By Brent Michael, Rock At Night Tampa Correspondent
Venue: Crowbar, Tampa, Florida–April 5, 2018
The night began with Tampa’s own Red Lights Beacon, self-described as a progressive post-hardcore band. That translates into what I’ll describe as an organized cacophony that somehow manages to be both discordant and melodic at the same time, an assault to the senses that both soothes and jangles in an explosion of sensations. Best thing you can do is give them a listen at their Bandcamp site!
Next up was Megosh, an Alternative/Pop/Rock band from Baltimore, Maryland. In the fine tradition of Merry Pranksters, they have become known almost as much for their offstage antics (and onstage during other bands’ sets) as for their quirky blend of alternative metal, pop punk, eclectic harmonies, and progressive intelligence laced with humor music. Song titles like “I Stole from the Dead” and “Ask Your Mother” are indicative of their offbeat take on the world. When they come your way, don’t miss them!
Icarus the Owl flew into the Crowbar on wings of their fifth successful studio album release, Rearm Circuits. The band was formed as a solo project by vocalist and guitarist Joey Rubenstein, who released the first album with several studio musicians. Rubenstein still fronts the band, with the additions of lead guitarist Tim Brown, percussionist Rob Bernknopf, and bassist Jake Thomas-Low. Their blend of post-hardcore, alternative rock, progressive rock, indie rock, pop, punk, and math rock has garnered them a steady stream of fans far beyond their Portland, Oregon home base, exceeding 50,000 likes on Facebook last year! Have a listen at Spotify, pick up an album or several, and don’t miss them when they’re near you!
And then, Good Tiger hit the stage. Playing some kind of rock, they grabbed the audience with a whirlwind of tasty sound, sprinkling them with their Salt of the East Coast until sprinkled to perfection, then devouring them like a Good Tiger should! Formed in 2015 by ex-Tesseract vocalist Elliot Coleman, ex-The Safety Fire guitarists Derya Nagle and Joaquin Ardiles, ex-The Faceless drummer Alex Rüdinger and bassist Morgan Sinclair, who you might have seen on tour with Architects as a guitarist, the band is a modern incarnation of what’s known as a supergroup, with recognized artists coming together to build a new sound that incorporates all the ingredients of their former bands into something new. You can hear the results of this musical bake-off at their Bandcamp site, or look for them to come your way on their Salt of the East Coast Tour, but you should definitely take notice! Some supergroups only result in mediocre efforts, but this one is living up to its name, starting with an uber-successful marketing campaign on Indiegogo to support heir album release, which hit 265% of their $16k goal! 100% in less than 24 hours! Speaking of marketing, one of the unique things I’ve seen (and obviously, very limited for collectors) were decorated drum heads, including set lists. The campaign included some unusual items, including “waxing Morgan Sinclair’s back” for you sadists out there.
But it takes more than marketing to make it as a band these days, and Good Tiger delivers the goods. Blending their influences in a manner that defies lazy classification sets them apart from their contemporaries, imbuing everything they do with a distinctive sound and feel. With various members contributing lyrics there is a mixture of perspectives offered, but as with the music there is a real sense of cohesion, emphasizing the connection between the five men, with discussions of human interactions, emotions and the psyche pushed to the fore. “‘Float On’, for example, talks about the idea of mindfulness and the perspective that comes with that,” said Nagle in an interview for Metalblade Records. Their music comines the thoughtful lyrics progressive metal is know for with driving sounds of straight-up classic metal, and the result is delicious!
When not in custody, I've been involved with music, photography, and writing my entire life. Ever since I was a young boy and played those silver tunes, I've had the beat, but being a drummer didn't suit me so I became a lead singer, which lasted a few years. Settling down, sort of, I translated my knowledge of audio and glib tongue into mobile emcee work, and my training as a photographer and videographer into a living in the wedding, party, bar/bat mitzvah, and entertainment industry. During this time I also managed to bamboozle my way into a master's degree in writing, worked for a couple of magazines (yes, I took photos for a nudist magazine!), have photographed hotels, done commercial work (shot the cover of Tablet and Capsule magazine), published a few articles, hosted some public access shows (a couple times in drag, but that's another story), and generally made a nuisance of myself until I landed here.