Welcome Metalheads! Feind had the opportunity to catch the subject of a recent review for a night out of a few beers and some great music provided by Sons of Providence!
Last week I reviewed Sons of Providence's latest album, A Conscious End To Suffering, and even though I knew the band was only from about 2 hours down the road in Phoenix I was a bit shocked when the day after I posted my review I saw the band was going to be in town... the very next night! A couple of message exchanges with the band let me know that it was a free show and their approximate set time so plans were made though sadly my and Cult's friend Drew was unable to come because I didn't get in touch with him soon enough and he had taken on a double shift. Perhaps next time Drew since I saw the band will be back in March! So anyway this was a little bit of an occasion for me since it was to be my first live show since I arrived here in Tucson. I was a little excited plus it was a smaller venue which I prefer to bigger arena type shows but a little more on the venue itself later. Along with getting to speak with all the members of the band at least briefly I was able to snap a bunch of good pics too so take a gander...
Now I have to mention that the venue for this event was a local bar here in Tucson called The Bashful Bandit, however, I can not and will not endorse the place as a good venue. The stage at first glance appears to be good sized but in fact it is very tiny which is why as you can see from the photos above that SoP's drummer, Zeb, had to set up off to the side instead of the area intended for a drummer. Why? As you can see Zeb's drum rig is not crazy huge yet it would not fit in the normal spot. Also guitarist Alex Bartnett had to stand so far off to the side he was practically hidden for most of the show. Frontman bassist/vocalist Memphis had to actually stand in front of the stage on the floor so as not to knock into things. Aside from the shitty set up area for the band, I think I did more promo for the show than The Bashful Bandit did in that I informed the four people in Tucson I know well enough to ask to a show, the bar itself apparently didn't inform anyone which is just stupid and bad business but what do I know? But anyway I don't want this to be a rant on the shitty bar that is The Bashful Bandit (seriously don't waste your time). So moving on...
Opening the show was a local band that I think were called The Smiling Faces who seemed to be kind of a psychedelic stoner rock band which fit the venue as it is touted as a "biker bar." I won't bash them or anything as it was obvious they haven't played a ton of shows and seemed to be pretty new. They were ok but have a ways to go but hey, we all have to start somewhere and they were a good warm up. I wish I could tell you about the 2nd warm up act, Xerox & The DTS, but unfortunately or fortunately depending on your perspective I missed their entire set. After Smiling Faces finished their set I stepped outside to have a cancer stick and I noticed two guys who I thought were in SoP standing outside so I went over to say hello and found myself talking to both Memphis and Zeb!
Now this was no formal interview I had set up ahead of time it was just some guys talking music and such for short time. Both Memphis and Zeb were some damn cool guys and I hope I get the chance to hang out with them a little longer perhaps when they're back in town in about a month. They were curious how I had come across their album but delighted that I actually enjoyed it, to which all I can say is I'm a pretty honest person and since last week I've listened to that album a ton and I like it even more now. Is it because I met and actually liked the guys? Maybe that has a little to do with it but I can honestly say very little, their performance on the other hand has much to do with how much more I like the album now. Memphis seemed to be a little more shy (perhaps not the correct word) than Zeb ducking back inside after a few minutes leaving me there with Zeb. Thankfully Zeb was one cool MF'er and we talked about the evolution of SoP who have been together as a band for about five years but Memphis is the only original member left with Zeb joining around 2012 and Alex joining shortly after though I'm not sure if I have that correct. Anyway SoP have done some short tours up the West Coast about as far as Seattle in their time together while their sound has evolved. In my review I described them as "industrial grunge" but after seeing them live and spending some more time with the album I hold to that but I would say they sound more like Tool meets Nine Inch Nails overall (that's a good thing!). It was a good discussion and hopefully we can set something a little more formal set up when the band returns. So onto the show itself...
I can spoil the shit out of this right off the bat by saying if you get the opportunity to see Sons of Providence live then fucking do it! Nice guys and a hell of a good show! The only problem was the venue itself but you'd never know they were playing to about 50 people in a dive bar where probably less than half were paying any attention unfortunately. As I told the band after the show, they were better than that place! SoP had as nice a set up as they could on that tiny stage along with something you don't really get to see at most bar shows, a fully synched light show. The sound for such a small place was actually surprisingly good without being so loud it blasted out your eardrums, not that there is anything wrong with that in the right venue but this wasn't the venue for that. SoP played several songs from the new album as well as ending their set with three older songs that sounded just as great as the new ones. After the show I discovered that Memphis was perhaps a little more nervous than shy as I was informed he was worried that the performance wouldn't live up to the album. I can happily report that that was not the case and in fact seeing the passion that the band performed with and how much emotion Memphis himself put into the songs endeared the music to me even more than it had prior to seeing them. Where I've seen performers live who feign emotion merely acting a part, it was easy to see from the get go that Memphis was passionate about his craft giving one fuck of a performance even when the room was filled with people who didn't give much of a shit. People suck, fuck people. After their excellent performance all I can say is that Sons of Providence deserves far more attention than they're currently getting and I'll do all I can to help in whatever way I'm able. The set rocked and so do Sons of Providence!
Enjoy some live Sons of Providence from a much more appropriate venue in Tempe, AZ
That's about all I have to say on the show for now. It was great talking with Zeb and Memphis and with Alex for a couple minutes after their set. Again if you get the chance to see these guys live, DO IT! They put on a great show and frankly I can't wait to see them again (March 4th at Highlife Tavern here in Tucson!). Hopefully I'll see some of you there! Feel free to buy me a beer, I won't complain for a second!
I hope everyone enjoys all we share here every Hump Day Metal Day, sorry we didn't have quite as much this week but we've been pretty damn busy as you'll see soon. Please take a moment to show your appreciation for all we do with a small donation below or stop by S Mart for the published works of The Scribbler Crew. Thank You.
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