Powerman 5000 & Hed PE rattle The Emporium in Patchogue, NY 8-20-14 w/ Sunflower Dead

Powerman 5000 & Hed PE rattle The Emporium in Patchogue, NY 8-20-14 w/ Sunflower Dead

Joining forces for a co-headlining tour, Powerman 5000 and Hed PE took to the road for the month of August with Sunflower Dead.  Beginning the rush of twenty-five shows in thirty days in Sauget, IL, on Wednesday August 20th the three bands made their way across the Long Island Sound to visit The Emporium in Patchogue, NY.  With local support from Iron Maiden tribute band Life after Death and industrial band Plague of Humanity, fans gathered early in excitement to catch this performance midweek.

Jump-starting the touring bill was Southern Californians Sunflower Dead.  Formed in 2012 with national touring experience with bands such as DROID, Memento, Two Hit Creeper, as well as In This Moment, the lineup consists of vocalist/accordion aficionado Michael Del Pizzo, guitarist Jaboo, guitarist Jamie Teissiere, drummer Jimmy Schultz, and bassist Leighton “Lats” Kearns.  Releasing their self-titled debut via Bloody Rat Records in 2012, the band has taken to stages across North America with the likes of Ill Niño, Hellyeah, and more, spreading the word of their unique alternative metal styling.  Coming out with morbid theatrical corpse make-up, Del Pizzo had audience members curious as he began to play his accordion.  Accompanied by the rest of the band, they blasted into some energetic riff orientated songs from their album including the song “Wasted” which has a killer video out now.  Mixing in their inventive cover of The Police’s “Every Breath You Take”, Sunflower Dead did a spectacular job keeping the crowd’s attention with engagement and quality songs.  These guys are on their way up and are well worth checking out.

After local rock station 94.3 FM The Shark held a bikini contest on stage with special guest judge, Jahred of Hed PE, everyone anxiously awaited the rapcore rebels to take the stage.  Going strong for two decades, Hed PE’s lineup is rounded out by original bassist Mawk, guitarist Jaxon, and drummer Trauma.  Always staying true to who they are and their fan base, the band push the envelope in 2014 with the release of their ninth studio album Evolution with a more hard rock/metal sound.  Intrigued to hear old classics mixed in with the new tunes, the dedicated followers came out to show support.

Opening up with the heavy groovy of new track “No Turning”, they had the crowd headbanging and moving around the floor.  Jahred was like a mad man on vocals, rampaging through songs like “Bloodfire” and “Killing Time”.  Offering up more new tracks like “Lost in Babylon” and “One More Body”, it was easy to see the audience was digging the material and the thick guitar sound of Jaxon.  As they continued on, Jahred came across humble and expressed thanks to the audience stating how much things have changed for him personally over the past twenty years.  Having been around for the insane ride of the band through that time, fans cheered showing their appreciation, solidifying Hed PE and their fans as one big family.  They did not let anyone down as they balanced themselves with fan favorites such as “Bartender”, “Renegade”, and “Raise Hell”, before closing with the chill reggae influenced “Nowhere to Go”.    Hed PE is stronger than ever and is well-worth checking out when they come around.

Shortly after the clock struck midnight, Powerman 5000 were ready to take over Emporium.  Founded by vocalist Spider One back in 1991, Powerman 5000 has withstood a series of changes over the years.  Initially more of a funky metal band, Spider and his mates experimented with their sound, finding themselves in outer-space with the earth shattering industrial metal tingling Tonight the Stars Revolt! in 1999.  Unwilling to settle on his laurels, Spider continued to broaden the style of the band from album to album with interchanging parts until revisiting the industrial realm with Somewhere on the Other Side of Nowhere in 2009.  Now in 2014 with a new line-up consisting of X51 (bass), sci55ors (guitar), Zero (guitar), and Dj Rattan, Powerman 5000 is back with perhaps one of their most devastating albums in years titled Builders of the Future.  Anxious to see the band return to Long Island for the first time since March, everyone gathered close to the bar in front of the stage for the fun to begin.

Kicking off with the electrifying new song “Invade, Destroy, Repeat”, Spider and company amped up the audience while going full throttle.  Rattling off their most exciting tunes following with “Super Villain”, “Nobody’s Real”, and “Hey, That’s Right!”, the audience kept their eyes fixed on the stage bouncing around and singing along.  The band was equally as into the performance as Spider worked his way around the stage while enticing the crowd with his showmanship.  While everyone enjoy the older tunes, it was equally exciting to hear the fresh songs from Builders of the Future including “How to Be a Human”, “You’re Gonna Love It, If You Like It or Not”, and “We Want It All”.

Having everyone cheering for more, the final stretch went into light speed as “Bombshell” went into the always unsettling spoken track “An Eye Is Upon You”.  Setting up the tension, the easily recognized guitar riff of “Supernova Goes Pop” rang through the air and the noise level was picked up a notch as the journey concluded in grand fashion with “Tonight the Stars Revolt!” and “When Worlds Collide”.  Powerman 5000 has not lost a step over the years and their unmistakable sound is as adrenaline driven as ever.  Do not miss the opportunity to see them live in the flesh as they continue to support the new record.

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 Read the review of Sunflower Dead’s self-titled album:

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Read the review of Powerman 5000’s Builders of the Future album:

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Frank Malerba
frank@crypticrock.com
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