ROADRAGE 2005 = 5* ROAD TRIP!
There could not have been a more apropos title than RoadRage 2005 as we, the staff, went on a road trip, making the trek to Harpo's (Detroit, MI) for this blessed event. Fortunate enough to catch the first, inaugural US show on March 5th, 2005. In contrast, to 2004’s Roadrage blockbuster lineup, consisting of Machine Head, Chimaira, and (this year’s participants) as the opener, Trivium. In more recent past, bands like Killswitch Engage, Ill Niño, & 36 Crazyfists have to carried the torch for the label.
Going with a newer, fresher, hipper approach, the label, Roadrunner, decided to showcase four of their newest, hottest, and youngest acts: Trivium, 3 Inches of Blood, Still Remains and The Agony Scene. What a way for Roadrunner to celebrate their 25th year of existence! These four bands represented the company in grand fashion as the torch has been passed as they will undoubtedly show North America and Europe why such a distinction had been given. All bands shined brightly during this jubilee of showmanship. The label’s mini-underground festival was a raving success. All in all this show was treat to all in attendance, especially to us considering we got the chance to interview all four bands.
The ever-coveted headlining spot rotated nightly amongst the four bands throughout the tour. How cool is that? Speaking of innovation, eh?! The headliner of tonight’s show was Michigan’s own, Still Remains as the band was happy to kick off the tour in their home state let alone near their hometown of Grand Rapids. The band’s friends and family attended seeing their beloved show their stuff. They shined like a ray of sunshine through a darkened sky but more on them later. In my interview with the band’s bassist, Evan Willey, expressed how excited he was to have his wife and friends in attendance for the show.
Something else that greatly differs from past year events is that this tour primarily catered to the younger crowd as well as band friendly venues. At the low price of $12 bucks, how can you go wrong there? Not to mention there were 5-6 local opening acts. Roadrunner bands officially started the show at 8:00, so you know it was a LONG but time well spent night! It is rather nice to be able to go to a venue where the word “curfew” had been momentarily stricken from the English dictionary. And speaking of opening bands, the performances ranged from mediocre to amazing. Unfortunately, I was only able to catch two of the bands' names, the second to the last band, Chicago’s Detrahis, and the final act, Final Chapter; I think they call this a double entendre or irony.
Detrahis’ performance was not a skirt blower upper but what did get my panties in a bunch was the band’s lead singer’s rude comments. Before I launch into my dissertation and recount the event, I’d like to comment on the band’s performance right quick. I was not impressed with the band overall due to the singer’s voice and unoriginal music. They weren’t bad, we’ve all heard worse but I must commend them for securing the spot and making the trip up there from or respective hometown.
Having said that, allow me to breakout my soapbox for a moment, shall I? Normally I am not the kind of gal to trip on what people say, god knows I can be overly harsh myself when it comes to selection of words. Howthehellever, this man pissed me off! Toward the end of the band’s set, the singer had the temerity to say, “I don’t give a fuck about the bitches…” I guess the look of sheer horror, which crossed the faces of the on lookers in the well-lit pit and his bandmates was enough to make him snap out of his “temporary” hypnotic state of psychoticism. Judging from the response of the crowd after his asinine comment, they were just as put off. He made a mosh call to no avail. It was pure poetic justice.
Lineup: Matt Heafy - lead vocals/guitar; Travis Smith - drums; Paolo Gregoletto - bass; Corey Beaulieu - guitar/vocals
Trivium officially kicked the night off at approximately 8:00 pm, as the lights went down the crowd started to yell, “Trivium, Trivium…!” The lights went up, lead vocalist and guitarist, Matt Heafy retorts, “We’re gonna fuck this place up!” and that did. They wrecked Harpo’s; the band was on fire! Trivium came out with their guns ablazin’ as they captured the audience's attention during their 30-minute set of kitschy & catchy tunes while never letting go. They left carnage in the wake.
Last time I saw Trivium, they opened for Danzig in February. I didn’t think it was possible for them to step their game up any more, however they definitely made a liar out of me. This should not be surprising considering they have been had the distinction of not just touring with the aforementioned act but also with Iced Earth, Slipknot, Machine Head, Chimaira, Fear Factory …the list goes on. They will also pick up some dates with Florida metal kings, Overkill before they head off on the European leg of the RR2005 Tour. What’s most amazing is that the average age of the band is 20 and all of this has been accomplished in such a short span of time as well! These young lads will have a pretty impressive résumé after it’s all over, said, and done.
