Dead Cross Tear Through Denver, CO 9-23-17

Dead Cross Tear Through Denver, CO 9-23-17

Supergroup, the term itself brings shudders to some who has seen many attempts at putting together multiple accomplished artists under one collective name, time and time again rarely with success. After all, what does make an artistic endeavor ground-breaking? What gives it the magic to reach out to millions upon millions of fans worldwide and influence everything that makes them unique. Fashion, to philosophy, to political outlook have been changed, broken down, and rebuilt time and time again by a plethora of artists vastly different in approach from one another.

However, how does one mish mash a select group of artists under a new moniker and expect it to succeed at even a fraction of each person’s previous visions? You could easily debate the details and finer points till you are blue in the face, but one would be no closer to an answer. Artists on the other hand, being men of action, prefer to delve in and try to make something happen. Nobody more so than one Mike Patton of iconic bands like Faith No More and Mr.Bungle has taken the time to reinvent himself within different projects to reach his audience through new means. For the truly “hardcore” Patton fans, these concepts are anything but alien with bands Patton helped bring to the forefront such as Lovage, Tomahawk, Fantomas; hell, he even briefly filled in as a vocalist for The Dillinger Escape Plan.

One aforementioned band, Fantomas, saw Patton uniting with founding Slayer Drummer Dave Lombardo, brought on such a fresh and heavy sound that fans have long since clamored for the reunion of the two artists. In 2017 ,those prayers were answered as Lombardo along with Bassist Justin Pearson and Guitarist Michael Crain needed a new vocalist for their new monstrosity, Dead Cross. Enter Mike Patton, and from there, it did not take long for the band to unleash a crushing and challenging album in their self-titled album back on August 4th. 

Anyone who has had a chance to see Patton’s multiple musical outlets through the years live have stunned and awed by the shear variance in every band’s sound and live approach. From the pulverizing Metal sounds of Fantomas, to the more Rock edge of Tomahawk variety is the spice of life and complacence was a deadly sin. As Dead Cross’ tour with Secret Chiefs 3 came to a close in Denver, Colorado on Saturday, September 23rd at the Ogden Theatre, no one was disappointed in the dedication to the principle of unconventional genius. In fact, these principles were not only the pillars of the evening but the basis of the whole tour.

Beginning the fun, Secret Chiefs 3 took to the stage first and immediately had the audience’s full attention. No stranger to Patton as the band was led by none other than Trey Spruance formerly of Faith No More and Mr.Bungle. Within every song laid different styling, emotions, and evoked a string of artistic emotions within all those who got fully entranced.

From one moment, the audience could be thrown into aggressive state with an almost Metal sound coupled by various Jazz-like tempos. The next moment a fast-paced coursing of Surf Rock rhythms had spectators in full sway to the coursing sonic waves. The real treat, however, came with the band’s welcoming to the season with their own uniquely styled rendition of the theme song to John Carpenter’s 1978 classic Halloween. As difficult it is to take such a cornerstone melody and make it one’s own, Secret Chiefs 3 made it seem almost effortless. With a multitude of sounds and creative ideas mixed with multi-instrumental approaches, this is one band that anyone with the mind for creative evolution and innovation should not miss.

As the stage shifted and fans began to unleash screams of approval, Dead Cross had arrived. Often times, when artists, no matter their level of fame, hit the stage with a new project, there is a certain air of awkwardness adjusting to something new. Like an overzealous child wanting to break the ice, Mike Patton unleashed himself as he hurled right into the audience, putting them on notice to expect the unexpected.

The band kicked in full force with the opening song “Seizure and Desist,” removing that sense of awkwardness once and for all from the room. Between tracks such as “Idiopathic” and “Shillelagh,” Dead Cross delivered a whole new vision for all the artists involved, blending Thrash elements and Hardcore Punk to forge a wholly different sound. After the band paid homage to their drum tech delivering a cake and a heartfelt rendition of “Happy Birthday,” the show took a whole new turn as the band continued with their own cover of the Bauhaus classic “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.”

The overall performance not only added a certain depth to their material from their debut album, it also gave the band a chance to give a brief run through their history with a “Raining in Blood/Epic” medley followed by covers of GG Allen’s “Suck My Ass It Smells” and of course Dead Kennedys’ “Nazi Punks Fuck Off.”

Granted the tour has come to a close, but one can rest assured that this will not be the last time the music world has heard from Dead Cross. Having one of the strongest releases this year mixed with packed houses nationwide was a start, but the word is now out that Dead Cross is a force to be reckoned with. So anyone who has not had the opportunity to check out this unique band, get out there, pick up the album, and start brushing up, as they will be bringing the live test to your doorstep soon enough.

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Rafi Shlosman
rshlosman@yahoo.com
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