Allegaeon (w/ The Kingsford Run & Jameson) 11/20/10

Cat Club – West Hollywood, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

There are times in your life, when you stand in a small room and watch a band outgrow the venue within moments of taking the stage.  You have that rush that comes across your body when you realize you are in on the secret long before the rest of the world.  I had those feelings last night at the smallest of Sunset Strip venues – the Cat Club.  Within that club, myself and a handful of others were lucky enough to witness the first Los Angeles area gig of the Ft. Collins, Colorado based band Allegaeon.

The night started out with Simi Valley based The Kingsford Run.  I saw these guys play in a garage once and was blown away, so you know I was disappointed when I discovered I had incorrect set times and missed their set.  Please accept my apologies gentlemen, I promise that we will cross paths again.

I did manage to catch a full set from the Los Angeles based outfit Jameson.  To be totally honest, I still don’t know how I feel about these guys.  The music was not bad, and the energy was certainly there.  The songs had plenty of crunchy riffs, massive breakdowns and scale climbing solos, yet in my opinion failed to stand out or sound original.  Perhaps that’s the reason why Jameson works so well?  One look into the young crowd and the fans struggling to obey the venues no moshing rule looked more like extras from the set of 90210 then your stereotypical metal fans.  With expensive wardrobes straight off of Rodeo Drive, the crowd went nuts throughout the entire set and cheered so loud that the band was given permission to perform one more song as encore.  While many screamed for the group’s cover of the Michael Jackson classic “Beat It” – we were instead treated to the original number – “Insane-O-Flex.”  It seems as if Jameson has a following.  Time will tell to see if they can make it to the next level.

With no intro music and a minimal soundcheck, Allegaeon came out of the gates running for their short but sweet Hollywood debut.  The band opened the seven song set with the fierce “Across the Folded Line.”  It was clear from the get go that the Cat Club was too small for the young band.  Vocalist Ezra Haynes really had to work to find the right pockets of space to operate without being hit upside the head by guitars played by Ryan Glisan and Greg Burgess.  The groups set consisted entirely of songs from their first full length release – Fragments of Form and Function. Songs like “The God Particle” and “The Cleansing” got fans pumped up early, especially when the earlier mentioned Glisan and Burgess took turns tearing up their fret boards with some of the fastest soloing I have ever seen.

As the set progressed, the music only improved.  As fans crowded into the small room, the band blasted through spot on versions of “The Renewal” and “Biomech – Vals No. 666.”  With limited touring experience, the band already sounds polished and tight.  It’s scary to think what they can achieve after a few months in a van criss-crossing the nation.  The five-some wrapped their set with “Accelerated Evolution” a seven minute journey that managed to match melody equally with brutality.  With the crowd going wild, Allegaeon was also allowed to perform an eighth and final song.  From their self-titled and self-produced 2008 EP, the band managed to convince the Los Angeles crowd to scream along during a devastating take on “Cower Before Me.”

It’s safe to say Allegaeon’s Sunset Strip debut was a smashing success.  With a long merch line after the show, it’s clear the band won the crowd over with their tremendous talent and massively heavy sound.  With plans to tour across the nation in 2011, if you are a fan of extreme music you have no excuse to miss Allegaeon.

A direct descendant of the outlaw Jesse James and star of a 1983 Kilpatricks Bread radio commercial, Reverend Justito has taken his gift of ADHD and put it to good use by creating one of a kind concert reviews. A bootlegger at heart, the man lives off Whiskey, Taco Bell and the love of San Francisco sports teams.
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