May 14, 2011 - Blur On the Horizon

Just four months ago ReDefine was on the stage at the Curtain Club announcing they were in the studio laying down some songs for a new record. And tonight they were back at the Curtain, to release that new EP, “Blur On the Horizon”. And since it was their night, the entire line-up had been put together by them. And what a line-up it was!

Krash Rover was up first, and kicked things off at ten minutes after 9. I’d seen them at another show here, sometime within the past 6 months, and I remembered they were good, but I’d forgotten that they were this good! To be as early as it was their were a surprising number of people in the Curtain Club, most of whom seemed to be KR fans, and when they started they had everyone’s undivided attention. They blazed through their first several songs, and as they were starting the third, “She Gets Around”, singer/guitarist, Kris Newman, asked “Who wants to hear a song about my ex-girlfriend?” They fit quite a few songs into their 36 minute set, and covered a good range, from a slower song “For the girls.”, to stuff that I guess could be classified as Alt/Rock, only it sounded much better than a lot of that stuff that gets played on the radio. Then they eventually ended their set with “Texas”. In looking at them you can tell they are young, at most early 20’s, but in both the music they write and the way they perform they well beyond their years. As Kris, lead guitarist, Ashton Quincey, bassist, Matt Ayers, and drummer, Zach Fuentes, get more into the show then some other musicians I’ve seen that have at least ten years experience on these guys. Their just a great band, and one you should certainly check out!

Next up, Saint Karla. It’d been about a year since the last time I saw them, when they were releasing their newest CD. A CD that I evidently listened to just once and forgot about. Until rediscovering it when I gave it a spin to prep myself for this show, and realized just how incredible it is. To be honest, I was just as excited to see these guys as I was ReDefine. They wasted no time, as before the curtain even opened they beginning “The Bomb”. And when they finished it singer/guitarist, Jono Fink, said they were going to do an oldie but a goodie. “And when I say oldie, I mean like the 90’s. All the guys in Krash Rover are going like “What’s the 90’s?” he said jokingly. He continued “…This song is called All That She Wants, and it’s by Ace of Bass.” Frankly, I’ve just heard the name Ace of Bass, and don’t think I’ve ever heard one of their songs till now, but it was a great sounding cover. And at either the end of the first verse or first chorus, ReDefine’s singer, Scott Headstream, walked on stage and handled the song from there on out. When that one was over they thanked Scott for helping them out and got back to the originals with “Dark Skies” followed by the instrumental piece that “Dark…” flows seamlessly into, “The Clearing”. When it was over they let the applause subside before Jono said “And folks, that is called dusting off the cobwebs.” he continued, “It’s been about nine months since the last show, so we’re trying to work out our jitters.” Man, had he not said that you never would’ve known it. They didn’t seem a bit nervous and you never would’ve guessed it been that long since they’d graced a stage. They did a few more songs, one I don’t remember, then “Sing”, “You’re Soo Drama”, and “Nothing But A Smile”, before saying they had one final song. “This goes out to everyone who is just having fun and enjoying their life.” said Jono, “It’s called Three Cheers to You.” Which ended their 36 minute show. These guys really killed it too! And I hope it isn’t another nine months before they do another show, cause I would definitely make an effort to see them again.

Serving as the main supporting act was Denton’s, Shaolin Death Squad. I’d heard good things about them before, but I swear I listened to their music at some point in time a few years back and hated it. And if I did, then it was back when my musical tastes hadn’t developed to the point they are at now (which is still fairly limited). I’d seen pictures before of SDS and all six members dress in oriental attire, such as kimonos and even that style of hats to match. Oh, and they all wear different masks to complete their costumes. It’s quite imaginative. And the same can be said for their music, where some of the songs started with a blistering guitar intro, sounding totally Rock ‘n’ Roll, and then with the help of the keyboards turned into something that sounded like it was a direct import from Japan. I’ve said before I’m not the best at describing a bands sound, and that’s the case with SDS. You really just need to check out their stuff for yourself to get a clue. Their second to last song they announced was “…One of the five deadly venoms.” “It’s called Toad.” their singer said. And they did one final song after it to cap off their 33 minute set. The “Five Deadly Venoms" meant nothing to me, until I went over to their merch table afterwards and their merch guy directed me to the album of the same name, saying most of what they did tonight was from that record. Turns out that is a small concept creating about half of the albums songs, with the "venoms" being, "Centipede", "Snake", "Scorpion", "Lizard", and "Toad". It’s a pretty great album, and definitely one to check out on iTunes. And SDS will be playing at Hailey’s in Denton on July 9th.

