Bands like Wednesday 13 grow on you. It’s funny how bands do that. There have been a few musicians that I couldn’t get into on the first go around. Yet, for whatever reason, I catch them at another show and suddenly fall in love. At the Wednesday 13 show at Club Red in Mesa, I got this, threefold. First with As Thick As Thieves, then with Gabriel and the Apocalypse, and finally with Wednesday 13. Though, where you are in the crowd can make a huge difference as sometimes it’s more about the experience than the music itself.
When we got to Club Red, it was just in time to say hi to As Thick As Thieves while they started setting up on stage. I first saw them opening for John 5 earlier this year and enjoyed their set. It was very nice of them to invite the Missus and I out to see them play this show. I got settled behind the pit by a table and waited for As Thick As Thieves to get started. I feel these guys bring a very unique performance from what I’ve come to expect from many local bands. They come with smoke canons, know how to work the crowd, and I love some of their equipment. My favorite is Ryan Mabee’s (Drums) throne which has a microphone rigged to come up and over his shoulder. The other feature that makes me very happy is they pay attention to their lighting. Most local bands I’ve seen at Club Red just get cycling red, white, and blue lights, which makes me and my theatre experience cringe.
Aside from the technical aspect of their performance, I find that Nate Butcher (Vocals) has an awesomely powerful voice that is rough and smooth interchangeably as the situation requires. Zachary Banks (Guitar), Kenny Barton (Guitar), and Ryan Robles (Bass) are energetic and help create and easy air about the band. Ultimately, these five make forming a band and playing before a live audience look easy while having a blast on stage. As Thick As Thieves are truly awesome and they are one of the few bands where a cover beats the original. If you don’t believe me, check them out when they open for POD and Alien Ant Farm at the Marquee Theater in Tempe on July 13th, 2017 and listen to their rendition of “Ace of Spades.”
While As Thick As Thieves packed up, I looked to see who was up next and was surprised to find Gabriel and the Apocalypse. The last time I saw them was when Wednesday 13 came through last. Initially, I wasn’t sure how to feel about Gabriel and the Apocalypse. I find myself drawn to musicians who play keys but I got JACE’s (Bass) spit in my eye on two occasions that night. It was only after talking with them after that first show in which I started to like them.
Seeing them on the bill again, I knew this was the perfect chance to really listen to them. As they got started, my brain kicked into gear. Every so often, I discover that a band fits a certain scene or scenario that I’d love to pair with them. Gabriel and the Apocalypse is exactly what I’d want for a cyberpunk soundtrack. Their industrial sound lends itself to a futuristic setting and I want, deep down in my bones, to see them play in a cyberpunk club scene. Even now, when I close my eyes, I can picture it. The neon lights, the wires, the television screens, and Gabriel and the Apocalypse enthralling the crowd. I can’t wait for them to come back to Arizona to see their wild stage antics again. Gabriel and the Apocalypse is still touring with Wednesday 13 until the end of July. Check here for dates.
Next up was Once Human. I had never heard of them before but I was surprised when the soft Australian accent of Lauren Hart (Vocals) transformed into a hardy and powerful growl. While Once Human didn’t strike me as my kind of thing, I have to commend them for the presence they have on stage. It took me a while to adjust to the soft Australian accent and the ruthless growl. In the middle of their set, Damien Rainaud (Guitar) started running around the pit, weaving between audience members, while being chased by Gabriel and the Apocalypse’s guitarist, Joey Conelly. Even the sheer intimidating presence of Logan Mader (Guitar) was a sight to behold. If you enjoy something heavy with a hardy growl, I’d recommend this band to you. Currently, Once Human is touring with Dragonforce until the end of July. Check here for dates.
Finally comes the headliner, Wednesday 13. I have to say; my experience was completely different from when I last saw him. Then, I just couldn’t quite slip into the lure of the music. I was up against the stage, at the feet of Wednesday 13, contributing further to my poor hearing, all while fending of a drunk attendee that was all but climbing on me. I’d assume it’d be difficult for anyone to get into a show with a drunk attendee persistently falling on them. By the end of that show, I could only assume that I must try again another time. While it’s never pleasant to surrender to that thought, it was certainly the better judgement call.
This time, I could let myself go to the music. More so, I actually knew some of the songs which allowed me to feel as if I was ahead of the game. Wednesday 13 was a perfectly blended mix of B-movie horror, vulgarity, and topped to the brim with in your face energy. By the end, I had to question how I wasn’t able to get into them before. Be on the lookout to see when Wednesday 13 will be at a venue near you.
At the end of the night, I went from tired to exhausted for all the best reasons. Normally, it takes a lot to change my mind or interest me when I’m not quite feeling it with a band. Still, As Thick As Thieves, Gabriel and the Apocalypse, and Wednesday 13 did just that. Each one of them I’d happily see again without much thought. I’m grateful As Thick As Thieves is local for I might be waiting a while on the other two.
All photos are taken by Pardo Photography.