Ahoy there seadogs and wenches! This past Saturday, 7/28/2012, was the first annual Buccaneer Brewfest over at 910 Live in Scottsdale! And I have to say, it went extremely well, despite the weather. It did start to rain so it had to be moved to the inside, which was a bit of a bummer because of how hot and humid it became, so quickly. But that didn’t stop everyone from headbanging, moshing, and dancing the night away. I can’t think of anything else that was as much fun as this show. However, just a forewarning, this review is 2000 words long, because I couldn’t leave anything out. I am hoping there are a few of you out there with the patience to read about how much fun and excitement went into this event!
I arrived a little early, to meet up with some friends I had saved tickets for, and to mingle in the parking lot – because that’s what I do at local shows. I caught a little bit of Sons of Providence’s set, and I liked what I heard. What I liked about them is that I’ve never really heard any band with their sound before. Their Facebook page says they sound like Spaghetti Doom/Carnival Noir. I sense a bit of rockabilly and 1994 Offspring type punk in there too, with a slight Peter Steele resemblance in the vocals, but maybe that’s just me. In my opinion, they fit the bill and I was glad I had a chance to check them out. Unfortunately, I had some I guess you could say, errands to run, during D2D’s set, but I caught a song or two, and to me, they were very 80’s rock. They liked to get the crowd involved, having us all yell out “FUCK YOU!” at certain points of their final song. And I remember distinctly seeing a big fan of theirs getting up on stage and dancing with them. There’s a good chance she was already intoxicated, but hey… so was I! So who am I to judge? It was excellent music to drink to.
Right at the end of D2D’s set, it began to rain rather heavily, and there was a bunch of wind, so the show was moved inside. We had to wait a little longer than expected, but luckily, it was only about a 20 minute delay (from what I could tell). And then In Peril took the stage.
I LOVE THESE GUYS! First and foremost, I have to comment on their stage presence. Not only are they totally brutal, and somehow groovy at the same time, but their lead singer/guitarist Nick and bassist Derrek seemed to always have big smiles on their faces as they were playing (if they weren’t screaming into the mics). Whether people loved them or hated them (I highly doubt there was any hate for this band), it seemed all they cared about was playing for their fans and having a great time. Maybe I’m the only one who really hears the grooviness beneath the death metal, but I really dig that, and it makes me want to mosh-dance, which I did a little bit. Of course I had to save most of my energy for the rest of the show, so the majority of my headbanging was done during In Peril as they burst onto the stage with intensity and pure METAL. I recall some pretty awesome pits going on during their set as well. Seems they’ve got a solid fan base behind them. These guys have my support for life. One important note I have to make is how much they support the local scene too. I overheard a conversation that was had between Nick and Adavant’s keyboardist Andy that night. Nick said he had to choose between eating next week or supporting one of their favorite locals. And so an Adavant shirt was purchased. Brought a tear to my eye. So I will finish this paragraph the way I started it and say simply… I LOVE THESE GUYS!
Once In Peril strongly finished their incredibly heavy-set and took down their equipment, a few more people started filing in and lining the front of the stage to get ready for Adavant. At this point, I also met our amazing photographer, Joe Abbruscato, at the bar, where he was setting up his cameras in preparation for the amazing performance that was awaiting us all. I made sure to give him a heads up a few days prior so that he had a good idea of what to expect and what to look for during their set. Now, if I have any readers at all who have followed my reviews in the not so distant past, they’ll know I have nothing but pure love and respect for this band, and that I tend to get carried away when writing about them. Well that’s because they damn well deserve it, especially after this show.
First, I need to comment on the sound check. I don’t need to say much… other than vocalist Nathan (clad in a fantastically put together Captain Hook outfit) acted out the milkshake scene from There Will Be Blood. Yes… that happened. Even their sound checks are epic.
Shortly after the keys were set up and checked, Andy came out into the crowd and started smearing war paint on random fan’s faces. That’s when a friend of mine decided to use me as a guinea pig for the war paint eye patch. Anything to make me look more piratey was a-okay with me! The inside of 910 Live started getting more and more full, and the old school fans were getting anxious to mosh and sing along.
