John Gist and Vegas Rock Revolution put together another fantastic billing for us here in Las Vegas with his Metal Madness show featuring Taking Dawn, House of Broken Promises, Void Vator, and War Cloud.
War Cloud kicked off the four band set and went straight to rocking the house. They are a four piece stoner rock band from Oakland and made sure the locals knew that they were not happy about us "stealing the Raiders" from them. War Cloud is made up of Alex Wein (vocals/guitar), Jesse Serrano (guitar), Joaquin Ridgell (drums), and Taylor Roach (bass). These guys are all business, and aside from the joke about the Raiders, they set to shredding through track after track with hardly a pause in between. They are heavy on the instrumentals with nearly every song starting off with a 30 to 60 second jam before hitting the vocals. Their lyrics are solid and well-written, albeit a bit profound, with vocals ranging in style from early Metallica to Sabbath and Thin Lizzy. War Cloud has produced one self-titled studio album, containing eight solid tracks of modern stoner rock, and they are obviously working on a follow up, because they played a couple of tracks that were not on their first album, and from what I heard it should be a killer piece of work. War Cloud ended their 30 minute set with "Divide and Conquer", followed by about a six minute instrumental, and finished their set with one of their new tracks, "Striker". This was my first time seeing these guys, and I am sure it won't be my last.
Next up was Void Vator, an LA based hard rock/heavy metal band consisting of Lucas Kanopa (guitar/vocals), Erik Kluiber (guitar), German Moura (drums), and Sam Harman (bass). Frequent visitors to the Las Vegas metal scene, these guys are practically local, making Vegas a regular stop at least a couple times a year. They have released two EPs, Dehumanized, and Stranded, the latter of which was released the day before this show. This show marks the opening day of their Skeleton Crew tour, encompassing 24 shows in 19 states in just over a month, and taking them all the way across country to Massachusetts and back. Void Vator is a hard working, touring band, that really knows how to entertain, and this night was no exception, and they kept things rocking, following War Cloud's powerful performance with an equally energetic set. They were obviously amped up to kick off this tour, and what better way to start a tour than with a performance in Sin City?! Void Vator is an excellent example of classic-rock-meets-heavy-metal, with powerful riffs and melodic vocals.
House of Broken Promises took to the stage next, a desert rock trio out of Indio, CA, and consists of guitarist Arthur Seay, bassist/vocalist Joe Mora, and drummer Mike Cancino. Rising from the ashes of desert rock band UNIDA, HOBP is a very polished trio with the presence of a well-established group. Arthur Seay is an absolute shredder, and it's nearly impossible to take your eyes off of him. Full of energy, he utilizes every inch of stage available, and is constantly interacting with the crowd in front of him. Not to take anything away from the other two thirds, they are all very entertaining and energetic, keeping up the fast-paced rhythm side, while handling vocal duties as well. Considering how great the first two bands were, it was hard to believe it could get any better, but HOBP really blew me away. I sure hope they come back soon!
Taking Dawn was the final act of the evening and having seen these guys countless times, I knew just what to expect from them, and they just keep getting better and better every time. Taking Dawn is Chris Babbitt (vocals/guitar), Ely Bracamonte (guitar), Geddy Reyes (bass) and Duniel Puente (drums). Singer Chris Babbitt has to be one of the most energetic and wild front men in the local scene, and every show he he pulls stunts like taking Ely on his shoulders while they both continue to play and walking around the crowd, jumping off of the stage into the crowd, climbing up into the owner's booth upstairs and hanging over the railing, all while continuing to play guitar. He likes to pump up the crowd and really knows how to get it going, but even though he does these things at every show his antics never become boring. On this night they even freshened up their set list bringing back an old school tune, "V" (a track based on the movie "V for Vendetta"). Taking Dawn rocked the roof off and did a superb job closing out an incredible night of music. If you haven't caught one of their live performances you are most certainly missing out.
Taking Dawn Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos
House of Broken Promises Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos
Void Vator Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos
War Cloud Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos