Hot off the heels of their smoking new rock single “White Rabbit”; Memphis, Tennessee’s very own EGYPT CENTRAL brought its traveling rock extravaganza to Cedar Falls, Iowa for one kick ass night of in your face music entertainment! This show also marked the first date of the leg that also included the addition of BURN HALO and REDLINE CHEMISTRY to the package. This three-band bill is sure to continue to please fans of modern rock, hard rock, metal, and even post grunge alike when it rolls into town just as it did this particular Saturday evening.
The show got underway right at the advertised time of 7pm with the local Iowa five piece act BEYOND THE SILENCE. I wasn’t familiar with the band or its music prior to the show so there was no expectations of what would follow. The band played about 6 original songs in the alternative / progressive rock vein (think BLINK 182, GREEN DAY, FALL OUT BOY). They seemed to have a nice following at the show which is a good sign for any up-and-coming act.
Next was the new regional band named THE ACTION BLAST out of Chicago, IL. This six-piece (yes six), was a very well polished live band for being as new as they were. They fit the theme of the overall bill to follow with their heavier modern rock sound. Their 30-minute set focused on up-beat tunes that would fit right in with what is currently spinning on rock radio. The band is offering free downloads of their music at the website listed with this review. Trust me it is worth checking out. Their current single “Find Resolution” is a keeper.
Kansas City’s very own REDLINE CHEMISTRY hit the stage approximately 9 PM and didn’t disappoint. I had the opportunity to see this killer band about six weeks earlier in Sioux Falls, SD while they were supporting SAVING ABEL and this set was every bit as exciting the second time as well. If you are a fan of heavy riff-laden, post grunge modern rock in the vein of FOO FIGHTERS, Velvet Revolver and the like; the bands national debut “Dying for a Living” is a must get. The band’s seven song set focused primarily on the radio singles “Dumb Luck”, “Ultragigantor” as well as other heavier numbers “Vicious Cirlces”, “You Don’t Get it” etc. The only downfall with the set is due to the limited time the band is unable to show their full worth with some of their top tracks such as the seven minute journey of a song “Plastic Masquerade” or the album ending ballad “So Many Days”. What sets RLC apart from some of their competition is the attention grabbing rock star front man Brett Ditgen. If you get a chance to see them you will understand what I am talking about.
Although RLC would be a tough act to follow, especially with it being BURN HALO’s first official live show since the release of “Up from the Ashes” on 6/28/11, they were up for the challenge. James Hart is a live show veteran and it is obvious he knows what it takes to get the crowd’s attention. BURN HALO’s set began with their previous S/T album gem “Save Me” and the set also included “Dirty Little Girl” from that album as well as a song from Hart’s previous band 18 Visions “Victim”, but the 45-minute set focused however predominately on the new release. From this reviewer’s perspective this was a good thing as “Up from the Ashes” is the real deal. Songs such as the title track as well as current single “Tear it Down”, “Stranded” and “Dakota” all translate larger than life making for an enjoyable set that came to an end too soon.
EGYPT CENTRAL topped off the evening hitting the stage at 11 PM. The band played a mixed set of songs from both the S/T debut as well as its’ current product “White Rabbit”. I have had the opportunity to see E.C headline a club three years ago in South Dakota as well as an arena date opening for DISTURBED and I can’t say enough how much this band has matured and truly have come into their own with the new release and their live presentation in such a short time. What really stands out is the maturity and stage presence John Falls has developed as well as the overall image the band has molded itself into a current force to be dealt with in the rock scene. The band has gotten a ton of radio play from the song “White Rabbit” which has recently propelled them into this new larger club headline position which they deserve. Hearing the song “Kick Ass” played live also only reinforced what I had thought before in that if the song gets released to radio will push this band into household name status (stay tuned). The 90-minute set also included current songs “Ghost Town”, “Down in Flames”, and “The Drug” as well as S/T highlights “Taking You Down”, “The Way”, and “You Make Me Sick”. The only shortfall to EC’s set would be the exclusion of either of their amazing mid-tempo numbers “Goodnight” and/or “Change”. If I were the band’s management I would strongly advise them to start playing them ASAP to get them in front of as many people as possible. Either of these songs have the potential to push the band into new cross over horizons (just saying). I know the whole “rock” perspective on this, but with that said it is a business and making a lot of money isn’t a bad thing!
All in all this was a great evening of music for sure. Need I say more, the pictures speak volumes!
- A special thank you needs to go out to The Wheelhouse General Manager Andrew Doyle and his staff for their hospitality before and during the event as well as the great live music venue they have created in Iowa’s Cedar Valley. This place is a gold mine and a must to see a show if you are in the region and love great live music.