A concert in Deep Ellum on a weeknight is always a hit or miss situation, the stars must align just right for people to come out when there is work or school the next morning. However, I have found that those weeknight shows are also a great way to find bands that are up-and-coming, looking for the opportunity to kick you right in the chin with what they have to offer.
That was certainly the case in terms of the lineup this past Tuesday at Trees. Hailing from Los Angeles, opening band Stitched Up Heart came on stage with an eagerness of a band that wanted to prove its merit and leave everyone wanting to know more about who just rocked them so hard. Frontwoman, Mixi Demner, was a tornado on stage, twisting and head banging with ferocity, and bringing top-notch vocals to every song. She encouraged the people in attendance to move and get involved at every opportunity. I certainly see Stitched Up Heart climbing the bill in the future because they have everything needed to light the spark in a larger audience, if given the chance.
Second up was a band from Moldova, Infected Rain, who has been on my radar for a few years because the lead vocalist of Jinjer stated that she is a big fan. But, I never imagined I would have the chance to see them perform live because of the current obstacles of international touring. Luckily, they were slated for a US festival appearance and thus were able to embark on their first US Tour. Everything I had heard about them was true, there was an electricity and emotion that emanated from each band member that is often missing in metal music behind the screams and darkness. Lena Scissorhands, the lead vocalist, commanded the crowd with ease. They worked up the crowd and spoke about having the chance to visit the Texas State Fair while in town – Lena even wore a shirt from Tiki Loco on stage because she loved their coffee during downtime in Deep Ellum. Everyone was endearing and capable of producing music as hard and heavy as anything I have heard coming from Trees in the years I have been covering shows there.
Finally, the most known band and headliners, Butcher Babies, were set to take the stage. The group is focused on dual vocalists Carla Harvey and Heidi Shepard, who formed the band in 2010 and named it after the Wendy O. Williams song. I had heard good things about the band, but have never seen them live, thus the expectation was high from word of mouth and even higher following the preceding bands. They did not disappoint. From the moment the stage lights hit the whole band shook the room to life. The two frontwomen were all over the stage head banging, jumping, and screaming with an single minded focus of kicking everyone square in the face. People who were back towards the bar moved their way to the stage to get closer to the insane energy being put out by every member of the band. Just as with Infected Rain, it was evident that they have worked hard over years to hone their craft into a force of nature that dares you to look away from its beauty and ferocity.
For a slightly rainy Tuesday night I would consider this a success. All three bands of this tour could put on a killer show by themselves, but the totality of the combination was amazing to see and hear. I am glad that Infected Rain was able to introduce themselves to the American audience and I will certainly look out for these bands as they tour in the future. My advice would be to look up shows on weeknights around town, you might just find a new favorite band.
– Robb Miller