Live Report: The Scenic-The “Get to the Choppa tour”

1-21-09
MixTape Venue
Grand Rapids, MI
www.mixtapevenue.com

The Venue formally known as Skelletones is under a new name, management, and is nowhere near ready to give up on rocking. Shortly after Skelletones had its last hurrah, The Scenic [Victory Records] stopped to the Grand Rapids joint on its fifth day of the “Get to the Choppa” tour. Hopes were high for me with a Schwarzenegger-themed tour.

The two-headliner tour was supported by three local bands. After waiting 15 minutes into what should have been the start of the show First Strike finally got on stage. I was pleasantly surprised with the genre diversity of this show. TFS went on stage quiet and in their Hollister hoodies, only to hear a crash of the drums a second later followed by lead vocals [Mike Barr] yelling punk anthems, running around stage, and doing a maybe unnecessary dive into the crowd of twelve.

The surprises kept coming with A Music Theory Accident, maybe my favorite band of the whole night. The progressive/experimental band came on; their vocalist/ lead guitarist a short, bearded man in a Metallica T-shirt. The group went from playing Black Metal, to Rock, to Jazz Fusion, in their four song set. Epic you ask? Yes!

The Morella, and the second headliner band Sparks the Rescue followed after.
The Morella, a post hardcore/ Pop Rock band, reminded me of a younger, vest wearing Four Letter Lie [Victory Records]. They were pretty upbeat and I give them a lot of credit for playing, as it was their first show ever. Best of luck for future shows, boys.

Sparks the Rescue [Double Blind] went on stage all smiles. Their pop punk funfest was very refreshing, I couldn’t help but want to get up and move with them. With way more than just a few shows under their belts, they knew how move and really get into the music.

Most wished that the theme of the night would not have been “Um… can you turn down the monitors a bit?” Problems occur, especially in smaller venues that don’t have a lot of tech help, but it became a bit repetitive. You just wanted to scream “Stop complaining and just rock!” Maybe that was just me, but I doubt it.

The Scenic won the prize for setting up the fastest that night! I can’t tell you what the opening song was due to hearing no mic at all and then feedback issues. I give Jeremy [vocals] props as he just kept belting along. Even with the technical difficulties the songs sounded much like the recordings off their album on Victory “Find Yourself Here”. Armageddon was probably one of the better songs of the night. Ending with their hit single” American Way” saved the show. Getting the crowd involved in the sing along is the way to go! Everyone who preformed that night tried to make negatives into positives. The point was that those who showed up got to experience a lot of rock and all went home singing “bahdah dah dah bahdah bah.” It’s the American Way.

*Written By: Brittney Reed*

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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