December 3, 2013 Norma Jean, Vanna, KEN mode, The Greenery, & Name crush DNA Lounge San Francisco, CA 11-21-13 (Exclusive Coverage)
On Thursday November 21st in the San Francisco Bay area Norma Jean, Vanna, Ken Mode and The Greenery came to DNA Lounge to put on a performance of aggressive energy packed night of metal. Already 5 dates into a 19 date tour, you could say these guys were completely warmed up and ready to go.
Opening the evening were local San Francisco band Name. The three piece band, fronted by Wes Fareas is actually friends of Norma Jean and jumped at the chance to open the show when asked. Their sound is best described as experimental containing song structures with bursts of energy and lots of peaks and valleys. Fareas’ performance was intense with clean vocals followed by a storm of intense screams. Jeremey Fareas (bass) played with a foot pedal that had a low bass/organ type sound that was used in an interesting way on certain songs. Their songs are in the vain of Between the Buried and Me & Dillinger Escape Plan style. These guys are definitely a band worth checking out.
Based out of Long Beach, CA, The Greenery took the stage next. Lead by vocalist Matt Lanners this band is filled with explosive sincere emotion. With strong influence taken from hardcore punk and a touch of thrash metal, The Greenery were an attention grabber. Lanners and company grabbed the crowd by neck arousing a storm on the floor. Lanners’ energy levels were insane with him moving constantly throughout the set from each side of the stage. Their sound is dirty and raw and are well worth arriving early to take a listen.
Moving along the next act were KEN mode from Winnipeg, Canada. Having been around since 1999 these guys have made a name for themselves in the scene. In 2012 the band won the JUNO award in Canada for their album Venerable. Consisting of Jesse Matthewson (vocals/guitar), Shane Matthewson (drums), and Andrew LaCour (bass), Ken mode provided an attitude and presence on stage throughout their set. Their performance seemed very natural and the chemistry shared on stage was excellent. There was a point in the set that Jesse Matthewson put down his guitar in the middle of a song only to pick up a bass and give the crowd an interesting duel bass guitar attack. Their newest album Entrench was released back in March and is worthy of giving a listen.
Keeping the energy flowing Boston, MA band Vanna took the stage. The metalcore band has withstood many changes in their line-up since their inception a decade ago. Backbones Nick Lambert (guitars) and Shawn Marquis (bass) have kept Vanna going and when Davey Muise (vocals) joined the fold back in 2009 things have really settled down. Their performance was filled with immense uninhibited force. Muise’s vocal attack was aggressive and powerful while remaining clean and listenable. To ignite even more energy, Muise jumped into the crowd to sing a few tracks. When a vocalist does this it’s always a instant way to get a crowd even more fired up. The band moved as a unit on stage and really shined throughout their set. They closed with “We Ate The Horse You Rode In On” and it proved to be an epic moment. Lead guitarist Joel Pastuszak’s clean vocals added a perfect touch to the growls put forth by Muise. Pastuszak handed his guitar off to a fan in the crowd toward the end and two floor toms were brought on the stage for him and Muise to finish off the track while pounding on the drums. Truly an exciting performance and proves Vanna are elite in the scene.
DNA Lounge had already been ripped to shreds by the other bands on the bill. The beating was not complete until the mighty Norma Jean walked onto the stage. These guys have earned the respect of their peers over the years with consistency, passion, and dedication. Their intensity was brought to the awareness of the masses over a series of spots on metal festivals over the years including Ozzfest and Mayhem festival. They continue their journey on this headlining tour after the release of their sixth studio album Wrongdoer earlier this year.
Fans screamed as Cory Brandan Putman (vocalist) and the rest of Norma Jean walked onto the stage. Their performance was intense and showed the traits of a professional polished band. Their set was a good balance of new and old with a large offering of tracks from Wrongdoers. Putman’s vocal performance was spot on and rattled the very soul of the audience. Stimulating crowd interaction, fans sang along with many tracks. This was a natural and healthy release for the audience members to partake in songs which help them through life.
Norma Jean blistered through their set and kept their the memento going at peak levels throughout. There was even a moment toward the end of the set where John Finnegan (bassist) cracked his head open on Putman’s mic stand and bled all over. Finnegan played through to the end and this defines the blood, sweat, and tears Norma Jean bring to their fans each and every night.
Be sure to check out Norma Jean, Vanna, KEN mode, The Greenery, & Exotic Animal Petting Zoo on the remaining tour dates:
12/03 Cleveland, OH – Peabody’s
12/04 Louisville, KY – Vernon Club
12/05 Detroit, MI – Modern Skatepark
12/06 Pittsburgh, PA – Altar Bar
12/07 Allentown, PA – Crocodile Rock
12/09 Amityville, NY – Revolution
12/10 Springfield, VA – Empire
12/11 Richmond, VA – Kingdom
12/12 Harrisonburg, VA – Blue Nile