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07/18/2007 Black Light Burns, HORSE The Band, Soulidium, Athera (Buffalo, NY @ The Icon)

By Eric | July 18, 2007 10:05 am

I rolled in from Rochester, and missed the first local opener, As Summer Dies. I got there just as they were changing sets, and found Sara and Adrienne. I subsequently found out that Julien-K, the band with Ryan and Amir from Orgy, wouldn’t be playing this night because of Ryan’s laryngitis. Too bad too, I was looking forward to seeing them. Anyway, we watched the the next local opener, a band called Athera. They were alright, nothing terribly spectacular, sound like most of the pop-punk-emo stuff that’s out there. Not much more to say besides that.

Next was a band called Soulidium, who reminded me a lot of Atomship, and their imagery with the graphics, and their eye makeup/contacts/etc. seemed like old Virgos Merlot. The music wasn’t too bad at all, but the vocals left a bit to desired. The singer is kinda nasally, and his voice was a bit grating. The band was decent, although the songs were kinda predictable nu-metal stuff. I’ve seen a lot worse, but I’ve certainly seen better. I really wanted to like them, but alas, that ship sailed about 7-8 years ago. At this point, me and the girls starting talking to two guys that came down from Toronto to see BLB, and along with the three of us, were the oldest people in the place (Nothing but 16-year-old emo kiddies!). Scott and Nick, nice meeting and hanging out with you guys! They had seen the next band before, and tried to tell us what we were in for. However, nothing was going to prepare for what came next.

HORSE The Band are a different beast altogether. They’re called “nintendo-core”, which is code for crappy screamo metal, with a keyboard player that makes sounds like an old 8-bit NES. Their stage setup had a bunch of fake lilac-looking bushes, various stuffed animals, and a sofa chair for the singer. WTF? The new breed of hardcore kiddies went ape for these guys. I think they’re one of those bands that are so bad that it’s cliche to like them. Actually, it was more like one big joke, and while the band was in on it, their fans missed it. So while the singer did the entire set from the sofa chair, the rest of the band rocked out, and the kids in the crowd practiced their kung-fu. Oh, I mean, spinkicks and floor punching (save for the one kid that had to watch everyone else first, and then try to do what they did, and FAIL.). The singer at one point asks if anyone has a job at an automotive repair shop, Starbucks, or retail store. When he got an affirmative response, he goes “You should get this job, it’s awesome.” Dude, I *do* have that job! The keyboard player kept going on about how the singer got his eye pecked by a bird for the entire set (a nod to Kids in the Hall we later found out), and the other highlight was the singer headbanging a stuffed tiger through one song. As for musically redeeming material? None to be found. Unintelligable screaming, songs with no flow, and 8-bit NES music.

Unfortunately, when HORSE the Band was done, so was most of the crowd, leaving only about 100-150 people for Black Light Burns. Everyone that stayed was quite into the show though, which was good. As was the band. Wes came out with his face painted, and wearing a 3-piece suit, and they immediately started into Mesopotamia. They continued with 4 Walls, One Of Yours, and then really rocked with Animal. Cruel Melody was a bit more melancholy, followed by Stop A Bullet, I Have A Need, and Coward. I Am Where It Takes Me slowed it down a little before ramping back up for the first single off the album, Lie. The closer was The Mark.There wasn’t a whole lot of crowd interaction as they plowed through the songs, save for a brief period when the bass amp cut out, and Wes and the drummer improvised a little of Primus’ “Jerry Was A Racecar Driver”, much to the delight of the crowd. No matter, the band rocked out 11 of the 13 tracks on the album, and sounded good doing it. Of course, that was helped by the unofficial 5th member of the band, the laptop that had all the samples on it. Not really a bad thing at all, though, as all the live instrumentation meshed with the samples with no problems. The band was tight, everything sounded good, the vocals sounded good, and again, even though the crowd was small, the fact that they were into it made the show even better.

Right after the set, Wes jumped down off the stage, and started shaking hands, signing autographs, and talking to people. I grabbed the setlist from the soundboard, and got everyone in the band, including Wes, to sign it, and got to chat with him for a second. He seemed genuinely interested in talking to everyone, and when I mentioned I was disappointed more people didn’t come, he said he didn’t think the turnout was that bad. I still think there should have been more people there. Ah well, more intimate for us I suppose. I certainly got my twelve dollars worth of entertainment, it was nice to see the girls again, and it was cool talking music with some new people.

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