Live: Scale The Summit

Scale The Summit pic #1
Scale The Summit. (l to r) Travis Levrier, Jordan Eberhardt, Chris Letchford, & Pat Skeffington.

THE MERIDIAN -- 1/11/2010: For any national act, playing a hometown gig is a special thing. For their special moment, Scale The Summit got to play to a packed Meridian full of fellow Houstonians. STS was the opener on The Great Misdirect Tour, that also featured Between the Buried and Me, Cynic, and the Devin Townsend Project, but while all of the acts have a certain progressive slant to them, Scale The Summit was the only instrumental act.
Making full use of the 30-minute slot, STS launched in to a set showcasing their ability to craft notes into musical stories. Opening with "Age of Tide", and the crowd was quickly blown away by the band's mixture of virtuosity and crunchy metal goodness. Since all four members are so adept at playing, it seems like all four are playing different songs that harmonize with one another.
Then the next song comes, and the appreciation fades a little, and by the third track, you start to wonder if you didn't just hear that same song. STS songs seem to all have the same tempo, and guitarist Chris Letchford will play the same 4- or 5-note phrase over and over and over again. That and he taps more than Sammy Davis, Jr.
Just when you're about to write this band off as over-indulgent musical masturbators, though, they start playing "City in the Sky," and you see the greatness of this band. While starting off with their signature stylings, the song changes tempos and moods, making the audience feel like it is flying through a hurricane and gazing upon the tranquility and beauty of the eye -- until they're sucked back into the storm, and as the song returns to its opening intensity.
Watching Scale the Summit play is an engaging, enjoyable, and frustrating thing. While they're incredibly able musicians that know their craft well, the glimpses of greatness can get overshadowed by the stereotypical prog-rock tendencies. END