Andy’s keys for Voyage of the Vagrant Heart started up, Nathan yelled out “SET SAIL!!!” and the place went nuts. Of course, they started their set off with the song that fit the theme best. With lyrics like “Sail on, boarder down the hatches, be at your ease, tighten up the bowline, through stormy seas”, how can it get any more piratey? I’ll tell you how. During Charlotte’s part singing “Fatal and gory, blood and glory, harpoons and spears attack… lacerations, minor abrasions, its skin is just too thick” – out comes a loyal friend and fan dressed as a badass sea monster! Taunting the crowd with his glow-sticky, oven-mitty hands, he crashed into the audience and started a very large mosh pit. People were laughing, yelling, trying to tear off his tentacles (made of pool noodles), and having so much fun smashing up against him as he violently danced around in circles, allowing people to push and shove him across the pit. The song concluded, and people cheered while helping the guy up. What an incredible beginning!
I’m going to skip to the fourth song in because I just can’t stand waiting to share this with you any longer. They covered the Hook theme. The one from the 1990’s Robin Williams/Dustin Hoffman film. And not only did they cover it, they acted out a Peter Pan/Captain Hook sword fight. During the middle of the song, after Nathan got the crowd chanting “HOOK HOOK, BRING US THE HOOK!”, he found Peter Pan at the side of the stage, taunting him and flipping him off, to which Nathan… I mean Captain Hook… shook his hook hand at him and yelled “I’LL GET YOU PETER PAN!!!” Suddenly, a large hole was divided in the crowd, and Pan and Hook squared off for a good minute and a half. They had collaborated so that their sword fighting actually went along with the music. Then, just when we were all wondering who was going to win the fight, they both stopped, looked at each other, looked over at the sea monster who had returned and was peeking through the crowd, and slayed him together, while the song came to its conclusion. It was hands down the most entertaining thing I’ve ever seen at a live concert, and I’ve seen some shit (from bands like Skinny Puppy, Pigface, and Puscifer)! Check out these flawless pictures our very own Joe took! He managed to capture the absolute best moments of the sword fight. Also, you MUST watch the video. The sound quality isn’t that great, but it’s more than worth the watch regardless. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKRobMIggZU&feature=youtu.be
After all of that excitement, the band played their very first written song, Pints for the Fallen, a more serious track. The hardcore fans from the beginning were absolutely thrilled, rushing the stage, and grabbing each other by the shoulders to loudly and proudly sing the song from start to finish. In my review and promotion article for the band’s album “Tale Untold”, I had mentioned that there is a family element to these shows that a select bunch of fans bring to their performances, and when they played Pints, it more than proved what I was trying to convey. That’s just one of the many special moments to experience at an Adavant show.
They played a new song, called “Refill”, which was appropriately placed after “Pints”. It was their first time playing that one live, and the crowd more than loved it. Then, Andy and Nathan traded keys and mic to play their fan favorite Renegade Barrel. At least thirty of us were dancing and clapping, grabbing each other by the arms and flinging each other around, By this time, I felt like my heart was about to explode because I never jump around that much. They then did a Finntroll cover, “Ur Jordens Djup”, to which myself and the old school fans mosh-danced and tried to sing along (it’s sung in Swedish). And finally, they finished their performance with” A Penny for the Folk and a Jug for the Jig”, which also happens to be the last song on their album. It’s one of my favorites, simply for the lyrics: “Here’s to a long life and a long pour, here’s to new lands to explore, here’s to pretty wenches to adore, here’s to this night and many more!” What a perfect way to end their set.
The next band that played was a wonderful surprise from San Diego. They’re called The Dread Crew of Oddwood, a seven piece acoustic pirate band with some very interesting instruments. There was a stand-up bass player, an accordion player, and one of them even had a toy-piano. A good portion of the Adavant crowd, including the band themselves, watched nearly all of their set, and absolutely loved it. These guys are straight up performers. I believe I read somewhere that they had performed at San Diego Comic-Con this year, so I was pretty excited to see them when I heard about this show. I remember the accordion player coming out into the crowd a few times, and me trying to dance with him. I also recall they opened with an awesome cover of Dropkick Murphy’s “Shipping Up to Boston” (one of my all time favorite songs), and later covering Flogging Molly’s “Drunken Lullabies”. Again, a big group of us would grab each other’s arms, fling each other around, dance, cheer, and clap until we couldn’t breathe or stand any longer. There was so much positive energy from these guys, and they were also rather comical. I believe they have three albums out, and I was lucky enough to pick up one of them, titled “Rocktopus”. I can’t help but chuckle every time I see that word.
I regretfully wasn’t able to catch the last band play, probably because I was almost too exhausted to drive myself home. I don’t think I have ever had so much fun at a local show in the 10 years I’ve been going to them. And I can’t help but want to re-live the night again. Singing, moshing, dancing, headbanging, drinking, all with the best friends anyone could ever ask for. The First Annual Buccaneer Brewfest was more than a success. I am anxiously looking forward to a second!