Monday, April 25, 2011

23 Apr 11

"...if you were my first..." ~ Brian of The Branded

Happy Birthday, SouthSide (as well as Masta Shen of The Branded and Erik of Beneath The Stares)! Saturday was the perfect night to rock out this reviewer's unofficially official 21st birthday (times two). Some math to correctly figure out her real age, blogspot readers. Prominent members of the local scene from Bambi Raptor and The Flavor Savers to Model Stranger and V Is For Villains as well as SouthSide's friend, Thomas, Adam's (of Social Focus) parents came out to support the lineup rockin' the Elbo Room stages. The main lounge upstairs featured an acoustic performance by Matthew Alfano of Mason's Case ( or Meanwhile downstairs, performances by Beneath The Stares, The Branded and Social Focus with The Just headlining rocked the stage. SouthSide highly recommends checking out the soulfully dynamic vocal power of Kelsey Montanez rockin' behind her band of alternative/rock sound. Whether it's a downtempo ballad or a lively upbeat tempo, this talented singer/songwriter absolutely popped with her folksy voice yet with a lot of heart and soul which draws out the emotions heard within the lyrics. For example, during Alone, Kelsey electrified the stage that featured a powerful demo of her raspy vocal style while being accompanied by an electric guitar. One could literally feel as well as hear the heartbreaking tone dripping from her words. SouthSide also recommends listening to Rolling Stone and her new song Come Down. Visit for more information about this artist and her music.

This local band's last performance at Double Door blew SouthSide away. Tonight, blogspot readers, Social Focus added an element of surprise to their mind-blowing Elbo Room performance. The surprise featured an excellent yet psychedelic powerpop rendition of SouthSide's favorite Beatles' song - Tomorrow Never Knows. Social flipped the original meditative vibe into a rockin' mind trip of guitar riff sound especially under the glow of Elbo Room's lighting fx during this opening number. And with that, once again, the band's focus to give the crowded basement lounge another fine rock experience was firmly set featuring music that literally encompassed all your senses within Social's melodic vibe. Besides this element of surprise, Adam (front man) and the guys also added a bit more umph into the music and vocals compared to their Double Door show a month ago. This reviewer noted how Social simply "tuned in and dropped out" thus allowing the powerpop momentum and energy take center stage during As You Like It and Never, Never Mind ...generating excitable fan response. Meanwhile during Telephones In The Sky and Note To Self (off Social's three song CD), Adam truly brought plenty of emotionally charged vocals to the microphone amidst his falsetto voice. He's simply not singing the lyrics, blogspot readers, he's immersing himself into every word for you to feel (and hear). SouthSide highly suggests listening to her favorite Social song - Merry Go Down (the lyrical version can be found on the three-song CD consisting of vocal Beatle-esque harmonies) in which during the band turns it into a quick two minutes of psychedelia downtime before melting your ears with Safe Word. Visit or for more information about Social Focus and when Adam and the guys are performing again.

"...I'm getting to old for this..." - Brian

Now a word from The Branded fan Joe who just arrived from Metro about Madina Lake's performance - "...incredible ...[they] blew the roof..." Now back to your regularly scheduled The Branded programming, blogspot readers, done Hi-Def surround sound. SouthSide said she wasn't going to review this band tonight but felt she had to after witnessing Brian and the guys rockin' the stage with one fiery momentum of hardcore guitar-driven music and energy during opening number Jesus Christ (coupled with scenes from Boondock Saints). If you haven't familiarized yourself with this rising rock band rockin' the scene, this reviewer highly suggests that you do especially while they embark on another tour. This band's live show was simply more than a rock performance tonight's a rock show within a show featuring a montage of video clips (such as The Fast and The Furious, The Fifth Element, Kill Bill part 1, Sin City, From Dusk Til Dawn) and random images (used for the douchebag song - Too Kool) on screen. Each video/image run perfectly in sync with every The Branded song thus giving the audience the sensation of watching an MTV-like progam without the mindless filler but with a crowd favorite - Merch Booth commercial in the middle of the set. SouthSide highly suggests rockin' your ears to the band's version of a power ballad - Let Me In, the popular homage to all of the douchebags of the world - Too Kool and The Branded's (unofficial) fist pumping anthem - Dirt as well as Brian's "get down sexy with me" songs, First Move and Let's Get Down (in which according to guitarist Mike H. "'s about blowjobs..."). Tonight's The Branded programming what brought to you by the non-first response pregnancy test, tattoos you would never sport on your body and the number 42. Visit or for more information about the band's upcoming tour.

SouthSide highly recommends soaking your ears into the melodically epic of hardcore metal guitar rock combined with docile vocals by Lisa (lead vocalist) by Beneath The Stares. This local band never ceases to amaze this reviewer on how they blend the rockin' metal vibe with epic poetry and theartic aria-like voices (sometimes featuring Birthday guy Erik). Metal-tastic opera rock in a nutshell, blogspot readers, in which packs a powerful blast of music as well as dynamic chord/riff changes throughout Beneath's songs. Opening with Guilty Bystander (off BTS' soon to be released album - Controlling The Chaos), the audience was immediately immerrsed into Lisa's emotionally charged yet docile voice full of heartache and pain especially during Pieces For the Fall. She's definitely the heart and soul of the melodic side to this band's poetic epicness - her voice commands the mood as well as sets the tone of BTS metal music side. And though Lisa's vocal style might seem not to fit the scope of BTS sound, it wonderfully brings out the emotions intricately woven within the guitar riffs, blogspot readers. SouthSide highly recommends listening to Beneath's three-part epic trilogy - Tropic Of Cancer (only parts 1 and 2 were performed tonight). Despite sharing the same song title, each part of TOC contained its own sound, tempo and lyrics which differs from the other. For instance, part 1 was metal hardcore with the melody barely visible while part 2 took a more a melodic route yet retaining that guitar energy like in the first however all three parts contain vivid poetic imagery within the lyrics. Also she recommends checking out Mood Swings (down playing the metal a bit for an alternative sound) and new song Citadel (don't be fooled by the introduction ...this song packed a powerful punch of hardcore metal-tastic rock). Visit or for pre-order album information and more about this band.

Until next time, support your local scene,

1 comment:

  1. Southside,

    For a moment there, thought I missed Bambi Raptor again, but they didn't perform, just hung out right?

    "Boondock Saints" is one of my favourite films. :-) In fact, I like all the films of clips that the Branded played.




Thank you for your feedback - SouthSide