Put down that calculator for a minute and come hear about the Nerds Across the Northeast Tour!
Tucked behind the local Enterprise Rent-A-Car and a McDonalds under renovation in the rarely mentioned town of Wallingford, Connecticut, is a house whose exterior has seen better days. Surrounding this house is an area that feels both industrial and forest-like simultaneously. Once inside, however, the kooky old man who I assume runs the place somehow transformed it into something more familiar: a metal themed micro-venue. Besides the overly frequent interjections from the owner/sound guy (he is one interesting dude), Cherry Street Station is a pretty decent place to see a small local show.
Starting off the night was Chronologist, a four-piece instrumental band out of Boston. Live, these guys make a usually light-and-fluffy genre sound surprisingly heavy. With a cranked up bass and a quick-footed drummer, they certainly brought some weight to carry the front-and-center intricate guitar work. As with every band that night, they were focused but clearly there to have a good time. As an amusing stunt, at one point, a few of them spontaneously ran off stage and outside, all without messing up any of the intricacies of the music. While the impressively choreographed guitar playing was noodly, as some may say, there was minimal mindless soloing and the memorable riffs were really the stand-out feature. During the last song of the set, David and Zak from Hadean ran on stage to deliver some amusing-as-fuck slam “bree” vocals, and I am so so sorry that I did not record that. Look for their new album (currently in post production) by the end of the year.
Capture the Sun, another quadrangle from the east coast version of Portland, took the stage next. Compared to the previous group, there seemed to be more a “wall of sound” type quality to their style (and also a wall of people, as seen in the picture). The sound is totally full without vocals, and the songs are easily distinguishable with many memorable sections. One of my favorite parts, and I think this is a thing that should be incorporated more with lyricless bands, was the use of spoken word tracks between a few songs. It really helps provide a setting for the notes you’re about to hear. And because fuck microphones, they insisted on using a megaphone to announce their songs. The megaphone would be a recurring object throughout the night, usually to provide some applause using the built-in alarm sound. Come out and see these guys play sometime, you will be mesmerized by the guitar and bass tapping solos, I guarantee it. They also have a new album coming out later this year; it is currently in post and being mixed by Last Chance to Reason drummer Evan Sammons.
Now let me tell you about Hadean. As many of us are already aware, this band is something special. Starting out with “Inertia” was awesome to hear, with the opening sax solo just filling the room with echoing melody. With little preparation, they immediately slam you into their unique sound, with everyone seemingly playing with different influences, yet the final product is a beautifully cohesive thing. The vocals struck the difficult balance of being aggressive and pleasant, and they were probably some of the best I have heard live in a while. When they break away from their structured songs and begin to improvise is when you realize they are the real deal. They spend a few moments in a chaotic whirl that seems impossible to break out of, until it seamlessly spawns into a sweet groove. The surprisingly decent sound of the venue, all things considered, held up pretty well for the seven people on stage (Kyle from Capture the Sun helped out, and it was impressive to watch him and David do one of those “over-the-back playing each other’s guitars” tricks). It was an absolute delight to experience, and I look forward to seeing them again at some point with a longer set that allows for even more space for the jams breathe.
All of the guys from all of these bands are super talented and just generally fun people to be around. They frequently invaded each other’s sets to add something new, which was a really cool and singular experience, and I hope they continue to keep having fun with it. They deserve all of your monies, so please go see them whenever the chance arises. This was an excellent tour for our site to sponsor. Unfortunately, it was a short and very localized one, and I know many of you had no chance of seeing it, so I will be sure to keep everyone in the loop with their upcoming events in my Monday news posts.
Also, special shout-outs to Construct Paradise (progressive metal ala a heavier version of The Contortionist), an excellent local CT band that closed down the show, and additional patron Hunter W, who of course also makes instrumental prog. I had a great time hanging out and talking to everyone involved, so hurry up and go to their shows before you need backstage passes to do the same.