Royal Bliss is an honorary hometown band to those of us who reside in Las Vegas, being based only a short drive down the 15 Freeway in beautiful Salt Lake City, and they often make the journey to Vegas to perform in some of our more intimate live venues. Even though I had seen them just a few months ago, in this same venue no less, I was not about to miss this show. Royal Bliss brought with them Messer from Texas, and Orange County CA rockers Joyous Wolf, as well as adding the popular local band Systemec to the bill. Four bands that I thoroughly enjoy, and did I mention that this show was free? How do you pass that up?!
Taking the stage first was the Las Vegas local band, Systemec. This was a special performance for the band as it was bassist Chuck "ChukD" Dunnum's birthday. Vocalist Paul Anthony, drummer Chris, and guitarists Halstein and Brian, all took back seat as this night was all about ChukD! Systemec's style is really all over the rock spectrum, with pop/punk songs like "Next Big Thing", followed by hard rocking jams like "Deconstruct", and then they pull out their industrial/hardcore blending with tunes like "Phenin' or "Powertrip". It's really hard to classify this band as one particular genre (and I like that fact), but one thing you can say about them - they just flat-out rock! These guys have been around for a while and seeing them live it is quite obvious, they have a very polished sound, with some very well-written lyrics, and catchy hooks. Their song "Skywind" is one of my favorites and I always look forward to hearing it live. They were a great choice to open up this night of outstanding rock music and set the stage for some serious live entertainment!
Following up our local boys was a band that I first saw perform live back in June, on a night that few of us in the local music scene will ever forget. Messer had come to Las Vegas to promote their April 2018 release of their self-titled debut album, along with the hit song "Make This Life". Unfortunately, before the first band took to the stage, social media began to blow up with the news of Hellyeah drummer Vinnie Paul's passing. Many of us, including Vinnie, had been at that same venue the previous night, and the news hit us all pretty hard. All three bands put on incredible, emotional, and intense sets for the sparse crowd that remained through the sets, and I will never forget it. But for this show it was great to see Messer again, with a better positive night to showcase their music.
For those of you unfamiliar with Messer, they are an American rock band from Dallas, and the band is comprised of front man Dereak Messer, with Javier Contreras on guitar, Donnie Deville on guitar, Maddox Messer on bass, and Kenn Youngar on drums. Although the band first formed in 2009 they have only recently begun to put out music, with two singles, "Whiskey" and "Simple Man" being released back in 2013, and their latest single "Make This Life", which came out early 2018. All three songs can be found on their self-titled debut album which I highly recommend. Messer is a great live act and they put a lot of effort into their production, with custom banners, their own backlighting, a custom drum riser with built-in lighting, and Kenn's drum kit is beautiful! Musically speaking they are very polished and tight, but also have a little fun while doing what they obviously enjoy. I really like thier debut album and am looking forward to see what comes next.