Cantell, Monster God, Dress the Dead & The Ghost Next Door at Slim's

Saturdays show at Slim’s was a lot more involved than just great music. It started off with us doing the pictures during the filming of Dress the Dead’s new video, then working with them on some individual and group shots. Once inside the music started with Cantell, who we had never heard perform before. We were so impressed, I will be interviewing the lead singer Randy Markham on Rock Talk Radio on July 24th. I have already spoken to him about the interview, and I’m looking forward to finding out more about his rock and county music career, including opening up for Charlie Daniels. Next on the lineup was Monster God. I have to say, it’s been a long time since I’ve heard someone that could scream the way their lead singer Mike Smario can. They have a great following and I can see why. If you are into the metal scene, as the crowed obviously was, they are a band to check out. Dress the Dead came on next, and they rocked it. Kayla Dixon lead vocalist and is the newest member and a true powerhouse of passionate energy. She has an amazing stage presents and her voice is smoky and beautifully toned.  They have 5 members, and their musical chemistry is off the charts and they vibe very well together. It is obvious they are serious about their music, stage performance and giving 100%. Everyone in the band is extremely talented and mesh together extremely well. James Walker the bassist and I have been friends since the early 1990’s. I have followed his career since his Day’s in the band Allister, they actually played for my 23rd Birthday party. It’s been really cool to watch him grow musically. As I watched him I envisioned Cliff Burton behind him is the smoke filled air. It was like seeing many other great bassists all in one. You really can hear and see in him various influences of his favorite players. Combined into something very special and all his own.  He has always been a great bass player but seems now he has perfected all his skills.  It is awesome to me to see that he has the right mix of bandmates. I think they are on the right path to go a long way with their music. Craig Locicero the lead guitarist is the former guitarist of Forbidden. With his impassioned performance it defiantly was one of the highlights of the night. It was very cool to watch him fire off some unbelievably badass Whammy infected and speaker ripping tones. Forbidden has been a favorite of mine since about 1986. And it is really nice to get to watch him preforming again in yet another badass metal band! I think the first time I saw Forbidden come to think of it was at the Stone in SF. Dan Delay guitarist is a master Jedi on the strings. His sound was flawless and he made it look effortless. Mark Hernandez the drummer was steadfast and badass. He was full of lightning fast beats and spot on he made the drumset look like a wild ride. He is so cool to watch. Call them Metal or call them Hard Rock n Roll one thing is for sure Dress The Dead is on their way to greatness with a sound all their own.  Last on the lineup was The Ghost Next Door. We had heard of them, but never heard them perform. We had to leave early because we had an hour drive home and a photo shoot early the next morning, so only had a chance to hear their first couple songs. They have a very hard edge to their sound and are definitely not to be taken lightly. The lead singer Gary Wendts beard does not filter his vocals. Ha ha  They are a band we are sure to check out again when we can stay for more of the show.

For those that have never been to Slim’s, it’s well known for having great bay area up-and-coming bands. It’s an older, smaller brick building that finding parking can be tricky. We went there early and were able to find a spot on the street a block away. That is not usually the case, so plan accordingly. Inside it’s a very dark venue. They have great back lighting on the stage, but pretty much nothing from the front which makes for very challenging photography. Their bathrooms are a single stall facilities for the men and two for the ladies, so you may find yourself waiting. The staff, although everyone was attentive, and their bartenders made good drinks, they all seemed frustrated at different things.

Overall, it was a great night filled with some really good metal and a lot of really nice people. We need more nights like this!