The 69 Eyes Tour made a stop at Vamp'd Vegas, and put on a helluva gothic rock show! They brought along as support MXMS, The Nocturnal Affair, and Hidden Scars.
First to take the stage was Hidden Scars, a local industrial metal band fronted by its creator, Joel Floyd West. Joel first began this project in October of 2017 and their debut performance was last August as one of the headliners for the KOMP Homegrown Concert series at the House Of Blues Las Vegas. Shortly after that they released their self-titled debut EP. Taking a page from Dave Grohl's recording style, Joel performed all the instruments as well as programming the backing tracks and synths for the EP. He is basically a one man band! In order to put his product on a live stage he has enlisted the help of other local musicians, but the band has endured some lineup changes over its short tenure in the local scene. One thing that has not changed is the band's energetic vibe, and Joel's theatrical performance during each show. From videos playing on-screen, specialized lighting setups, colored contac lenses, almost floor length dreadlocks, wildly gothic costuming, and latex body paint (that looks like skin) which he tears away giving the impression that he is peeling off his own flesh, Joel puts a lot of thought into how his musical creation is presented to the public. In this day and age presentation plays a huge part in how a new band is received, and Joel obviously understands this. Musical talent notwithstanding, Joel is a performer, and his music is best enjoyed live.
Next was another local Las Vegas band, The Nocturnal Affair. TNA is a dark metal band with a sound that is a mash-up of H.I.M., Type O Negative, and Nine Inch Nails. Singer/songwriter Brendan Shane fronts the band and has the perfect voice for this style of music. His deep vocal tones are very reminiscent of the late Peter Steele, and really lends itself to the gothic feel of their music. They start off their set with the song "Exoskeletal" and you can immediately hear the Type O/Peter Steele influence. Brendan's voice dropping down into almost a whisper, then rolling up and gaining momentum and volume before he belts out the chorus hitting highs while maintaining resonance. His range is impressive and his tone is powerfully unique. While Brendan may be the face of the band, and an extreme talent in his own right, he has also surrounded himself with some of the best local musicians around. Andy Ingraham and Andrew Lappin handle guitar duties and are both serious craftsman, while Michael James (bass) and RJ Hamman (drums) handle the rhythm section with authority. TNA has a huge local following and is considered one of the best unsigned bands from our area. In fact, they are currently competing for a $50K prize and a contract with BMG entertainment on Top Golf's second season of Who Will Rock You? Check them out on Top Golf's website and TNA YouTube channel. These guys rock!
Following up TNA was MXMS (aka Me And My Shadow), a band that has labeled their style as "Funeral Pop." Ariel Levitan fronts the band while Jeremy Dawson handles most of the instrumentals, operating a keyboard/synth, and they did have a drummer with them for this tour. For their stage setup they completely killed the house lights and had four LED light strips at intervals across the stage. Ariel was lit by a single spot light to the rig