From Las Vegas, NV comes nu-metal’s latest collaboration of artists, Invidia. Originally fronted by current In This Moment bass player Travis Johnson, Invidia brings to the stage ex-Skinlab guitars Brian Jackson and Marcos Medina, and ex-Five Finger Death Punch bassist Matt Snell. Although the band enjoyed some brief initial success, Travis Johnson’s decision to leave abruptly to honor his commitment with In This Moment caught Invidia off guard just before their tour began, leaving them searching frantically for a new singer. While it may be Travis Johnson that appears on the band’s As the Sun Sleeps album, it is newly acquired lead singer Evan Seidlitz who now brings his own presence and energy to each performance. As the Sun Sleeps may have been met with mixed reviews when it debuted earlier in 2017, but new people and changing staff always bring new life and fresh perspective to music, and the addition of a new lead singer gives this band a potential leg up to earn a second look from modern metal lovers.
Invidia appeared on this Fall’s Metal Alliance Tour with Overkill, Crowbar, and Havoc, bringing their own sound and talents to the Club Red theater stage. Supporting a lineup of heavy-hitters who have been roaring their way through the business for 40 years, Invidia was welcomed warmly by the Southwest, who was ready to rock, and their set was vibrant and energetic. Evan Seidlitz has a real flair for getting people to participate. For me, personally, I liked the way he was dressed…or maybe it’s because he looked an awful lot like the guy who does all my piercings. Whatever it was, he sang with a lot of expression and had a really personable, engaging presence. Despite being on a highly old-skool metal tour, there were quite a few people who turned out for the set for as early in the evening as it was, and the energy that Invidia brought to the stage made them entertaining to watch. No one stood around with their hands in their pockets like they did for a few other acts. As the band’s only album was released just six months ago, the set list was limited to the tracks appearing on As The Sun Sleeps, and some of them like “Feed The Fire” and “Marching Dead” were punchy and driving and actually sounded better live than they did on the album, possibly due to a new and different personality on the center mic. Sometimes all a story needs is to be told with a different voice.
Invidia is nu-metal, not old school, so if you are planning to attend the Metal Alliance Tour, you may find that they are somewhat different from the crunchy monotone growling of the co-touring thrash and doom metal bands. Nu metal has a different sound and scream than the darker metals: You will find Invidia to have a more modern, melodic song structure with a bit more pop mixed in with the intensity. Look for song lyrics to be more romantic and brooding. If we were to describe the tour using alcohol, one might say that the other bands might be just a straight shot of whiskey, neat, but that Invidia is more like a Moscow Mule. Sure, it’s got a little bit of pop in it, and they might be a little trendy, but it still has a bit of a kick…and it’s fun. I would perhaps like to see them a year from now when their new lead singer has had time to infuse the band with his own creative influences and put out an album with his band mates rather than merely singing someone else’s music.
On another note, I do feel that 5pm was incredibly early for a Friday night rock show in the East Valley. In the Phoenix area, rush hour begins at 3:00pm and ends at 7pm, and the freeway system wasn’t designed to convey as many vehicles that use it. It literally takes 2 hours to drive 20 minutes on some days, and Friday happens to be one of them, as everyone wants to get home for the weekend. I live only 9 miles from the venue, but it took me an hour to get there. In order to attend such an early show, concert goers must either request the day off or fall on the good graces of their superiors and request an early release. I do feel that this band was somewhat short-changed with an early start time, as they did put plenty of butts in the seats, but not nearly as many as they could have with a later slot.
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