There's a night-club venue in my small city that has featured so many talented musical acts over the years, both local and otherwise, that I can only name off a fraction of the groups and solo artists that have performed there over the years.. George's Majestic Lounge, which has been a staple in our entertainment district since the 1ate 1920's, manages to attract acts that best reflect the predominant musical interests here, which I'm going to describe as a blend of country, an Arkansas-flavored hybrid of southern rock and blues--definitely lots of blues. Of course, there is a vibrant folk music scene here as well but all in all, the folkies, as I like to call them, are more commonly found at other venues. Every establishment that offers live music seems to carve out its own special niche and consequently, there's a unique scene going on at just about every place a person can go to.
For the past year or two, there has been a growing metal scene taking place a couple of Monday's per month at a rather modest-sized venue in the entertainment district known as Rogue Pizza Company. Metal Monday is a part of the niche that Rogue has established for itself and as far as I can tell, the venture is being fairly successful. It has been a rare evening indeed, when anyone else has featured this musical genre live in the recent past. Imagine my surprise then, when I learned last fall that George's was hosting a metal night and featuring, among other artists, a California-based group named In This Moment. Although I certainly wouldn't characterize In This Moment as Gothic in a musical sense, I am nevertheless, impressed with both their music and performance. I was pleased to see that George's had successfully featured them.
I was even more pleased when, back in December, I learned that George's would be hosting a performance on February 12 by Lacuna Coil, a group whose music is often described as Gothic Metal, and which enjoys a great deal of popularity in Europe! Well, let's just say that I didn't wast a great deal of time before I bought a ticket to the show. Also in that night's lineup were Avatar,
a melodic death metal band from Sweden and Sevendust, which hails from Atlanta, Georgia. Although I wasn't familiar with either Avatar or Sevendust, I was more than happy to pay the incredibly low ticket price just to Hear Lacuna Coil for awhile; and if I enjoyed the other groups as well, all the better.
The evening's festivities began with Avatar and I was surprised at how much I liked them. They really had the place hopping; and in my opinion, they put on an impressive performance. Next came Lacuna Coil; and as to be expected, they rocked. I was only familiar with one of the songs they played and therefore, was a bit disappointed that they didn't do When a Dead Man Walks. But hey, I understand; because you can only fit so many songs into a 30 minute performance.
Neither my friends nor myself stayed for Sevendust unfortunately, because by the time Lacuna Coil had finished their set the rain we'd been having earlier in the evening had turned to snow. My friends had a twenty-mile drive home and I, quite frankly, was tired of standing after leaving my vehicle at home on the mountain and instead, walking all the way to the venue. So sadly, I can't comment on how Sevendust sounded.
If I have one negative comment to make about Lacuna Coil's set it is this: It was hard to hear Christina Scappia's vocals. The lady has a very good voice and I thoroughly enjoy listening to her; yet, it seems the sound man totally allowed this talented singer's voice to be drowned out by the guitars. The volume on her mike should have been turned up higher.
I'm willing to forgive however, because this oversight may have come as a result of the formula promoters seem to be employing at these shows during which bands play a 30 minute set and then quickly make room for the next--rapid fire. I'm also aware that I live in a rather small city in a rural part of the country, so I suspect that local promoters are catching big-name groups in transit between much larger venues and asking them to stop and play here for one short set. It's a win/win situation-- a little extra money for the artists with very little fuss and for the rest of us, it's a chance to enjoy more experienced and even internationally known acts at a great price.
In any event, I've been saying for quite a while that the metal scene in my community is continuing to grow in both size and vibrancy. George's Majestic Lounge, which is only just beginning to feature metal, was absolutely packed with patrons that night. More likely than not, this will inspire them to put on similar events in the future. All I can say is hurray for us!