By Brent Michael, Rock At Night Tampa Correspondent
Venue: Crowbar, Tampa, Florida–May 16, 2018
It’s interesting that the first thing I read about this band had to do with the lineup changes over its lifetime. Okay, going through 37 members and having only one – “A.K.” (Eric A. Knutson) who has been consistently with the band seems like a lot, but it works out to one per year. The band is also famous for its members’ stints with other bands, including Metallica, Prong, Shadows Fall, F5, Alice Cooper, Fifth Angel, House of Lords, TKO, Chastain, Impellitteri, and others.
Current lineup is Eric “A.K.” Knutson — vocals, Michael Gilbert — guitars, Michael Spencer — bass, Steve Conley — guitars, and Ken Mary — drums. All are consummate pros, and it shows!
Not that any of the bands preceding them are slouches, but Flotsam and Jetsam ended the night by showing the newer bands how to be metal! They had it all down, the tight musicianship, the synergy and visual stage presence, everything you could ask for in a metal band, including great songs! Their set included old favorites and newer material: Incantation, Monkey Wrench, Hammerhead, Me, Dreams of Death, Life is a Mess, Desecrator, Hard on You, She Took an Axe, Der Fuhrer, I Live You Die, Iron Maiden, No Place for Disgrace, and closing with Doomsday for the Deceiver! And the fans were with them the whole way, heads banging right along.
And speaking of bands preceding them, Burial at Sea kicked off the night with a powerhouse set, followed by Hate Tank, which gets the Ted Nugent prize for the songs “Obamaphone” and “Drink Beer, Smoke Pot, and Act Like an Asshole.” I guess they saw how successful his career has been since he got political and decided to emulate him! Riptorn gets the prize for most dedicated fans of an opening band, and The Prosecution, really warmed up the crowd just before Flotsam and Jetsam took over. Check them all out!
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.