It was a musically confusing night over at Blue Ocean Thai's last Friday. Jesus Wears Armani was set to play @ Blue Ocean Thai for their final show of the year before being shipped off to Afghanistan.
First I walked around lost as all hell trying to find the place. Then walked into what I found out was Bliss Nightclub. I still had memories of a metal show that was held there a few years ago so I figured this was the place. It used to be a hollowed out empty space w/ a stage & horrendous sound. Now it was a karaoke bar w/ a smaller stage inhabited with a very non-metal audience. Apparently Blue Ocean Thai's was a small yet cozy bar on the second floor of the same building.
Heading up the stairs, I wanted to hear metal,. My neck was going to hurt by the end of the night and all would be well. I knew what I was in for since I witnessed Jesus Wears Armani's last show. I came out with a bleeding lip & a headache that lasted a few days. This show was supposed to be their last hurrah before they were deployed to Afghanistan for the year. So I expected at least a lil' pain by the end of the night.
As I entered the room I noticed a member of the happy-go-lucky, but catchy as all hell band, Busekrus. So the red flags started going off. Ummm... he wouldn't be here if this was a metal show. Then I saw a few other friends from the local indie scene that made me scratch my head who normally wouldn't be caught dead at a metal show. Now I had no idea what to expect.
I've never heard of any of the other bands on the bill who were supposed to be opening the night except for Before Fire who weren't able to due a missing drummer.
First band started, catchy stuff. Not metal but definitely head bobbin. Two members of the band I've seen before & kinda-sorta knew from the indie-rock act, A Sedated Nation. Catchy and feel good, it was one dude singing/strumming & an all-girl band backing him. I've never seen a drummer smile so darn much before. Turns out I sorta knew the guitarist also. Not sure of the name of the band because the show flyer was kinda hokey with wrong info. So the night started out with me hoping for a metal show, kinda recognizing everyone there & no one knowing who the heck I was post-haircut. I basically had to go around re-introducing myself to everyone I thought I knew. Awkward. I spent most of their set just screwing around with camera settings & testing slow shutter speeds on the musicians.
Second band... metal act? Nope. But what I did get was crazy psychedelic, indie rockness from Frank Bressi's new band, Vdara Death Ray. He also acted like he didn't know me when I walked up to him to say hi. Was I wearing someone else's face the whole night? I gotta say it was refreshing to hear his new take on some of his old songs. He also had a dude on keyboards with something attached to it that made space noises when he waved his hands in front of it. Was he calling aliens or summoning Satan? I don't know but it was pretty damn cool. Don't know what that contraption was called but I want one. I really dug what Frank Bressi was doing with his new band & really look forward to checking him out again now that I know what to expect.
Next act... No metal yet. Instead the Power Glove wielding, Jeremiah with his band the Rorschach Experiment came on. Again, really catchy rock. Its always hard to write show reviews when you not only know people in the band but you know you're gonna see them again at the next show. So yeah, good stuff. Nothing exceedingly mind-blowing but definitely catchy. It was my first time seeing them live. They had Before Fire's vocalist, Lowell Gerry (at least he remembered me) join them for a rap back-n-forth thing which really complimented the song going on behind him.
Is it metal time yet? I got a kick out of how contrasting all the other bands were when they introduced themselves to their audience. It went from "Thanks guys! How are you all doing tonight?" and ending with "We really enjoyed playing for you!" It clearly went south when the metal band showed up. "YOU PEOPLE SITTING DOWN! GET OFF YOUR AS$ES & GET THE F@#K UP HERE, NOWWWW!" It was metal time.
The hilariously named Jesus Wears Armani came out with aggression that could only come from a band who was about to be ganked from the island & dropped into the middle of the desert for a year. They started off by getting the audience to pay homage to those who lost their lives in the service of the U.S. The floor filled with their military friends who were more than willing to beat the crap out of each other in the pit before shipping off overseas.
As usual I had trouble trying to enjoy the music while taking pictures & tried my best to keep a steady grip on my camera whilst headbanging & running in circles in the pit. JWA did not disappoint. They went face to face with their audience while keeping the energy high the whole night. This is what I love about metal shows. Organized chaos. When you understand the brotherly dynamics of the mosh pit nothing phases you. So in the end, Jesus Wears Armani did not disappoint. I left the show with a nice headache, neck pain & a bruised leg from who knows where. Although I've only seen them twice I'm gonna seriously miss those guys.