Hard Rock Cafe Battle, pt.II


04.16.10Part II. Bands: TTYM, Disaster Kit, Phoenix Rose & Black Prizm. This one I knew was gonna be odd. I didn't know anything about TTYM, which is sometimes good at these things. I knew D-Kit would bring something very entertaining to the stage with their bazillion notes and infinite instrument ensemble. Phoenix Rose would bring their polished metalcore sound and I expected at least one Killswitch song to be in there somewhere. But Black Prizm was the band I went to bang my head for. I love that band. The closest thing this islands ever gonna get to Dio or Sabbath.

So I missed TTYM while driving in circles in that hellish labyrinth of a parking lot, ended up across the street sprinting across 5 lanes of traffic. Got there in time to catch the end of D-Kit's set. As expected, their horde of UH music majors overran the place skankin about. By the time I composed myself their set was over. I was pretty bummed.


The inevitable switch from happy-go-lucky UH students to the younger generation of headbangin types was quite a site to see. The one thing that always strikes me as odd with Phoenix Rose's audience is the lack of heavy metal pride in their attire. It may sound almost contradictory to what we metalheads stand for, but to those uninitiated in the world of heavy metal I must explain.

Our world and the extreme personalities that inhabit it have an unspoken dress code. It's usually in the form of a black shirt of some kind (or dark shade of grey from extended usage). And on this shirt an unreadable band logo or album cover probably covers up 75% of the front of it. The more obscure the band, the stronger the bond w/ the metalhead who recognizes it. It builds community amongst your fellow metalhead & generates an almost telepathic ability to relate to one another at a show. We wear band merch like its battle armor. Its just the way it is. It confuses me that I have never seen a single band shirt in the die-hards that make up Phoenix Rose's audience. I actually feel kinda misplaced at their shows to tell you the truth. Its hard for me to give young metal fans any credibility when the words Epicus Doomicus Metallicus and the word DOOM in gothic letters leads to blank stares.


But anyways, I've seen Phoenix Rose enough times to know their set, their stage antics, that Killswitch song that used to be a fav of mine until I heard it turn into reggae. But I give um props for bringing the energy and a dedicated fanbase to every show. Not my favorite subgenre of metal by any means, metalcore is what it is and Phoenix Rose does their thing and they do it well.

And after long wait, Black Prizm finally took the stage. I love shows when all the dudes in the band have probably been rockin the long hair since I was a wee lad wishing I had a friend like Johnny 5 to help me with my homework. I love these guys. Old school rockers in every sense of the word. Their audience was awesome. Dedicated "older-than-me" metalheads who probably bribed their wives with some form of household chores for them to come along. "Honey, its family friendly we can bring the kids!" In the immortal words of the Scorpions' swan song, "How can we ever grow old when the soundtrack of our lives is ROCK N' ROLL!!!"


The music was killer. But by that point my mood went south when my camera gear started to act up a bit, stopping me from shooting as much as I wanted. As if that wasn't enough, some drunken idiots decided it was okay to mock "the metal guy" there, me, that is. Some bastard kept bumping into me doing that annoying shoulder bump thing or "mock moshing" as I call it. I've seen it before.

I did everything in my power to not throw this dude to the ground and ruin Black Prizm's set. After the drunken moron raised his glass while dancing he bumped into me again, stumbled and accidently spilt a bit on my head. He gave an inebriated laugh that was clearly not pointed at me, but at some hazy half thought bouncing around in his empty head. I grabbed him by the shirt pulled him straight towards my fist, BUT, I took a long deep breath, and stopped short of plowing my knuckles through his head and just shoved him away. He's drunk, stupid, holding a glass that'll shatter & the guy doesn't know what he's doin. Self control and patience won the day as I tried to recompose myself. (I know, very un-metal of me) So I was pretty pissed off by that point, but back to the contest. In the end, Phoenix Rose ended up taking the 2nd preliminary round and was ready to take on Friends of Adam in the finals.