It was late Saturday afternoon as a huge line formed in front of The Observatory in Santa Ana, California. Affliction Clothing put together a big concert event for the Orange County area that was hosted by José Mangin of Liquid Metal (Sirius XM Satellite Radio). There were four awesome bands playing at this event. Periphery, Born of Osiris, Dead Letter Circus, and Twelve Foot Ninja; every person in line had their own personal favorite whom they wanted to see.
As soon as the door opened, the people rushed the stage and the merchandise tables while a local band took the stage. Unfortunately the first local band was pretty nervous taking the stage as the singer kept pacing back and forth during and in between songs and lost the audience’s interest very quickly. It was now time for another local band to wake up the ground. You can see the expressions on a lot of the people’s faces as to how many more local bands they would have to sit through until the main act, but to everyone’s shock the second band I, Of Helix did not disappoint. A Progressive Metal band from Orange County, California; this band came out like they owned the stage and if you didn’t know any better you would have thought they were one of the main acts! If you haven’t heard of these guys, check out their new album Isolations on Bandcamp.
After a short break, José Mangin took the stage to introduce Twelve Foot Ninja to the stage. A band from Melbourne, Australia; had a little problem getting themselves on their first ever North American tour and had to miss the first half due to Visa issues in Germany. Luckily for the audience, they made it on time for this show because they had a big fan following in Santa Ana already. A unique quality about this band is their ability to blend in different styles of music like bossa nova, reggae, and some funk guitar with metal music. Vocalist Kin Etik, drummer Shane “Russ” Russell, and bassist Damon McKinnon gave off the most energy from the band. Even though it was a short 5-song set, Twelve Foot Ninja roused up the crowd with their hit songs “Mother Sky” and “Coming For You”. Hopefully, the next time these guys are back in town they can play a longer set because everyone enjoyed seeing them on stage!
Twelve Foot Ninja
After spending a half hour on side stage watching and cheering on their fellow Aussie tour band companions Twelve Foot Ninja, it was now time for Dead Letter Circus to take their shot at the audience. Dead Letter Circus turned a lot of heads with the release of their debut album This Is The Warning (2010). The recorded showed the band to be a generous mix of hard rock and progression, refreshing to many others in the genre. On October 29th the band released their much anticipated sophomore effort The Catalyst Fire here in the USA. Just recently after the release of their record in Australia, guitarist and founding band member Rob Maric parted ways with the band. The band has since replaced Maric with newest member Clint Vincent on guitar.
Having not toured the states in sometime, Dead Letter Circus had a lot of ground to make up and make up they did. There set showcased an excellent mix of both older tracks and newer tracks including “The Mile” and “The Space on the Wall”. The crowd really responded positively when they broke out into tracks “Lodestar” and “The Veil”. In the band’s abbreviated 6 song set each member performed excellently. Kim Benzie’s vocal performance soared with clean and exact pitch. Stewart Hill had a great deal of energy playing some of his impressive bass lines while moving about the stage. Both of the new guitarists Clint Vincent and Tom Skerlj seemed to work well together feeding off each others playing. Judging by the crowds response it was an enjoyable set and with The Catalyst Fire fresh off the presses we just may see these rockers from down under back again soon.
It was now time for Born of Osiris, from Chicago, Illinois. Touring in support of their recent release Tomorrow We Die ∆live; a lot of the audience was very familiar with this band and already intrigued by the Eye of Horus symbols on their white amps and drum kit. Opening up with “Machine”, vocalist Ronnie Canizaro took the stage by storm with his strong delivery and both David Da Rocha and Lee McKinney meshed in well with melodic solos and fluid riffs throughout the set. Whereas the crowd grew larger with the previous bands, the mosh pits were finally forming like crazy from the energy of the performance and the security finally woke up and started minding the audience for safety. Their performance was pleasingly heavy and the audience ate it up!
After a very quick break, Periphery finally took the stage. They recently finished up the Summer Slaughter Tour not too long ago, but it was time for them to headline their own tour where they covered songs from both of their studio albums. All though the band put out a great amount of energy throughout their set, the crazy flashing strobe and LED lights took away a little bit from the performance since the stage was very poorly lit. Towards the middle of their set, the crazy light flashing went away and the audience can now see the band on stage. The audience went wild with people body surfing within the crowd. Spencer Sotelo’s vocals were amazing and Misha Mansoor’s guitar techniques were powerful and astonishing. What really got the crow was a combination of Adan Getgood’s bass and Matt Halpern’s drums when they played “Make Total Destroy”, the vibrations from the sound were so intense that at certain points it was thought an earthquake was in progress.
Written by Karina Parker