Photos: Chris Besaw
Review: Kelly Besaw
It’s a chilly December evening in Rochester, NY, and fans are shuffling into the Montage Music Hall as fast as they can to get out of the cold. Psychostick, the hilarious comedy, metal act from Arizona was headlining the six-band lineup.
The first band of the evening was the Finger Lakes, NY based metal band, Many Will Fall. It was my first time seeing them and I enjoyed their aggressive, hard pounding sound mixed with vocalist Dave Collin’s gritty, raw voice. They got the evening started off right and did a great job getting the crowd amped up.
Next up, was another local band from the Central New York area, Dear Mr. Dead. I have always heard very good things about this band but I am guilty of not checking them out prior to this show. Dear Mr. Dead has shared the stage with some big names in the music industry such as Mushroom Head and Texas Hippie Coalition. I was extremely impressed with their performance from how they connected with and engaged the audience, to the precision of their playing. It may not be a screamfest or extreme metal, but this band has a hard hitting rhythmic sound that gets people moving, especially their songs “Monkey March” and “Punk Ass Beatdown.”
It is impressive when a band can capture your imagination, sound amazing and terrify you all at the same time. Raven Black, the dark, creepy and very charismatic band from Los Angeles does exactly that. They bring to the stage what I would describe as a sinister carnival act set to some dark, heavy music. An intro starts playing and a creepy childlike voice echoed through the venue, “Rochester, oh Rochester, are you there?” The crowd started getting excited; a shadowy figure twirling an umbrella appeared onstage. A voice says again, “Rochester, come play with us.” Raven and her evil companions, Muppet, The Doctor and Stitches wasted no time and jumped right into songs off their new EP 7 Sins. Some of my favorites from their set included, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Scar,” “13”, and “7 Sins.” The band incorporates a very nice mixture of groove heavy metal that gets inside you and makes you want to move. Whether it’s head banging or bopping around, their sound is definitely infectious. Raven and her bandmates get the audience involved with the performance and it makes you feel like you’re a part of their twisted metal carnival. After a very intense 30-minute set they left the crowd wanting more. I would recommend checking them out if you get the chance, they will not disappoint.
Continuing the horror theme, next up was the Long Island based horrorcore band Kissing Candice. Kissing Candice who is touring in support of their release Safe Word, got started on their set with their usual brand of high energy metal music. They cranked out some fan favorites along with some new tracks like “Tilt” and “Hit the Roof” and ended their set with the classic tune “Ghosted.”
Arsonists Get All the Girls was up next. They kept things going with their blend of California electronic metal. They made their fans very happy by playing a generous mix of hits new and old. They did a great job of getting the crowd primed for the evening’s headliner.
With a tour titled “The Velociturkeysaurus Rex” I had no idea what to expect from the night’s headliner Psychostick. The best way I can describe them is Weird Al meets comedic metal with their own unique flare. They play a mix of crazy metal parodies and their own original music.
After a quick set change, Psychostick got the show started with their ode to beards simply titled, “Obey the Beard.” With a huge collection of songs in their catalog, they played a fantastic selection for the crowd. Who couldn’t resist songs like “Numbers (I Can Only Count to Four)”, their rather unique rendition of Kenny Loggin’s “Danger Zone”, and “Bacon Egg & Cheese on Toast with Sriracha.” The crowd really gets into it by yelling out their favorite songs. In fact the band even let random audience members picks songs out of the “big bucket”, which resulted in the band playing a song called “Red Snow” which is a tune about Rudolph The red Nosed Reindeer who has had enough of your sh!t. Needless to say, the band is highly entertaining. One of my favorite moments was during their song “So Heavy.” During the song, the band asked the crowd create a slow motion mosh pit. They continued to crank out more fan favorites like their tribute to the world’s greatest B movie star “Bruce Campbell,” “Because Boobs” and “Beer.”
The band left the stage briefly before they came back and played their hilarious, metal version of “The Hokey Pokey”. The band entices the entire crowd to put their whole selves in, their whole selves out, in out, in out, and shake that motherfucker about.
Overall, a great night of music and mayhem at the Montage Music Hall. Please enjoy the photos from the evening.