Soil returned with their sixth full-length album, Whole, in 2013; the first with original vocalist Ryan McCombs in over a decade. Less than a month later, Tantric released their fifth full-length album entitled 37 Channels. In March of 2014, the Pavement Record mates decided to hit the road for a face-melting tour that would sweep across the east coast. Mid-way through the tour, on April 4th, Soil returned to Johnson City, Tennessee for the first time since last December’s performance with All That Remains. With great anticipation, the powerhouse of Soil and Tantric graced Capone’s with the up and coming four-piece, Social 66.
Fans roared as Social 66 made their way onto the stage for their debut at this venue. The ambitious crew had released their self-titled album just three days before hand and started the night off with a tune called “Crash n Burn”. The crowd ate it up like candy, as hands held high in the air and heads started to bang to the beat of Joe Bailey’s drums and Eric Seevers bass. Vocalist Jason Odaniel engaged the audience with his catchy lyrics and melodic voice while he and Se7en shredded away on their guitars. The energetic act was a perfect way to start off the night’s line-up, everyone applauded and cheered as they showed a warm welcome.
Next to take the stage were Louisville, Kentucky’s very own Tantric. Having been around since 1999, they caught the attention of crowds from all over with their self-titled record. With a successful beginning, they kicked off their career at No. 193 on Billboard Top 200 and eventually went platinum. Through several line-up changes Tantric has made a clear statement, they are not going anywhere. Firing off their set was the hit “Hey Now”. Vocalist Hugo Ferreira lead the way as the bright-eyed crowd sang along. With a combination of hits like “Astounded”, “Breakdown”, and “Mourning” along with tracks off of their newly released album like “Blue Room” and “Mosquita”, Ferreria and company won over fans, who were ready for what was next to come.
Based out of Chicago, Illinois, the monstrous four-piece of Soil raised eye-brows across the nation with their memorable sophomore album Scars in 2001. With the song “Halo” being spun on a radio station in Orlando, Florida, it became the most requested song on the station and gained attention from labels and audiences everywhere. Having been going strong for almost two decades, and closing out this incredible night, they walked out on stage one by one. The crowd ignited as “Breaking Me Down” kicked off their set in full-throttle. The passion in vocalist McComb’s voice, even years after performing, cannot be denied. Adam Zadel’s masterful fret work, as well as Mitch Gabel’s exhilarating drum patterns, added in with Tim King’s ripping bass lines made for an entertaining experience. Through the strong set, every single person in the venue had their eyes fixated on the stage. Fans screamed along with McCombs on every single song including “Shine On” and “The Hate Song” from their latest album Whole. Hand-horns flew sky high in the air while bodies moved from side to side; and just as a cover of Ram Jam’s “Black Betty” ended, Ryan McCombs disappeared off stage.
A few moments later, while the energy never died down, McCombs appeared in the center of the crowd and the dynamic four-piece erupted into “Halo”. Lights glimmered off of McCombs eyes as sweat dripped down his face while fans surround him and join in on singing. A bouncer walked up to the barrier and looked at him to ask if he was alright, McCombs replied,” Yeah, man. I’m good. These are my people”. The crowd cheered as the song came to an end and McCombs made his way to the barrier, sitting a top of it exclaiming “Without you all, none of this would be possible. Thank you all!”.
Without a single doubt, all three bands put on an unforgettable performance. That night, they all made the same statement that they are here, and are not going anywhere anytime soon.Review and images by Heather Mckee