Thrashed Post Experimental Metal

Elated is just one way to describe the feeling I had after seeing Vektor, Eight Bells, and Warm at the Outer Space Ballroom last night.

The night began with what I’ll call my own little ‘opener’, a Coriolis from New England Brewing Company. I’d recommend this beer for any hop fanatics. Tip: Always get Coriolis if you see it on tap, as this DIPA is sure to kick within 24 hours.

New England Brewing Company Coriolis

DIPA = double IPA; Can also be referred to as an “Imperial” IPA

Okay, back to the show! Warm, from CT, was the first opening band and I was very impressed by their brand of experimental metal.



Warm apply the ‘post metal’ label to themselves, and I’d even pin them with ‘post hardcore’ as well. Definitely for fans of everything from the abrasiveness of Cable to the melody and sonic expansiveness of Baroness. Their performance is very physical as well, so even if you’re not 100% into the music, you still get your money’s worth. Warm are releasing a full length very soon, so keep your eyes on their Bandcamp page, and I hope to see these guys on lots of future metal bills!

Next up was more experimental metal, delivered by Eight Bells from Portland, OR.

eight bells

Eight Bells

This all female, three piece dominated the stage and commanded your utmost attention. The vocal harmonies were something I hadn’t seen a band pull-off live in a long time. Very beautiful with both clean and dirty vox which I can imagine would be even more impressive in a larger venue, with a larger sound system.

There were both intense and muted sections that took you along a complete metal journey. -It’s nice to have dynamics from time-to-time instead of the continuous pummeling of riffs and drums. The double-kick was used sparingly which only made it even more welcome and pronounced when it hit. I was also blown away by the 6-string bass work in addition to the soundscape mastery by the effects-laden guitar. Eight Bells are due to drop their new full length this month. I will definitely buy into that presale!

Headlining the night was Vektor from AZ, by way of Philadelphia, PA.



Vektor’s progressive thrash metal is no joke. You can only peel your eyes away from the rapid fire guitar work, if you’re leading the circle pit in the crowd… otherwise, you’re just glued to it!

I love their Outer Isolation full length and can’t wait for their upcoming new release either. These guys are pros and I have a hunch their rise into the upper echelon of metal is just beginning. Fans of the Big 4 should definitely give Vektor a serious listen and better yet, see them in action!

If you’re on the East Coast, your chance to see Vektor and Eight Bells begins (again) tonight with their big tour with Voivod kicking off in Providence (and then on to NYC and Philly). Don’t miss it!

-The Sweet and Sweaty

One More Saturday Night

Call a sitter, get off the couch, put on your dancing sneaks, and get up to Black-Eyed Sally’s in Hartford tonight for Pink Talking Fish Are Dead (Saturday, January 16th, 2016 @9pm).

You can’t go wrong with the BBQ at Black-Eyed Sally’s and you’ll be MORE than pleased with the Pink Floyd, Talking Heads, Phish, and Grateful Dead covers that Pink Talking Fish pump out.

We heard “Time”, “Life During Wartime”, “Eyes Of The World”, “Run Like An Antelope” and many more crushers at Pacific Standard Tavern last night. They had EVERYONE moving on the floor, so hopefully Sally’s will clear enough tables for tonight!

Definitely make a reservation at Sally’s if you’re eating, as they’re always busy on Saturday’s. If you’re just going for the band, get there early as it was PACKED last night.

Not a show to miss!!! If you can’t make it, follow the band for the next time they’re in CT. Or, check out if they’ll be in your town on this tour.

-The Sweet and Sweaty


“Almost” Doesn’t Cut It Joe

Joe Russo's Almost DeadWe’ve seen a lot of Dead tribute bands. I would elect to say that even some of these bands that contained original members from the Grateful Dead should be dubbed “tribute” bands as well. But, that’s probably a debate for another day.

Whether you are a certified “Head” or just a casual Dead imbiber, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead will do more than almost steal your face, they will melt it right off! They did just that on January 2nd at the venerable Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY (Separate posts to come on ‘The Cap’ and surrounding pre-concert favorites along with helpful tips).
The Capitol Theatre

Joe Russo added a ton of oomph to Furthur with a drumming style that was far more power forward vs. the original sound and stylings of the Dead. However, the style did not stray too far from the Dead’s roots, being that Furthur contained two, surviving members.

That’s where there’s nothing ‘almost’ about this Dead tribute as Joe Russo fully embraces loud rock drumming, adding a completely new sound and style to Dead classics. All the other members play up to this force as well, which creates their own, unique wall of sound.

