It was a hot Saturday night in Las Vegas and a perfect evening to enjoy a indoor concert, and KOMP 92.3 Homegrown Show hosted a concert at the House of Blues. The Homegrown Show is an award winning radio show hosted by local broadcaster Laurie Steele every Sunday from 10-12pm PST. The radio show features the best of our local rock/metal bands and has now partnered with the House of Blues and expanded to hosting live-music events. This week's concert showcased 5 bands including Tyrant's By Night, Stereoglass, bipolar, Hidden Scars, and The Nocturnal Affair.
TYRANTS BY NIGHT kicked off the show with their song "Thought Police", and warmed the crowd up quickly. TBN is a powerful, old-shool metal band, and I like this band more and more every time I see them. If you like early Metallica and Megadeth you will like these guys. I highly recommend them! Check out their latest track, "The Order Of Annihilation", on YouTube, iTunes, or Spotify!
Tyrants By Night Set List:
Hang 'Em High
Under Wicked Skies
The Order of Annihilation
Tyrants by Night photos by Randy Udell / R U Rocking' Photos
Next up was STEREOGLASS, a band that I was completely unfamiliar with, but thoroughly enjoyed. They are a female fronted hard rock/alternative band whose members include Andy Fusco (drums), Zack Brad (bass/vocals), Luis Villa (guitar/vocals), and Shannon Haffa (lead vocals). Haffa is an entertaining frontwoman who really engages the audience and works the stage. With haunting vocals and distorted guitar they have a very unique sound.
Stereoglass Set List:
Pay it Back
Cochise (Audioslave cover)
Stereoglass photos by Randy Udell / R U Rocking' Photos
BIPOLAR is a metal band that has been together (in various line-ups) for more than 15 years. Their current line-up is Charlie Hanks (lead vocals), Brian Hanks (drummer), Jaisen Hinds (guitar), Tom Exeter (bass), and Patrick Smith (guitar). Originally from Las Vegas, Charlie and Brian moved to Sacramento in 2003 and formed the original bipolar. After a 5-year stint in the Sacramento music scene, they decided to change things up and head back to Vegas. Their guitarist and bassist decided not to follow, so they picked up some local talent to replace them, and re-formed the band to begin tearing up the local scene. Since forming they have recorded 6 EPs and one full-length album. With a mix of screaming, speaking, and melodic runs Charlie hits the full range of standard metal vocals. Brian is a veritable whirlwind with his hard-hitting style of drumming and always entertaining to watch. Bassist Exeter's shredding and head-banging is accentuated by his long, thick, curly hair and he really gets into the music. Guitarists Smith and Hinds obviously have some strong chemistry and work well together, complementing each other's style while feeding off each other's energy, and they actually play together in another local metal band, Ten Ton Hammer. While Smith is the newest member, he has fit in quite well with the band.
bipolar kicked off their set with "Habitual", a hard-hitting, fast-paced song from their 2017 Seven EP. They followed that up with 2 more songs from Seven, almost completing the EP in full, but then rolled into unreleased "Apathy is Easy". Toward the end of each set bipolar has been doing a cover of Pantera's "5 Minutes Alone", and they have always done it well. Since the passing of local drumming legend Vinnie Paul they have been dedicating its performance to him. I was actually at a bipolar show the night we all learned of his passing and will always remember what an emotional performance that one was. It was no different this show, and they have really perfected their sound. Immediately after, Charlie was joined on the mic by Carver, a vocalist from another local metal band, DiM (DeathInMotion). They often do the song "Diotima's Anguish" together and I really enjoy the back and forth between Charlie and Carver. It also happens to be my favorite bipolar song. Finishing off their face-melting set with "See You Next Tuesday", bipolar, once again, show why they are one of Las Vegas' top metal bands.
