Drowning Pool Delivers Not-So-Silent Night Amityville, NY 12-15-16 w/ Gemini Syndrome, 9Electric, & Red Tide Rising

Although they may be celebrating their twentieth year in existence as a band, Drowning Pool is far from finished with performing hard and heavy material. That said, back in early November 2016, the multi-platinum, award-winning Drowning Pool promised a not-so silent night, which certainly lived up to its expectations.

Approaching the tail end of the 2016 year, the Hard Rock band’s 2016 US headlining Not So Silent Night Tour featured performances in several eastern and central U.S. cities, commencing on November 29th in Colorado Springs, CO and coming to a close just before Christmas with a Toys For Tots homecoming show at Trees in Dallas, TX. Joined by special guests Gemini Syndrome, 9Electric, and Red Tide Rising, the tour lit up venues all around the country, and on Thursday December 15th, set their sights on Revolution Bar & Music Hall in Amityville, NY. 

As the venue began to fill rapidly with eager Hard Rock fans, Long Island natives Despyre fired up the crowd with aggressive, audacious instrumentals complemented by Vocalist Rob Malvagno’s harsh vocals. With their new album to be released in January, Despyre maintained a dynamic set, shifting back and forth between predominantly clean and harsh, vocally-driven pieces. Malvagno engaged the crowd throughout their time onstage, effectively playing off of the intimate and humble environment that Revolution always manages to offer. Highlights of the set included “Irritation” and “Voodoo Fix,” both including Despyre’s signature chugging distortion, which makes their music all the more irresistibly infectious and sonically sound.

The heaviness continued with Red Tide Rising, which emerged onstage donning various balaclava masks. The Colorado Hard Rock outfit commenced with “Writing on the Wall,” the first track on their latest Voices EP, produced by Mike Luce of Drowning Pool. Yet again, the lead vocalist, Matthew Whiteman, blended elements of harsh and clean vocals between verses and choruses, which was further complemented by a dynamic rhythm section provided by Drowning Pool’s Jasen Moreno on bass and touring Drummer Glendon Crain. Whiteman then introduced the group to the lively crowd, introducing the next song as, “We know this is a very evil city,” referencing the town of Amityville’s less-than-desirable history. Flashing lights from across the venue illuminated an intense atmosphere, like sirens in the distance. Powerful in their live performance, Red Tide Rising is a band on the right path. 

Next to hit the stage was the vivacious Los Angeles-based Electronic Rock band 9Electric. Also on a steady climb upward, they incorporated larger-than-life dynamics between themselves and the audience. The now packed crowd gathered closer to the stage, where the outfit played electronic leads and heavy instrumentation reminiscent of Mindless Self Indulgence Electropunk. Additionally, their interaction with the crowd was absolutely stellar, as Vocalist Ron “Thunderwood” Underwood lept into the unsuspecting crowd, rode on the back of a stagehand, and hung upside-down from the rafter like a bat.

Thunderwood commanded the stage like nobody else while conveying heartfelt, deeply personal lyrics. The set continued with new tracks from their recently-released debut album, The Damaged Ones, which included gritty synths, catchy hooks, and insane dynamics. 9Electric wrapped up their performance humbly by having Thunderwood hang from the rafters one final time, only to swing monkey-bars style from the stage down into the audience again. No stranger to Revolution Bar & Music Hall, fans welcomed the band back with open arms. 

As direct support for the night, Gemini Syndrome were the last to hit the stage before the anticipated headlining act. Hailing from Los Angeles, CA, the band continue to support their impressive sophomore album, Memento Mori. Their current single, “Remember We Die,” currently sits in the Top 30 at Active Rock radio and the band continues to show why they are one of Alternative Metal’s brightest shining hopes.

On top of Aaron Nordstrom‘s live vocals, the memorable riffing of Guitarists Daniel Sahagún and Charles Lee Salvaggio were matched by an equally impressive rhythm section from Drummer Brian Steele Medina and Bassist Alessandro “AP” Paveri. Completely in unison with each crescendo and breakdown, they played songs such as “Resurrection,” “Basement,” and “Eternity” early on. Enticing sonically, their approach resulted in not a systematic, but rather an organic delivery as they concluded with “Anonymous,” “Remember We Die,” and closer “Stardust.” For those who missed this run, Gemini Syndrome return to the road for a more touring in January 2017, including dates with Starset. 

Being completely rattled by the previous acts to perform, it was time for Drowning Pool to take over. Driven by harsh vocals and chugging guitars, Drowning Pool has successfully made a career for themselves over the years as a staple in the early Nu Metal and American Hard Rock scenes. From the release of their 2001 debut album, Sinner, Drowning Pool have gained a following since the early stages of its career. Currently supporting their latest full-length, Hellelujah, the veteran band still show they can rock hard with the rest of them. 

From the first note, Drowning Pool made it clear that this show was no tea party: the crowd was unrelenting from that point forward, unraveling into fits of moshing and fist-pumping to the end, to the tune of their 2001 hit “Sinner.” Frontman Jasen Moreno stood along the edge of the stage, interacting with nearby fans and even inviting several members to contribute backing vocals. Constantly animating the crowd, Moreno falls nothing short of an adequate vocalist in Drowning Pool’s current lineup.

As stated, enthusiastically out on the road to promote Hellelujah, the band certainly has not stopped delivering delightfully rigid, unyielding tunes. Performed from the said album, tracks included “We Are the Devil;” a Punk-infused piece featuring mass chanting and signature Drowning Pool 2000’s distortion. Well received by the crowd, many chanted back to Moreno, while others dove off the stage to the track’s churning rhythms. Meanwhile, Guitarist C.J. Pierce proceeded to emit guttural wails from his hallowed instrument throughout the night, delivering crowd-pleasing solos time after time from “37 Stitches” to “Tear Away.” Moreno expanded on his extensive range all through the set, showcasing everything from breathy vocals to low-range growls.

The four-piece continued to shake the crowd during the later portions of the night, inviting several female audience members onstage to join them for the final two songs, “Tear Away” and the famed “Bodies.” An Erin Porter from the Gemini Syndrome camp took on the role of sole vocalist for the former song, delivering a female-driven take on the band’s classic. Backed vocally by the erupting crowd, this song illustrated just how intimate of a setting the show really had. There was no boundary between the performer and the audience – which made the experience truly unique. Featuring a heavy use of the lyric “Let the bodies hit the floor,” the audience was overwhelming the voice of Moreno in comparison as their shouts in unison shook the humble venue. Gradually counting up from one to four, shouting the number each time, the audience jumped in place to the beat with Moreno, cultivating the same audience-to-band relationship given off the entire show.

Covering all bases, Drowning Pool played a variety of career-spanning hits both old and new. However, a stronger affection for the older hits were generally received; the audience went absolutely wild jumping and shouting along to anything from the Sinner record. With this solid performance, it proved that they know exactly how put on a show and it will be exciting to see what 2017 brings for the never-say-die Texas band of brothers. 

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