NIliahah Showcase – recap

For those of you who weren’t there, you missed one helluva show.

Okay, it didn’t have either the crowd or the visceral impact of the OMG-all-my-favorite-bands-are-together-in-one-place Reverence fest, but it did really exactly what it was supposed to do: showcase Nilaihah Records.

We’ve been on this label for three years and even I’m a bit stunned at just how diverse and talented the lineup is. And I’m not just kissing ass because my royalty checks are due soon, I’m genuinely impressed.

Blind Faith and Envy played what was essentially thier first show. They’d played a show or two long, long ago but that was really before their new material and their new capabilities. There were some missteps, and they were visibly very nervous, but hey, they did damn well for the kind of sink-or-swim situation they got thrown into (first show ever? How’d you like to open a well-attended label showcase?). A couple more shws and they should be able to get more comfortable and iron out the bugs. Daniel certainly proved himself a capable musician onstage, running back and forth between keyboards and guitar, singing backing vocals and generally keeping things going. Charlene’s job was to, well, keep the audience interested. She’s the vocalist, and she did a good job. In a few spots, she sounded as good a she does on the album, which is no mean feat when you’re on a boomy stage with a workhorse mic.

We were up second. In short, we rocked. At least I like to think so. Technically it was probably our best show yet. My vocals were on-key, Dan was a guitar-god as usual but really sounding punchy on his new axe, and Chuck was loose and shockingly funky. We also played our longest set so far, clocking in at just under an hour, and while I managed to do it without any trouble, it was quite exhausting and I was running on the fear that my voice would give out before Wicked Game. (it didn’t). An addition to the set was the new track “Entwined”, which is the first full track written since AMDM (not counting “Firewall” from the LTTF comp). The audience seemed to dig it and people actually danced. How ’bout that.

The Azoic rounded out the night. They’re a really fun, high-energy band onstage (and, if you’ve ever met Kristy, offstage as well). They blistered their way through most of their new material and a few old favorites, stopping between songs to chat with the audience in a surprisingly interactive way (it went beyond “goood eeeveniiing cleeeveelaaaaand!”). They seemed to be having a lot of fun onstage. Towards the end of their set, they brought Dan and myself onstage for their cover of “Obsession”, which despite the horrible lyrics is a really fun song to do. Between the thumping electro beats, Dan’s screaming guitar, and a pretty strong vocal performance (if I do say so myself) it was one of the highlights of the night.

The Azoic rounded out the night with their encore of “Conflict.” I don’t think anyone who paid full price to get in regretted the price. Yeah, the show was that good.