Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Red Fang + In Flames + Opeth + The Brunson Theater + Fake Believe + Two Star Symphony + Before There Was Rosalyn + these days + More

1495417_851273288236963_7998815554083509383_oHey, y’all — it’s the weekend once again, with today being Friday, December 12th and all, and while the list of shows tonight isn’t massive (look at tomorrow’s list for that), it’s still pretty damn impressive. Here goes:

Opeth/In Flames/Red Fang @ Warehouse Live
This right here is where yours truly will be tonight, up at the Warehouse Live for a full-on night of metal awesome (and if all goes as planned, with a belly full of Moon Tower Inn hot dog, to boot). Now, I’ll be up-front about it: the band I’m most psyched about seeing plays first, and that’s Oregon’s Red Fang, who’ve drank and stomped and crushed their way into my little heart in a major way since the release of their 2009 debut. I’ve seen ’em a couple of times already, and they never, never get old; they’re a metal band, for sure, but they’re also kind of a stoner-rock band, and a straight-up guitar-rawk band, to boot. In short, they’re damned difficult to pigeonhole.

Oh, yeah, and their latest video, for “Crows In Swine,” is a badass freaking cartoon about a quest to awaken a mysterical band of warrior/wizards from their slumber so they can defeat a rampaging barbarian horde, because OF COURSE IT IS:

Not that I dislike the other folks playing, mind you. I’ve liked Swedish band In Flames for longer than I’ve even known about Red Fang, now that I think about it — I know it pissed a lot of the band’s diehard original fans off, but 2006’s Come Clarity was one of the best chunks of metal I’d heard in years, simultaneously heavy as fuck and awesomely melodic. I haven’t kept up with the band lately, but since seeing the show come up on the calendar, I’ve started going back through the giant pile of stuff they’ve put out since, and I’m liking it.

10842112_321112091422461_4545834178810841864_oThen there’s headliners Opeth, who I knew mostly by reputation before this past week; I’ve been listening to Pale Communion a fair bit and have been pretty stunned by it, honestly. It’s less “metal” than it is prog-rock, by far, with tons of retro-sounding organ, jazzy song structures, and Zeppelinesque folk bits, and weirdly, I’m finding myself very much okay with that. It’s a little weird that the headliners tonight will probably be the “lightest” band, metal-wise, but hey, good music is good music, and that’s all that should matter.

The Brunson Theater/Fake Believe/PuraPharm @ Walter’s ($6)
There’s a cool, cool one-two-three punch happening at Walter’s tonight, too, with a show where I like all three bands quite a bit. Headlining guys The Brunson Theater play bright, shiny, ’60s-tinged pop that brings to mind The Beatles, The Posies, Pink Floyd, and Cotton Mather, all at the same damn time, and which comes together to sound almost like the soundtrack to some early-’70s rock opera that never got released out into the world at large. Simply put, they’re really good. (And BTW, the folks in the band used to be in the rightfully-ballyhooed Scattered PAGES, back before they quietly called it a day & vanished.)

Plus, there’s Fake Believe, back from the great beyond to rock once again. The band’s 2009 EP, Talk Speak, had a few issues but was pretty promising overall, and live the band was a lot of fun, so I was bummed when they went away; psyched to see ’em back again. For their part, PuraPharm are truly intriguing, a dark, murky, moody electro-pop outfit that for once doesn’t make that whole “dark, murky, moody electro-pop” thing sound overdone and clichéd. Get there early to see them, too, alright?

Seven Deadly Sins Album Release & Multimedia Performance, featuring Two Star Symphony & ms. YET @ 14 Pews
Tonight’s the first night of several for this, but I’d definitely, definitely say it’s worth seeing as soon as you can before it’s gone, because y’know, that sort of thing tends to sneak up on you, right? The whole thing revolves around a new album by the excellent creepy-ass chamber music group Two Star Symphony, entitled Seven Deadly Sins, and the performances starting tonight up at 14 Pews promise to be a full-blown multimedia extravaganza, complete with the full TSS lineup (a total of 8 people, up from their usual quartet), live dancing from ms. YET, video projections, and art focused on the eponymous sins the album’s about.

10690151_10152597216538752_3954936127266308325_nBasically, this sounds really damn cool. I love TSS’s music in general, and this takes that and bumps it several notches into the realm of something you’re only going to be able to witness once in your life. (Well, okay, unless you go to multiple performances; you get my point.) Get on out there.

Before There Was Rosalyn (reunion show!)/OIL/These Days/Concepts/Carlos Salazar @ Mango’s
Once upon a time, there was a band from H-town called Before There Was Rosalyn. They made some major waves for a band from our sadly-overlooked city, carving out a nice little Christian-metalcore niche for themselves and getting signed to Victory Records for their one release that I know of, 2009’s The Fuhrer…and then guitarist Trent Gibson quit, and the band imploded, as the other members went off to college or got married.

Now, they’re back, at least temporarily, and a big-ass high-five for that. They’re roaring back to life up at Mango’s tonight, heading up a bill of heavy-ass metalcore/hardcore that’s all meant to raise money for Toys For Tots — a very worthy cause. As an added bonus, they’ve brought along these days, a relatively new hardcore band I’ve got high, high hopes for (and which includes for Close Your Eyes vocalist Shane Raymond. I’ve heard the self-titled EP the band released earlier this year, and fuck is it good. Overall, this is a big pile of goodness.

Runners-Up:
Old 97’s/Deathray Davies @ Fitzgerald’s
Punxmas Fest IX, featuring DDA, Decathect, TSS, Ronia, The Swamps, Gnar World Order, The Velostacks, Marla Strange, Action Frank, Mindkill, Sketch//Driven, & Bondage @ Eastdown Warehouse (5PM-2AM)
A Fistful of Soul @ The Big Top
TWELVE Project, featuring Ian Moore & Drew Kennedy @ St. Joseph’s Church (Galveston)
El Mundo @ Christ Church Cathedral (1117 Texas)
Bingo Players/Surain @ Stereo Live
Alpha Rev/Another Run/Isaac & Adele @ The Concert Pub North


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