Last up was, of course, ReDefine. A little intro song began playing as the curtain opened on drummer, Daniel Taylor, sitting behind his kit, with a banner bearing the bands logo hanging from the wall behind him. There were also some “boxes” in between the monitors on both stage left and right, one read “redefine”, while the other also bore their logo, and both were illuminated with blue light. Then each member walked on stage, starting with guitarist, Ryan Maynard, then bassist, Mike Diquinzio, lead guitarist, Chris Apaliski, and finally vocalist, Scott Headstream. There entrances were space apart, and each one kind of egged the crowd on for a reaction when they came out. Actually a reaction wasn’t hard to get from the packed Curtain Club. Everyone but Daniel formed a staggered line at the front of the stage, some standing on top of the “boxes”, while the others chose to stay on the stage floor. Then it was either Chris or Ryan who started picking away at their guitar, kicking things off with the new EP’s single, “Motorcade”. And they followed it with a couple of more new songs, “Like a Vision, a Ghost” and “Take Your Medicine”. All five guys were, and had been going, all out since they started, but near the end that last mentioned song, Daniel even stood up from his kit as he just kept laying into the cymbals. All of it was just epic. They paused after that one, as Scott took time to thank all the bands that played before them, and saying of Shaolin Death Squad’s performance, “…I’m still trying to sweep up my brain, cause Shaolin Death Squad just blew my mind!” They then got back into the rock with what still stands as my favorite ReDefine song, “The Darkest Night”, then turned to the first song from “Blur On the Horizon”, “Arcana”. And when it was finished Chris, Ryan, Mike, and Daniel ripped right into the next song. And as they were cranking out the songs instrumental intro Scott stated, “This is actually the song that I auditioned on for these guys. This is The Silent Hum.” And they followed it with an awesome song that left Scott pretty exposed at times as a singer, as for the first 20 seconds or so it was just him singing. It was called “All My Life”. Releasing a CD is always a huge event for a band, but it was only one huge event happening for these guys this night, as they were presented with their plaque next. Their plaque that will hang on the Wall of Fame here at the Curtain Club alongside many of Dallas’s best known talents. And Scott gave a pretty heart felt speech about it, saying the band had “…Put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears on this stage…” and thanking everyone for making it possible. And I really couldn’t help but think of the first time I saw ReDefine, over at the Liquid Lounge back in December ‘06. They’ve come a incrediblely long ways since then, and actually Chris is the only member still in the band who was in it way back then. They took their moment to celebrate the plaque then got back to the show. “So you’ve heard some new stuff tonight. Some old stuff. Well, guess what?” Scott asked. “We even had time to write a brand new song! …It’s called Broken Walls.” They then did “Cut the Cord”, which was the final song from their new EP that they had yet to do, then finished the show with some oldies, “Leave The Light On” and “Fall Down, I Believe It”. I’d guess they had something more dramatic planned before doing their encore, but if they did the shots some of their fans bought them threw a kink in it. But I doubt they minded that. As some people started chanting “ReDefine!” Scott said they’d do one more. “This one is back by overwhelming demand.” he said. “Its actually been about a year since the last time we did it. It started off as a tongue in cheek rock song, and developed into what this band does. Which is play loud, dirty Rock ‘n’ Roll.” As they started the final song in their 58 minute set, “Burn”.

DAMN! This show was just incredible! All the bands were, at the very least, great to extraordinary! I’m not going to say I can’t remember when the last time was that I saw this awesome of a show bill, cause just last Saturday I saw a killer one. But I will say I can’t remember the last time was when I ended up buying merch from every single band that played. I got Krash Rover’s CD, a $5 special from SaintKarla containing a shirt, button, sticker, and poster, one of Shaolin Death Squad’s CD’s, and of course the new ReDefine EP. And all that just cost me $25, what a bargain! And as for “Blur on the Horizon”, it’s great! Most of the songs lack the hard driven rock edge that their last EP had, but that isn’t a bad thing, it just shows that the band has another side to them. And “Motorcade” is really the only exception to that. The funny thing though is that doesn’t carry over to the live versions of the songs, as they sound just as balls out rock as all of their material does. So preview it on iTunes, and I promise it is WELL worth the $4.95 price tag.

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