Nonpoint crush San Francisco, CA 4-8-15 w/ 36 Crazyfists & Scare Don’t Fear

Nonpoint crush San Francisco, CA 4-8-15 w/ 36 Crazyfists & Scare Don’t Fear

Some of Alternative Metal’s most respected bands have loaded up the spring of 2015 calendar with tours across North America. Beginning on March 26th, the Misery & Company Tour saw Nonpoint join up with their old friends in 36 Crazyfists, along with support from Scare Don’t Fear for a string of dates together through April 24th. Leaving cities across the western portion of the country in rumble, the seasoned force of Nonpoint, with the renewed passion from 36 Crazyfists, and the hunger of rising stars Scare Don’t Fear made for flawless combination of edgy Metal that had many excited to see. About midway into the journey, the tour made a midweek spot at DNA Lounge in San Francisco, California on Wednesday April 8th to help mend everyone’s hump day blues.

Kicking off the night in electrifying fashion was New England based Scare Don’t Fear. Signed to KBB Records, this band consists of the duel vocals of Chris Jungles and Frankie Screamz, guitarist Tom McNamara, synthesizers Larry Ohh, bassist Ryan Grandmaison, and drummer Jeffrey Braunreuther. Releasing their debut full-length album From the Ground Up in July 0f 2014, the band spent last summer a part of Vans Warped Tour and have kept themselves busy on the road since.

Combining a grooving mix of Hip Hop and Metal, the band lit up the stage as they jammed through original tunes including”Vanish” and “Shut It Down.”  Showing on point timing, Jungles rhymes and Screamz bellowing shouts flowed like water as the rest of Scare Don’t Fear provided tight instrumentation. Relatively new to some of the audience’s ears, everyone embraced the band as they moved about the floor and indulged in a killer cover of Eminen’s “The Way I Am.” Not traditionally an act that cover other’s songs, Screamz has stated “For years we always dismissed the idea of doing a cover. It just wasn’t our kind of thing. Then 1 day on Warped Tour we’re listening to Eminem’s “The Way I Am” and we’re like “Wow we can relate so much to this song.” Being such a different type of act we get hit with judgments from everybody and constantly feel like we’re being misunderstood. We could cover this song but still feel like we’re putting out a message through Em’s words.” Certainly true, the rendition hit hard and Scare Don’t Fear left the room thoroughly impressed. Be sure to catch them on tour with Nonpoint and Otherwise through May 23rd before they hit the road with Kottonmouth Kings in June.

Next up was Anchorage Alaska’s own 36 Crazyfists. Formed over two decades ago, the band has sustained their share of bumps in the road, only to overcome them in triumphant fashion.  Fighting their way through the scene, in 2002 they released their major label debut, Bitterness the Star. Provoking a positive reaction the praise snowballed into the success of A Snow Capped Romance in 2004, putting 36 Crazyfists on everyone’s radar. Following up with three highly charted albums over the next six years, the band had been relatively quite until 2014 when news came down that a new album was in the works. Completing the material, Time and Trauma was released via their new album Spinefarm Records back in February and it ignited fans renewed love affair with the band. Currently configured with founding members Brock Lindow on vocals, Steve Holt on guitar, longtime member Mick Whitney on bass, and Kyle Baltus on drums, 36 Crazyfists was ready to show DNA Lounge what they are made of.

Opening the set with the tension building new song “Vanish,” Lindow laid it all on the line as his voice tore through the room, mixing gutted singing and fierce screams. Immediately going back in time, “I’ll Go Until My Heart Stops” came before  “The Heart and the Shape,” and “Skin and Atmosphere.” In tune with the mood of the music, Holt, Whitney, and Baltus provided the backbone to each song, allowing Lindow to bring the lyrics to life in an effective matter. The memorable riffs and compelling progression in each song had 36 Crazyfists sounding as strong as ever before. Continuing on they had the audience bouncing up and down as Lindow raised his hands to the air, calling to heavens, belting out “Sorrow Sings.”  Showing growth within their new material, while still staying true to their unique sound, fans welcomed the balanced offering as favorites like “Bloodwork” followed with “Also Am I,” and the finale of “Time and Trauma.” Currently on tour with Five Finger Death Punch, 36 Crazyfists will then meet up with Sleepwave and Toothgrinder for some dates through the end of May, so get out there see them before it is too late.

Closing out the evening was the anticipated headliners, Nonpoint. Originally hailing from Southern Florida this band has been plugging away since 1997, having let nothing stand in their way. Bursting into the mainstream with 2000’s The Statement, the band has released seven studio albums since, including their most recent, The Return in September of 2014. Spending their lives on the road, playing anywhere from amphitheaters to quaint club settings, Nonpoint has built a reputation for their no-holds-bar stage presence. Held together by original vocalist Elias Soriano and drummer Robb Rivera, the lineup is strengthened with guitarist Rasheed Thomas, bassist Adam Woloszyn, and newest member, Eye Empire guitarist B.C. Kochmit. Pumped for the band’s return to the bay area for the first time since their visit in 2013 with Megadeth and Fear Factory, the lights were down at DNA Lounge and the fans were ready to go.

As Soriano walked out he screamed to the crowd to raise their hands in the air and jolted right into the classic track “Mindtrip.” With the onstage lights flashing, Thomas, Woloszyn and Kochmit stood in the backdrop whipping their hair to the music, while Rivera hit hard on his kit as he faced the audience straight on opposed to the side. Following with “What a Day” and “Victim,” it was a trip down memory lane, inviting everyone to recall their fondest memories of the early days of the Nonpoint. Fast forwarding to present times, the unapologetic anthem “I Said It” kept the groove going as Soriano orchestrated the crowd with a fire in his eyes and intensity in his voice. Meshing a two guitar assault of Thomas and Kochmit, the riffs were as lively as ever and the emotion of the entire band was clearly firing on all cylinders. Throwing in a mash up of 2007 song “Hands Off” with Jay Z’s “99 Problems” Soriano segued seamlessly, and everyone applauded his vocal mastery.

Seeming as if so much had already happened during the opening segment, Nonpoint kept the momentum going with “Spanish 1o1.” Soriano had all the fans clapping along before bursting out each word of the rapid speed song flawlessly.  With the temperature rising both on and off the stage, the band went into their latest single “Breaking Skin,” before the charged “That Day.” Having the audience’s pulses racing they amped up the room even more with a chant along to “F**k’d” where everyone had a chance to vent frustrations. Moving into their cover of Phil Collins “In the Air Tonight” setting a dark, relaxing calm on the audience. This was a nice alternative before the band ripped into their finale of “Alive and Kicking” and “Bullet with a Name.” Bidding farewell to the fans, Kochmit and Thomas tossed guitar picks out to grabbing hands and everyone in Nonpoint showed great appreciation for their followers support.

Once again, Nonpoint prove why they are one of the most powerful live shows on the scene today. Years of hard work has paid off for the band who’s fanbase only seems to grow with each passing album release. Soriano can only be described as glorious on stage, whipping his hair around and lost in the emotion of the music, solidifying himself as one of the top frontman in all of Hard Rock/Metal. While the run with 36 Crazyfists has come and gone, Nonpoint now team up with Otherwise through the end of May, before hit the road again with 10 Years, July through August. Whether it is one’s first or hundredth time seeing Nonpoint, the band always give audience’s more than their moneys worth, and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

 

 

 

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Frank Malerba
frank@crypticrock.com
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