The band held the attention of the onlookers with their excellent musicianship as that was displayed via their setlist which focused on the band’s second full-length feature. All songs performed tonight were taken from the soon to be released Jason Suecof produced CD, which drops on March 15th as it offered a glimpse into the world of the Ascendancy. Heafy made a mosh call during “Pull Harder”; this really got the place pumped! The crowd happily reciprocated and thrashed about the pit wildly. This band will be around for a while, as they will be touring for the most part of 2005 with Overkill, Ozzfest, etc.; make sure you see them out. Just make sure it doesn't take you forever to do so. You will be mad at yourself for taking so long. They are well worth the gander!
Setlist: Rain, Drowned And Torn Asunder, Suffocating Sight, Pull Harder On The Strings of Your Martyr, Ascendancy, Like Light To The Flies
Click here for interview with the entire band.
Here for photos of the band from Ozzfest
Click on thumbnail to enlarge photo
Lineup: Cam Pipes - vocals; Shane Clark - guitar; Jamie Hooper - vocals; Justin Hagberg - guitar; Brian Redman - bass; Matt Wood - drums
Vancouver’s Viking/Tolkien Lords, 3 Inches of Blood, Advanced and Vanquished all that remained. Unfortunately, the crowd seemingly dispersed after Trivium’s set. These men are also no strangers to the stage, having shared bills with the likes of Metal Church, Crisis, and Satyricon shortly there after.
As far as their sound is concerned, it’s Iron Maiden meets Manowar within the fiery backdrop of Mordor. You expect to see brawny Vikings sailing on an elaborate wooden boat off the Nordic coast going to battle or a scene out of a J.R.R. Tolkien novel where the Elvin Caravan is defending their lair against the Orcs. Slayings in a hail of flying darts, bows & arrows… You are taken back in time, as your mind will tend to wander to fantasylands. Not to mention they have a song called “Destroy The Orcs”.
Their lyrical content may contain Orcs and axes but they are the real deal! The band possesses two singers, one falsetto [Cam Pipes] and the other executes death metal vocals [Jamie Hooper]. Pipes’ last name is very apropos, as he sure as hell can belt it out. At the beginning of the set Hooper said, “It’s great to be back at Harpo’s!” as he also commented on the mammoth 8’ natural barricade otherwise known as the stage, calling it “Mt. Olympus”. Regardless of the menacing height, 3 Inches of Blood made it their business to connect with their fans. The crowd was very receptive and sang along to every tune. Later in the set Hooper said, “It’s good to see familiar faces” as the band then dedicated song #3 “Axes of Evil” to Corey Grady [Premonitions of War] for his birthday. Cam introed it by saying, “Happy Fucking Birthday!” to Corey. The fans went nuts. Speaking of going nuts, I think the audience sung “Deadly Sinners” louder than the band. The energy was enough to choke the life out of Sméagol! It was truly amazing. 3 Inches of Blood is a real treat to see, make sure to catch them out so you too can experience a trip to the Viking age and beyond the Shire.
Setlist: Fear on the Bridge, Revenge Is A Vulture, Axes Of Evil, Destroy The Orcs, Wykidtron, Premonition of Pain, Isle Of Eternal Despair, Deadly Sinners
Click here to access our photo shoot/interview with the lads of 3 Inches of Blood
Here for new interview with Shane, Justin, & Jamie
THE AGONY SCENE Lineup: Michael Williams - vocals; Chris Emmons - guitar; Brent Masters - drums; Steven Kaye - guitar; Brian Hodges - bass
The Agony Scene is fresh from Tulsa, Oklahoma bringing their style of hardcore metal to the motor city. Agony Scene went through some member changes while being on Solid State Records until they got the right formula to rock the house. The formula was so good; they signed to the most prestigious metal label, Roadrunner. Just in time to release a new album called
The Darkest Red, produced by Rob Caggiano [Cradle of Filth &
Anthrax fame] and shoot a very dark, moody video called "Prey".
Michael Williams and company brought a little excitement to the leftovers at Harpo's. It didn't seem to bother them that the place was very empty. Clearly the ones here to see them were young kids, looking like they came from a Coal Chamber concert. What was most impressive about the band is immediately after their set, Steven Kaye, the bands guitarist, walked amongst the crowd only to be mobbed by fans like a big rockstar. Obviously, these fans and many others feel that they have a bright future ahead of them! – Sharita Lumpkin
Setlist: Lines of Suicide, Scars, Habeas Corpus, Scapegoat, Prey, We Bury Our Dead At Dawn
Click here for interview with Steven Kaye
Lineup: T.J. Miller - vocals; Mike Church - guitar / vocals; Jordan Whelan - guitars; Evan Willey - bass; Zachary Roth - keyboards; A..J. Barrette - drums
Headlining tonight’s soiree was newly Roadrunner signees, Still Remains. They seemed to be MORE than comfortable in that spot, but then again they should since the band has been around since ’91 also sharing stages with other burgeoning acts such as Poison The Well, Norma Jean, and Underøath just to name a few.
