The night was a perfect one for music at Tremont Music Hall. It was about 70 degrees outside and inside under the lights about 110 as opposed to 150. The fans did not seem to mind the blistering heat and made every break between the bands count, running to cool themselves off with a cold beverage from the bar or head to the ramp outside to feel the cool breeze. Tonight I decided to take up an offer of some friends and go out to a show that was comprised of all local acts. The show had not been promoted as much as usual, so they were not sure about how the turnout would be but in the end, it was a winning night. Charlotte came out to throw down with their local metal crew and give us a great hair spinning, super vocal growling and an astonishingly sweaty good time.
The first band I was able to see was local lovelies, Luna’s Lament. The Charlotte based band fit the part, throughout with their strong set of songs that meshed a lot of old and new songs. My first introduction to them was sometime back in 2006 when guitarist, Kim Niption was battling cancer. If I remember correctly, it was when she had just finished treatment and came out victorious. The first show, I witnessed a few songs with some blaring technical difficulties and then the band had a meltdown on stage. As far as I know, that was the night two of the members quit and the band went on hiatus for a bit. When they immerged back on the scene, they added lead vocalist, Morgan Riley and came back better than ever. These guys and gals really know how to promote themselves. There are not many local shows you hear about that don’t have this band poking out somewhere. In the middle of the set, Morgan had to pee to the point of running off stage and in seconds popped back up on stage. This was not only time she left the stage; she actually went outside of the venue to pull people back into the venue to get down with the band. That takes some balls, so my hat is off to her.
Luna’s Lament have been blasted for their sex appeal and sometimes their stage clothes, but I would like to look past that for a moment. Morgan has a huge voice. I’m telling you, if you could look at her small frame, you would not believe such a monument of power could escape her vocal pipes. Kim Niption is a first-class guitarist. If you need to find a local to back, she is about the cream of the crop. Single handedly, she would book, promote, write all the songs, make all the flyers, pick the bands to play with and make all of it happen. I remember this from conversations long ago on a dirty concert floor with her and I’m sure that all holds true today but with help of her newly formed crew. Her guitar playing is like watching a fairy god mother shake a magic wand and possessing Kim’s body to help her play a perfect set. That takes skill! Right now they are recording a six song EP that should be out soon. We will keep you posted.
Next to jump on stage was Mooresville, NC head bangers, SkinKage. Just the name alone can give you a bit of picture of what the band was like. When I heard the bands name, I thought of skin melting off, trapped inside something screaming to be left free. The band brings all elements of metal to the plate. A bit of hardcore started us out and then in the middle of things, you’ll hear a blast beat and then it can be followed by a death growl or even an easy strum that reminded me of small parts of doom metal. It was quite a mix of things to hear. At least it lead for pleasing more metal fans, depending on what kind of metal they liked, they probably got to hear at least one tune they could jam to. I jammed the whole time. I’ll not go so far to say these cats will be to the top of the charts sometime this year but for now, with this being my first exposure to them, I can say with all certainty that if you like metal and you like to see it live while having some fun with fellow metal heads, Skinkage is a perfect band to add to your concert going itinerary. Nothing to be blown away by, but in no way can you call them boring. They have that impassioned need to play music and it shows on stage.
A short time ago, SkinKage recorded a video for their single “The Token of America” off their recently released album Away with the Tide.
The last band of the night, Charlotte’s own Nefarious, were the ones I was there to see. These crazy ass, insane, porn loving and white trash grinning power metalers are fun as hell. It’s incredible to see these guys grow so quickly. Not just as musicians, not just their waists, not just their entourage but also their talent and their remarkable way of entertaining the crowd. If they are not slathered in their own blood from smashing beer cans on their head or running into one another’s instruments, they are donning masks and black war paint. They’ve also added a sultry gifted clean vocal screamer, Liz Gaddy. I’ll admit I was a little hesitant when I heard they were adding a female vocalist that was described by the band as “the hot one.” Sometimes bands do this for all the wrong reasons and each time I saw them I knew they were truly a band that are a force in the scene but something was missing, slightly. I could not put my finger on it but Liz opened her mouth I immediately said “AH HA!“ That was it. Her joining the band is another step in the right direction for the band.
This night, we got an added bonus when Pain After Death’s screamer, Dan Royer joined the crew for a few songs. Dan is one of those people in the Charlotte scene you know is always out there supporting bands, I tend to see him at many Tremont concerts. Tonight was a first for me to hear him cut it up, as he almost stole the show. All the band, Dan and SkinKage’s lead singer, Frank Brown approached another song and just tore the place up. The concert floor vibrated from the amps as well as the crowd slamming their feet and bodies into the moment. I found myself swinging my head and ducking a few punches from the circle pit that erupted in the crowd directly behind me. It was a grand way to end a night of real local homegrown music. These nights keep our scene alive and I hope to see more of you at the next local show!
What I could have done without: The amount of technical difficulties that seemed to stalk the bands of the night. As well as the connotations of “Sex Sells.” While this is the case were people NOT listening to the music? In addition, I could have done without the twelve people that were completely inebriated and not understanding what a circle pit was.
Stay tuned to Shutter16 for an interview with Nefarious.