I had a great time sitting in with Tim at The COAR Radio show, on Thursday Feb 19th. I was invited to come back on the 20th, but was unable to do so. I came to San Jose to help my mom with an eye surgery. She had to be seen for her post-operation check exactly the same time that I would have gone in on Friday, the 20th. So unfortunately I wasn't able to join him again. Fortunately, and more importantly, my Mom's eye surgery procedure was successful... However, as announced on the COAR Radio show on Thursday, Feb 19th, I was able to make it to the February 20th concert showcase at the Rockbar. Here's a quick rundown of the show:
The Rockbar is a nice venue. It's clean, but lit like a dungeon. The staff is professional. it's got a great stage and sound system that has a lighting technician, and a soundboard operator with control consoles for each. Seating is available for dinner. The ceilings are pleasantly high. If you're familiar with the San Jose area, the Rockbar is now in what was the old Garden City card club. There are two mens and two womens lavatories. The old Garden City dining area has been converted into a "Vodka Bar" that can serve double-duty for "exclusive" meet and greet stuff. It wasn't expected, but the Rockbar allowed merchandising tables for the bands. I would go back to the Rockbar for additional shows if I were living in the San Jose area.
- Gypsy Flight: Local SF Bay Area band. They still need to work on making a name for themselves. We hope they will make their aspirations into reality soon. They are a great sounding band. They have just recruited a new drummer that doesn't appear on any of the images on their band website. Interesting for a heavy metal act, and something we're seeing a lot more of these days: two females: one at vocals, the other on guitar. More pictures of Gypsy Flight available here.
- (left guitar) Karen Alvarez: Gibson Flying V into a Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner and Boss CH-1 Super Chorus into a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier Head and Mesa 4x12 cabinet
- (bass) Alex Alvarez: Gibson Thunderbird straight into a Gallien-Krueger head into a 2x15" (?) Ampeg cabinet
- (right guitar) Nick Campbell: Hamer Soloist-style into Crybaby Wah, Korg Polytune, and MXR Block Phase 90 into a Marshall DSL(?) head and Marshall 4x12 cabinet
- New Drummer: I swear they announced him. I didn't have pen or paper, so I didn't take down new name. I didn't observe what drum kit was used.
- Diamond Lane is a Los Angeles-based band. Great show. Great energy. Excellent audience interaction. This is definitely a band on the move. They'll be playing Rocklahoma this year so it's clear that they're moving up in the world. How cool is this? I told Brandon, the singer of Diamond Lane, "Great set, dude!" after the show. He handed me a CD of their 2014 release, Terrorizer, and said, "Here you go...". I've never experienced anything like that before. I've already gone to Diamond Lane's website to return the kindness, and have purchased another CD. More pictures of Diamond Lane available here.
Equipment observed (assuming much of the gear, especially the cabinets, was loaned by Gypsy Flight):
- (left guitar) Frankie Lindia: Charvel San Dimas into Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner, MXR Stereo Chorus, MXR Block Phase 90, into Engl Powerball (I think?) and 4x12 Mesa cabinet
- (bass) Ray Zhang: Yamaha BB4xx model into ElectroHarmonix Bass Big Muff and then into the Gallien-Krueger head and 2x15 Ampeg cabinet
- (right guitar) Jarret Reis: Gibson Les Paul into Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner, MXR Phase 90, Crybaby Wah, into a Fender EVH 5150III 50 watt head into Marshall 4x12 cabinet.
- (drums) Dave Vandigitty: Didn't get to see what the drum kit used was. Didn't see kit changed out during the band change.
- Also included in "The Good": $10 at the door. THIS IS HOW A SHOW SHOULD BE. $200 for an arena act is ridiculous. We've done the whole arena thing in the 1980s and 1990s, and we won't go to arena shows anymore. Those arena bands have already "tasted success" and at that level, and from our experience they are no longer "hungry". Festivals? Yes, we'll do festivals that still have bands that are hungry and eager for success, but $200/ticket arena shows? Forget it.
- Not enough people showed up. The show was originally supposed to be in San Francisco, and apparently, there were only 3 weeks notice to the change of venue. The crowd was really far too small for the quality of the bands. There were maybe 100 people who attended the show. The Rockbar can hold a capacity of over 800. The venue that got changed out on them seems to be the reason for the lack of attendance. That said, the bands were tremendous in their showmanship and you wouldn't have known from their performances that the bands weren't playing to a full house.
- Shame on me. Time to get my act together on reporting on the show as well as the band gear. It's time to complain to the boss here at Thermionic Studios to get me some business cards printed so I can arrive with said business cards, hand out said business cards, and get proper interviews on the bands, their members, their tour schedule and their gear. Then hopefully we can start to line up interviews for the little broadcast studio we're putting together.