bipolar Set List:
Apathy is Easy
5 Minutes Alone (Pantera cover)
Diotima's Anguish (with Carver of DiM)
See You Next Tuesday
bipolar photos by Randy Udell / R U Rocking' Photos
Next up was the much-anticipated debut of HIDDEN SCARS. A project fronted by vocalist Joel Floyd West (Children Of The KoRn and formerly of DriVeN). Not having seen them perform, and never having heard their music, I was unsure what to expect but I was certainly not disappointed! Not only did they tear it up musically-speaking, but they put on quite the stage-show, from the extra lighting (they added some of their own at the front of the stage), to Joel's costume (cut-out spandex pants, knee-high buckled motorcycle boots, black tape wrapped around his torso and arms, and creepy white-mesh contact lenses), they were as intense visually as they were musically. By this point the House of Blues was rocking full-tilt and the crowd had thickened noticably. A mass of bodies filling in the floor in front of the stage - it was evident that I was not only one who had been looking forward to this debut.
Joel is a seasoned front-man, and is very familiar with the big stage at the House of Blues, having performed there with both Children of the KoRn as well as DriVeN, and he quickly whipped up the crowd into a frenzy with their first track, "In Dreams", and kept them rocking with "Ascension". Supporting Joel is a solid trio of musicians consisting of Steven Taft (drums), Vlad Vacarescu (guitar), and Solomon Dilger (bass). Hidden Scars has a dark, heavy sound that is complemented well with Joel's high-pitched, gravelly vocals. Vlad's guitar tuning and tone have a classic metal sound (Megadeth for example) while the vocal delivery and harmonies remind me a bit of early Anthrax. However one sees, or hears, this band there is no denying that they are on to something big here.
Considering the fact that this was Hidden Scars' debut they put on one helluva show, and fully met all expectations. They had the crowd cheering loudly at the end of each song and screaming for more. As quickly as it began it was over. A 6-song set that left us all wanting more. In hindsight I think it was a perfect way to execute their debut, and I will certainly be looking forward to their follow-up performance, hopefully in a head-lining role!
Hidden Scars Set List:
Hidden Scars photos by Randy Udell / R U Rocking' Photos
Closing out the Homegrown Show concert was a local band that I have heard a lot about but never had the opportunity to see them perform. The Nocturnal Affair is Brendan Shane (vocals), Dru Lappin (guitar), Andy Ingraham (guitar), Michael James (bass), and Erik Rensch (drums). It did not take long for me to see/hear why they are such a popular local band, from the moment they took the stage they had a presence that was undeniable and when they launched into their first song "Exoskeletal", a track from their upcoming album (Meta)morphosis, I knew I was in for a treat! I was blown away!
The Nocturnal Affair is quite a fitting name considering their deep, dark, and heavy sound. Shane's vocals are very similar to those of the late Peter Steele of Type O Negative, very dark and vampiric sounding, but that's where I would say the comparison ends. He delivers them in a much faster pace, with power and force (similar to that of David Draiman), and tends to finish in a bit higher tone. One thing is for certain...this guy can truly sing. The musicians behind Shane some of the best in a city full of talented musicians, but their writing is impeccable (in my opinion, a common shortcoming of many of our local bands). The lyrics flow out of Shane's mouth like honey, suck you in, and envelop you.
I can't really say much more about this band. My humble vocabulary will never be able to do them justice. When they finished their set, ending with a pair of amazing tracks called "Just Run" and "Down", my wife and I both just stood there in awe of what we had just witnessed. From start to finish, each band brought their A-game and put on a phenomenal show, but The Nocturnal Affairstood out. We definitely consider ourselves fans now and I will not miss another show with them on the bill! I have been listening to them non-stop on Spotify ever since the show. I can't get enough of their single and video "Ghosts on the Horizon"!
The Nocturnal Affair Set List:
Ghosts on the Horizon
Into the Darkness
The Hand That Feeds (NIN cover)
The Nocturnal Affair photos by Randy Udell / R U Rocking' Photos
I find it hard to believe how incredibly fortunate we are here in Las Vegas, to be able to see such amazing musical talent, displayed in such a phenomenal venue. We truly appreciate Laurie Steele, KOMP 92.3, Aaron Ameen, and the House of Blues for putting together such an amazing event. Please check out Laurie's Homegrown Show on KOMP 92.3 and give our local bands your support. Also, keep an eye out for the next Homegrown Show concert at the House of Blues!