With the exception of larger festival shows, I had never been to a show that included both alternative rock and heavy metal acts. This all changed on April 3rd, 2015 where, at Coop Katacombes, a show was being held that combined the two genres in a packed house, including sets by Chair Warriors, WAKEM, Kolony, Mad Parish, and Rival.
Chair Warriors started off the night and they were definitely the perfect band to do so. Their combination of high energy and unique songs got the crowd hyped and really put the “alternative” in “alternative rock”. The band kicked off their set with a captivating keyboard intro that then went into their song, “Even Gods Weep”. Brandon Mignacca was sure to bring chills running down everyone’s spines with a strong, fascinating voice reminiscent of the best bands of the 80s, at times sounding similar to New Order’s Bernard Sumner. As the set went on, his keyboard skills became more intricate and his vocal range more impressive. Though the band only consists of three members, they gave off enough power to please an entire stadium of people, and their stage presence was worthy of a large festival show.
The definite crowd-pleaser of the set was their performance of “Oceans”, which included an intense combination of keyboard and electric guitar, along with nearly haunting vocals. Their set ended with an impressive performance of “Liars”, which they ended with a short and fun cover of Royal Blood’s “Out of the Black” riff. As they got off the stage, several people could be heard uttering the single word, “Wow”, which basically summed up their entire set.
Next to take the stage was another alt-rock band, WAKEM, consisting of a bass, guitar, keytar, drums, and vocals. Keytar player Alessia Priolo played the keyboard for the first song, but then played the keytar for most of the set. It added a nice layer to all of their songs. The band’s stage presence as a whole was good and engaging, though vocalist Sunman was a tad awkward when addressing the crowd. Sunman’s voice was also unique and was somehow simultaneously aggressive and relaxing. Bassist Lorenzo Priolo and keytar player Alessia Priolo smiled widely throughout the set, and heart-warmingly acted like close siblings on the stage, adding to the charm of the set. Everyone in the band put on a great performance with a mix of songs that had the crowd both head-banging and swaying slowly. The last song of their set was by far the best, with a synthesizer sound that was sure to take everyone back to 80s slasher horror movies, in the best possible way.
Performing third was the last band I got to see that night, Kolony. They were your stereotypical heavy metal band, even having a fan behind vocalist Reno’s long hair. The bilingual band performed songs that both showed off Reno’s strong voice and included a lot of screaming. Being a typical metal band, they of course played a Metallica cover. The audience really got into their music, banging their heads along with the band, and enjoying it every last second. Overall, they were a fun band to watch, with their frequent jokes about mosh pits, and their engaging performance.
Unfortunately, their set was so intensely loud and the strobe lights were used so frequently that I had to leave before hardcore heavy metal bands Mad Parish and Rival played their sets. That being said, Mad Parish garnered a lot of attention from the audience as they were setting up, especially from some mullet-clad men, as the band was dressed similarly to 80s metal bands. Sincop8ed Noize Inc. organized the show, and it was an overall success with its eclectic mix of bands.
Written by Franca G. Mignacca
Photography by Angie Radczenko