Just listening to this band makes me happy. How crazy is this? Critics will more than likely agree with me here, there is no such thing as happiness in metal! So what the hell is really going on here? Unlike their Christian contemporaries, Zao, this band relies on harmonies. Still Remains has catchy choruses, breakdowns, melodies, harmonies... It almost like I’m talking about an orchestra and not a metal band. Well damn near, there are six members in the band. I find myself being consumed by their energies as I am wrapped in a cloak of white light. It sounds more like a near death experience with the lights and such. The experience can be best described as pure deliverance from all that is wrong with your life. They are a Christian band but it’s not like they are cramming their beliefs down your throat. I mean it’s not I am overcome by the holy-ghost and plan on picking up the Bible anytime soon (perhaps I should after making this comment).
During the set, vocalist T.J. Miller dedicated “White Walls” “To all of the Roadrunner bands for their all support. And to the band Final Chapter” You could hear voices echoing in the seemingly vacant halls, as their camp was ecstatic. Speaking of the venue, by the time Still Remains got on stage, not only was it late but the majority of the crowd had dispersed. The ones that chose to linger received a class performance! The band was full of energy as they played their hearts out to the 45-50 people in attendance. You would have thought they were playing to a stadium full of fans; it was a welcomed sight. I not only recommend seeing this band next time they roll through your town but also picking up a copy of their CD Of Love And Lunacy which drops on May 3rd. Roadrage 2005 was a SMASHING success!
Setlist: To Live And Die By Fire, Recovery, White Walls, Six And One, The Worst Is Yet To Come, Bliss, In Place Of Hope, I Can Revive Him With My Own Hands
Click here for interview with Evan and photo shoot of the band
Related Links of Interest
New Interview with Trivium, the entire band
Photos /Review of Trivium Ozzfest 2005
Previous Interview of Trivium (Corey & Travis)
Photos / Review of Trivium during Children of Bodom headlining tour
Photos / Review of Trivium on Come Clarity N. American Tour
New Interview 3 Inches of Blood (Shane, Justin, & Jamie)
Speed Round Interview of 3 Inches of Blood with the band minus Jamie
Photos / Review of 3IOB on Return of the Antichrist Tour
Photos of 3IOB on the Weight of the World Tour
Interview with Steven Kaye of The Agony Scene
Photos / Review of The Agony Scene on Throwdown 2006 Tour
Photos / Review of TAS during Dirty Black Summer Tour
Interview with Evan Willey of Still Remains
Road Rage 2005 US Tour Dates
March 3 - Montreal, QUE @ El Salon
March 4 - Toronto, ONT @ Funhaus
March 5 - Detroit, MI @ Harpo's
March 6 - Grand Rapids, MI @ Ten Bells Nightclub
March 7 - West Dundee, IL @ Clearwater Theater
March 8 - Cleveland, OH @ Peabody's
March 9 - New York City, NY @ CBGB's
March 10 - Philadelphia, PA @ The Trocadero
March 11 - Cambridge, MA @ Cambridge Elk Lodge
March 12 - West Springfield, VA @ Jaxx
March 14 - Nashville, TN @ Exit / In
March 15 - Little Rock, AR @ Vino's
March 16 - Tulsa, OK @ Venue 316
March 17 - Houston, TX @ The Engine Room
March 18 - Dallas, TX @ The Door
March 19 - Austin, TX @ The Backroom
March 20 - Lubbock, TX @ Jakes
March 21 - Oklahoma City, OK @ Bricktown Events Center
March 22 - Kansas City, MO @ El Torreon
March 23 - Denver, CO @ The Bluebird Theater
March 24 - Phoenix, AZ @ TBA
March 26 - Corona, CA @ Showcase Theatre
March 27 - Henderson, NV @ The Roadhouse Casino
March 29 - Bakersfield, CA @ El Torreon
March 30 - San Francisco, CA @ The Pound
March 31 - Portland, OR @ Dante's
April 1 - Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
All photos Copyright © 2005. Pictures not to be used without written permission by FourteenG