March 22, 2016 The Veer Union Heat Up Amos’ Southend Charlotte, NC 3-10-16 w/ Bobaflex, Artifas, & Bridge to Grace
The Veer Union released their fourth studio album, Decade, on January 29th and subsequently hit the road in support of it. Put out via new label Pavement Records, Decade is the first album of new material by the Vancouver, BC Rock band since their 2012 release, Divide The Blackened Sky, marking a highly anticipated return from the band. Begun back on February 18th in San Diego, CA, the tour worked its way across the USA, and on Thursday, March 10th, the Canadian Rock band hit the stage in Charlotte, NC at Amos’ Southend along with Bobaflex, Artifas, Bridge To Grace, and Carolina locals A Course Of Action. This eclectic collection of Rock was brought to the Queen City by the “Round 2 Round Live Tour,” which hosted all the performing bands except A Course Of Action, who acted as the local addition to the lineup. Between all the bands on the bill, there was a diverse mix of Alternative Rock, Hard Rock, Southern Rock, and Rock-n-Roll set for the evening, and the crowd was eager to get the show on the road.
Opening up the evening was North Carolina natives A Course of Action, who began the night with their signature Southern-smoked Rock. The band has had the pleasure of sharing the stage with some of Rock and Metal’s biggest names at a number of club shows as well as some festival shows. They showcased at the 2013 SXSW and delivered an impressive performance at the 2014 Rocklahoma, showing the rest of the scene exactly what the Carolina’s are all about. The Amos’ crowd seemed to cozy up pretty well to the Southern Rockers as they rolled through a set of songs from their repertoire, including tracks from their album Treason like “Beautiful,” “107,” and “Who We Are.” Although not huge in number, the crowd seemed big on energy as A Course Of Action kicked things off and started the evening of Rock diversity.
Bridge To Grace from Atlanta, GA made their way up next, bringing with them a new energy to the Amos’ stage. Having literally gotten their start at the “School Of Rock,” in Georgia with Lead Guitarist Alex Cabrera and Bassist Christian Lowenstein, Bridge To Grace has all the Rock fundamentals down pat. The Georgia crew heated things up with their exciting and engaging Hard Rock sound. The band delivered a powerful and impressive performance, covering the stage and not skimping on the expression and power behind their performance. Barreling through songs from their 2015 album Origins, Bridge to Grace continued to up the ante with an intense setlist of compelling songs. “Take It All,” “Lost In Memories,” “Everything,” and “Bitch” are just some of the songs these Atlanta Rockers brought to the table for Queen City that night. They exhibited a great energy and incredible potential, so it will be interesting to see how these young Rockers progress over time.
Memphis, TN Rockers Artifas came packing some serious heat and a serious grudge. With piercing vocals and a dynamic range, this Hard Rock quintet came together in a cacophony of sound and fury. Frontman Scottie Somerville pulled no punches as he ripped through tracks like “Blood 4 Blood.” While the crowd seemed to be feeling what they were bringing in the beginning, the biggest reaction seemed to come when the band broke out their vendetta song, “Suffocate,” a vicious rebuttal written after a previous conflict the band had with Tantric frontman Hugo Ferreira. The audience fed off their rowdy energy to bang their heads and throw their fists in the air alongside the young Rockers.
Started in 1998 by the McCoy brothers Shaun and Marty, of Hatfield and McCoy’s feud fame, Bobaflex has been rocking stages across the country for over fifteen years. The band originally got the inspiration for their name from the Star Wars character Boba Fett, and like the interstellar bounty hunter, the band has been kicking ass and taking names from one corner of the world to the other.
Delivering a kind of cool and easy Rock soul to the stage, Bobaflex wasted no time flexing their musical muscles. The guys brought their unique brand of raucous Rock to Charlotte. Epitomizing Rock-n-Roll swagger with their bouncy rhythms and crunchy guitars, the men of Bobaflex brought the fun with a pinch of debauchery. The club seemed to vibe with them well and, pretty soon, the entire venue was banging their heads with the rowdy Rockers. Packing songs like “I’m Glad You’re Dead,” “Momma (Don’t Take My Drugs Away),” and “Dry Your Eyes,” the guys did not hesitate to rouse Queen City and help shake off the pre-weekend blues.
Finally, it was time for the men of the evening, The Veer Union. After having recently been reformed by frontman and original member Crispin Earl, The Veer Union has become an inalienable symbol for what blood, sweat, and a little determination can accomplish. Instead of being shook by the band’s disassembly years ago, Earl strived to reconstitute it with musicians that shared his passion and would help create the kind of music that The Veer Union fans had come to love and respect.
The Vancouver quintet kicked off their set with a single from Decade, “Watch You Lose.” The crowd, though sparse in number, was all heart and an army of the dedicated, singing along to every word as their set progressed. Making sure to cover their bases well, the band played through a list of some of their most popular songs and hit singles, including “Bitter End” and “Defying Gravity.” The combination of the hard-hitting tunes paired with melodic vocals is part of what makes The Veer Union unique and makes it easy for audiences to fall in love with their sound.
As a special treat and added bonus for the audience, The Veer Union dared to cover the iconic “Epic” by Faith No More with Bassist Amal Wijayanayake taking the lead on vocals with support from usual frontman Earl. The entire Canadian ensemble seemed to be running off of pure energy and passion as they delivered songs to an excited and eager crowd. Earl was especially charming and welcoming of the enthused crowd as the band rolled through their set. Rounding out the night, The Veer Union concluded the evening with the first single off their debut album Against The Grain, “Seasons.” The entire venue seemed to be singing along with the band as the anthemic track closed out the night.
A Thursday night can be a hard sell for any concert. It is the day before Friday, which, for many, signals the beginning of the weekend, the light at the end of the laborious work-laden tunnel. On this Thursday night, these five bands helped alleviate the work-week blues by bringing Rock to Queen City. The Veer Union only has a few dates left on this tour, but anyone fortunate enough to see them live will experience a connection and love for music unlike many others.