On Wednesday, September 20th, a trio of rock bands performed at Count's Vamp'd in Las Vegas - Headliners KYNG along with The Watchers and Honor Amongst Thieves put on a hard rocking show to remember.
The Watchers are a hard rock band from the Bay Area, with Tim Narducci on vocals, Jeremy Epp on guitar, Cornbread on bass, and Carter Kennedy on drums. They were brought on as a last-minute addition to this bill, by Vegas Rock Revolution's John Gist, and were the surprise band of the evening for me. They were completely new to me but, after the show I bought both of their CDs and a t-shirt from their merch table, and I've had their 2018 release, Black Abyss, on repeat for the last couple of days since the show and I'm loving it! They are a perfect blend of 70's heavy rock sound and modern underground rock which falls into the "stoner rock" category. Regardless of how you want to classify their style they are an undeniably talented group of musicians. Narducci's vocals are sharp, powerful, and clear. Jeremy Epp can absolutely shred on guitar and The Watchers' riff-heavy music really emphasizes his talent. Their superb rhythm section brings it all together with deep lows and hard-hitting drums. The Watchers are the epitome of modern hard rock, and were a very memorable live act. I highly recommend seeing them live, and definitely recommend picking up their Black Abyss album. It is top-to-bottom solid gold!
The Watchers Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos
Next to for the night was Honor Amongst Thieves, a local band that I have become quite familiar with over the past couple of years, and is Jonathan Salas on vocals, Adam "Trucker" Edwards and Chris Iorio on guitars, CJ Bills on bass, and Jonathan Hartman on drums. I received my introduction to them at Las Rageous 2017 where they had won the honor of playing on the second stage via fan vote through KOMP 92.3. They were thrust into the spotlight once again a couple months later at the Scars and Stripes festival, and more recently by being invited to play Rocklahoma 2018. They are a Las Vegas local, hard rock band with a very loyal group of fans, some of whom travel for hours from neighboring Arizona to attend every performance. They have one studio album to date, Element of Truth (2017), and are now taking a hiatus in order to complete their second. They have a very melodic modern rock sound, intermingled with some heavy shredding, and screaming vocals. They handle the stage like seasoned veterans and exude a ton of energy and charisma. Vocalist Salas has a gritty tone and can really belt out the screams. He can also slow it down and has a rich baritone (check out his cover of Sound of Silence on YouTube)! Chris and Adam trade off guitar riffs and entertain the crowd with their antics, from jumping around the stage, to sprawling on the floor. Chris was an original member of the Las Vegas hard rock band, Adelita's Way, and co-wrote their hit song, "Invincible" (which HAT covered just prior to finishing off the set with their latest single, "Death of Me"). Hartman was called upon by Code Red Riot to fill in on drums for the first leg of a recent tour, following the release of their debut album, but he is now back in the fold, thrashing the skins for HAT, and whipping his curly blonde locks to the beat of his drums. These guys are a phenomenal live act and play regularly at venues all over town. Hopefully, their hiatus won't be for long, as I never tire of seeing them perform. I'm really looking forward to hearing some new music from them as well! first leg of a recent tour, following the release of their debut album. He is now back in the fold, thrashing the skins for HAT, and whipping his curly blonde locks to the beat of his drums. These guys are a phenomenal live act and play regularly at venues all over town. Hopefully, their hiatus won't be for long, as I never tire of seeing them perform. I'm really looking forward to hearing some new music from them as well!
HAT Set List:
Invincible (Adelita's Way)
Death of Me
Honor Amongst Thieves Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos
Headlining this show was Kyng, a 3-piece stoner metal band from LA, consisting of Eddie Veliz on vocals and guitar, Tony Castaneda on bass and backup vocals, and Pepe Clarke on drums. Formed in 2008, they have 3 studio albums with singles hitting as high as 25 on the Mainstream Rock chart, and their 2016 release, Breathe in the Water, hitting number 13 on the Heatseekers Albums chart and number 20 on the Hard Rock Albums chart.
They kicked off their set with the title-track of their second album, Burn The Serum (2014), and the empty floor in front of the stage filled up quickly. They kept on jamming,with barely a breather between songs, rolling right into the title-track of their debut album, Trampled Sun (2011). Their hard-rocking continued until they took a short break to call up Hellyeah guitarist Christian Brady, and give a shout-out to the late Vinnie Paul. Once Brady was set up to play, Kyng kicked off a hard-hitting drum solo that any rock fan would immediately recognize as the beginning of Van Halen's classic, 'Hot For Teacher". They absolutely kill this cover, with Veliz handling vocals, Castaneda filling in all of the David Lee Roth speaking parts between jams, and Brady shredding the Eddie Van Halen guitar riffs. It was a truly memorable moment in an evening filled with great music, and they followed up this brilliant cover with their highest charting single, "Electric Halo". It wasn't on their original set list, but was shouted out by an audience member while Veliz was re-tuning his guitar, so they obviously decided to give the fan what he wanted. They then picked up where they left off with "Trails in Veins", followed by one of my favorites, "I Don't Believe". Before wrapping up with "Falling Down" they did one more cover, this time it was a Black Sabbath classic, "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath", which fit in perfectly with their own music, both in style and sound. Kyng is a phenomenal example of the trend toward the early heavy metal sound of modern stoner rock/metal. If you are a fan of Black Sabbath I believe you will love these guys. I sure do!
Kyng Set List:
Burn The Serum
In the Land Of Pigs
Self Medicated Man
Breathe In The Water
Hot For Teacher (Van Halen cover w/Christian Brady)
Trails In Veins
I Don't Believe
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (Black Sabbath cover)
KYNG Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos