I’ve been to a lot of shows lately. A lot of amazing shows but Friday’s show made it really feel like I had my life back. A dark basement club, screeching guitars, powerful basslines, slamming drums, screaming vocals- yes, that’s right ladies and gentlemen, I had my first good ol’ fashioned local metal show last night and it filled my heart so much.

Semtex got things started off perfectly. I have only caught this band one other time and fell in love instantly that time. This band has truly only gotten tighter with time. Their distinct blend of something a little trashy and something a little hardcore was the perfect way to kick off the night. Every song was in your face and punchy in all of the best ways possible. Like the other two bands that would grace the stage after them, the energy was relentless. Playing a mix of older tracks and some new ones (including the title track off their upcoming album ‘The War Within’ which was an instant favorite of mine), Semtex is absolutely a band that I have my eyes on.

Following Semtex was a personal favorite of mine, Cymothoa. Although I’m not typically one for instrumental bands, the way Cymothoa does it has me completely sold. Friday night’s show was a CD release party for Cymothoa’s new album, ‘The Sequel: Part II’. They spent their all-too-quick set playing through this brilliant new piece of art and had the good-sized audience in the palm of their hand throughout the set. One thing that will always keep me coming back for more from this band is their unique blend of genres. There are times in their music where it’s just straight-up heavy but other moments that have a bit more of a groove and some parts that even bring a little bit of funkiness to the speakers. Genre and influence-wise, this band is all over the place and it keeps you on your toes. Beyond their music is their banter. Dry and hilarious, this band constantly had the audience chuckling but instantly got serious again as they jumped into the next track. Honestly, their new album is far too short. Although it’s ten songs, it felt like it was over in the blink of an eye. I was not the only one pleading with the concert Gods for one more song when they were done, even the sound guy was asking for one more but the band didn’t give in. After finishing the album playthrough, this trio left the stage and made room for Ysilik.

There was so much power in Ysilik’s performance that, once it was over, there was no way I could have just gone home and gone to bed. The power not only came through their music but also their energy. The vocalist was clearly shouting his heart out and did it with such a conviction that it was almost exhausting to watch. Honestly, everyone who graced the stage on Friday played with all their heart but there was just something about Ysilik’s set that hit me a bit harder than the previous bands. Aggressive and in your face, although I had every intention of skipping out a little early to meet up with some friends that were bumming around the area, I was completely tied to the stage until the very end and, even then, I wanted so much more.

Yeah, there have been a lot of amazing shows lately but going back to my roots and seeing people I haven’t seen in over a year and a half was the absolute perfect way to spend my Friday night. Yeah, big-name bands are touring again but don’t forget, your friends are back playing and, half the time, they give a better show than those big names.

Line Up:




Venue: Club Underground at The Spring Street Tavern

Sausage Fest Meter- 9.8 out of 10

Smell-O-Meter – BO and Spilled Beer

Average Age of the Crowd- 30

Crowd Surfers- None

Mosh-ability- 7 out of 10

Stage Divers-  None

Broken Bones- None

Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing

Fights- None Witnessed

Pukers- None Witnessed

Injuries- None Witnessed

Idiots Taken Out By Security- None Witnessed

How Many Times I’ve Seen These Bands Before (or at least how many times I can remember)-

Semtex- 1

Cymothoa- 4

Ysilik- 0

Celebrity Sightings- Greg of Ritual Madness Podcast; Tony (formerly of Cymothoa); Ryan (of various locals bands)

Overall Score- 8 out of 10

Show on Deck- Gregory Alan Isakov/ Patti Smith and her Band

PHOTO CREDIT: Ruby Glass Media

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