was next to perfect.

It was a packed house at the Skyway Theater for nothing but local metal bands. It was freezing, like -20 wind chill freezing, yet hundreds of people came out just to support this amazing music scene. I think it’s safe to say that stuff like that doesn’t happen everywhere. Usually when it’s that cold out people hunker down and lock themselves inside. Not here, not with us. When it’s that cold out, there’s no better place to warm up than at a metal show surrounded by nothing but the best of friends.

I was flying solo last night per usual due to my friends mostly sucking and wanting to just stay in or having stupid jobs because apparently we are adults now or something. Regardless, I went alone but the second I walked in the venue, I was no longer alone. I was surrounded by not only my friends in the bands playing, but my friends in the crowd. That feeling is one of the best feelings in the world. It’s hard to put it into words.

The first band to play was Soulkeeper and these guys completely blew me away. I had heard their name come up at some other shows in passing but I had never seen them before. Their sound was cleaner than majority of the local bands up here. Even though these kids looked young enough to be my children, they had more talent than some of the veteran groups in the local scene up here. I really don’t know how else to describe these guys other than they were amazing, absolutely amazing. Afterwards, I went outside with a friend of mine who is also extremely involved in the local metal scene and we just could not stop talking about these guys. Throughout the night, we would meet up and trade notes and we just kept circling around and talking about this amazing band some more. Soulkeeper will be the sole local bands on the upcoming Sumerian Records show featuring Born of Osiris and Veil of Maya… they are more than deserving and I can not wait to see them play again. That’s one show I will for sure be at on time!

In Search of Solace is one of my favorite local bands right now and last night proved why. The amount of energy these kids is unreal. Their singer was jumping in the crowd and getting people amped (although, let’s be honest, it was already a rowdy crowd just due to people trying to stay warm). Their sound is polished. There’s a fine line in metal music between becoming too over the top and heavy (making you sound muddy) and staying clean and clear. These guys have a perfect balance of being heavy and raw but also sounding professional and clean at the same time. That is the main reason why these guys are one of my favorite local bands right now. The last time I saw these guys was at First Avenue for the Four Letter Lie reunion show. That was a huge stage with a state of the art sound system so obviously, they were going to sound amazing. Last night they proved that it doesn’t matter what venue they are playing, these boys are straight up talented and sound amazing no matter what.

By The Thousands was another one of the bands that played last night. I write about these guys all the time so I will keep this brief. These guys are not going to be “local” for very much longer. They are far too good for this scene and are going to be huge in the very near future. This band is one of the few bands that it doesn’t matter how big of a show they play or how many people are swarming them after they play, they always find a way to catch me in the crowd and thank me for coming. They know damn well I wouldn’t miss one of their shows but here but the fact that they come find me and say hi and thank me… that right there is the way every local scene should be.

Last night’s show was a reunion show for the local metal band Your Memorial. These guys only play once in a blue moon so, of course, it was a huge deal. Their music was great! Their energy was on point. Everything was so perfect and it was the icing on the cake to a wonderful evening of local music. But then it happened…

There is a time and a place for religion. I do not feel like a concert is one of those places. If you want to preach your beliefs to a crowd, do it at a church. Not at a concert. If you’re a Christian band, I get it, props to you. Feel free to say a prayer before you play or do a little shout out to your homeboy Jesus Christ. DO NOT stand on that damn stage and start preaching to the crowd about your religion. DO NOT start quoting the bible. DO NOT start explaining what happens in the bible to the crowd. DO NOT get on a high horse about that church you opened. I don’t care. I didn’t come to your show to be reminded that I am a minority (I’m Jewish if you didn’t know). I didn’t come to this show to hear someone preach religious stuff to me… I can walk my happy ass down to a church if I want that. When bands start this stuff, it is an immediate turn off. I walked out the door. I was done. The music was great. The guys in Your Memorial seemed genuinely nice and like great guys. But there is a time and a place. I felt completely alienated and uncomfortable. So dear bands, praise Jesus all you want but do it on your own time, not on stage.

My last thought of the night: The singer of Your Memorial said one of the most heart wrenching things I have ever heard in regards to the passing after Justin Lowe (the guitarist of After the Burial, a killer local band, who tragically took his own life last year). “Our guest list is one person short. It shouldn’t be like that.” The heaviness of that statement hit everyone in the crowd and I’m pretty sure there was not a dry eye in the place. Your Memorial told the crowd that if anyone needed to talk to somebody about anything they are there. They will listen to you if you are in a hard spot and need someone to talk to. That is the reason why I have immersed myself in this life. No matter what you’re going through, you’re not alone if you’re involved in a family like this. I know that no matter how bad things get for me, I just have to find a show to go to and everything will be fine. It’s because of people like the members of Your Memorial. They may not know me, we may not have the same religious beliefs but I would be more than comfortable coming to any of those members if I was in a tough spot.

All in all, last night was nothing short of amazing. I say it in every blog I post after a local metal show… this is an amazing scene full of amazing people and bands. I am more than honored to be a part of it.

Line Up:

Your Memorial
Reaping Asmodeia
By The Thousands
In Search Of Solace 
Imagine The Silence
To Release

Venue: Skyway Theatre (Studio B)

Sausage Fest Meter- 11 out of 10

Average Age of the Crowd- 20

Crowd Surfers- 5

Stage Divers- 77 (There were probably more but I left early)

Broken Bones- None but I did see a stage diver do a face plant into the concrete. He was out cold and was taken to the couch behind me. He seemed to be in bad shape but after a song or two, he was right back at it. I also so a couple of people take kicks to the chest, I’m sure they were feeling it this morning and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a couple cracked ribs.

Drunkards Taken Out By Security- None

Spotted in the Crowd- Jerrid of Royal’z; Lee of Mithya

Overall Score- 9.7 out of 10 (Could have been a perfect 10 had it not been for the Jesus talk)

Show on Deck- Bully at the Fine Line