The crowd was warmed up by The Speakeasy Jazz Babies playing traditional, New Orleans-style jazz (that actually included Dave Dreiwitz’ Mom & Dad in honor of Dave’s 50th).
Joe Russo's Almost Dead

This acoustic set was a perfect appetizer and only allowed Joe Russo’s Almost Dead to contrast it in full form. You had sweet and touching, followed by sweaty and no apologies!

Let’s not call it an updated sound or not classic either, that’s too harsh. This is just something we haven’t seen done on this scale before. Sure, there is most certainly a hard rocking Dead cover band out there playing ‘Dead Thursdays’ at your local watering hole, but Joe Russo’s Almost Dead is actually hitting and delighting mass theater crowds with their take on the Dead.

And don’t worry too much about this being a heavy metal Dead. The guitar tones and level of distortion still sit well within the Dead’s traditional sound. The keys and bass are a bit outside the traditional lines in terms of volume and tones, but they only left a positive effect on the Dead classics they played.

There’s no doubt that musical influences have something to do with this more power forward tribute to the Dead. Outside of Dave Dreiwitz, best known as the bassist for Ween, Marco Benevento (piano/keys/organ), Tom Hamilton (guitar), and Scott Metzger (guitar), all clock in under 40 years old (i.e., I would wager a bet that there’s more Zeppelin and 80’s hard rock baked into these boys vs. bluegrass and other roots music).

Regardless of the crowd’s age span and possibly own diverse influences, everyone embraced what Joe Russo’s Almost Dead were bringing on the stage. Whatever stones the band threw, we threw back harder, only enlivening the performance.

If you’re in the New Haven area, you’ll have a chance to witness Joe Russo’s Almost Dead in all their glory at College Street Music Hall on February 11th. For more on College Street, check out this past post.

Joe Russo's Almost Dead

-The Sweet and Sweaty

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead
Facebook @JRAlmostDead
Twitter  @RussoAlmostDead

The Capitol Theatre
149 Westchester Avenue, Port Chester, NY, 10573

Pre-concert favorite for drinks: The Rye House

Pre-concert favorite for dinner: El Tio

Tedeschi Trucks at College Street

What a treat to see Tedeschi Trucks Band at College Street Music Hall in New Haven. First off, here’s to having a brand spanking new 2,000 seat venue in the heart of New Haven, born from the renovation of the old Palace Theater. One of the few remnants we could find from the Palace was on ceiling, directly above the GA section:CollegeStreetMusic

The layout is very easily navigated: coatcheck immediately as you enter, same with the loge and balcony stairways, bathrooms clearly marked, the bar and merch table come next, and the floor and GA sections are straight ahead. Just like an old theater, there are attendants readily available to guide you to your ticket location.

Thankfully unlike an old theater, the bar area was expansive with a multitude of drink choices (mixed, beer on tap, wines, everything). And there were even some drink specials which is rare for concert events.

Also, unlike an old theater or most venues… the bathrooms were extremely clean and had all the modern amenities. What I mean by ‘modern’ is they actually had soap and a way to dry your hands. Try finding that at some of the other dives in CT!Tedeschi_Trucks

Oh yeah, there was a concert! The sound at College Street is updated as well. Even in the GA section directly up front, you weren’t blasted nor at a loss to hear (as the speaker clusters were perfectly placed and sometimes can be beyond the first few rows). And… if you needed to run to the front of the house to get a drink, the sound was throughout. There are even video monitors at the bar while you wait – They’ve got it figured out!

Tedeschi Trucks Band played close to a perfect set with selections from their entire catalog and a few choice covers. With a new album due to drop in January 2016, it could have just been a romp of the new as some bands tend to get tired of the old. Not the case here though as you can see.

Being an 11-piece band, some instruments and performances certainly could have gotten lost in the mix, but with the great sound (from their engineer and College Street) and the band’s dynamics, you could hear all the nuances. They spanned from playing on the lighter, jammier side to knocking through some of the harder blues-rock you’ll hear out there today. Tedeschi’s voice is so strong and Trucks licks are so juicy, they just leave you wanting more, even after clocking in at over 1.5 hours of music.

Tip: The general admission/standing tickets are definitely recommended as you are right up in the action while not being overcrowded. Don’t think squished up front at a Summer festival, but rather the thrill at a near capacity club show where you have room to breath.

We’ll need to give the actual loge or balcony seats a whirl at some point, just to get the full experience (let us know if you already have or do!). We’re looking forward to many more shows at College Street Music Hall and catching Tedeschi Trucks the next time they’re in town.

Tip: try and get to New Haven a couple hours ahead of shows at College Street to grab some cheap, metered parking on the Green and a bite to eat/drink in the area. Make it an entire night!

And… bring ear plugs just in case. It was welcomely louder than your average theatre!

-The Sweet and Sweaty