Inside the Metal Cage
The Metal Case gig at Aandklas (Stellenbosch) hosted several bands on Tuesday night (15th July), including Animus Fall, A Price on the King’s Head, Set for the Sky and The Anti-Retro Vinyls. Aandklas is a bar/pub which hosts live bands of the alternative genres. Since Stellenbosch is generally set at the tempo of student life and the holidays are almost over, the crowd was smaller than usual; but what the crowd lacked in size they made up with enthusiasm and gusto.
The size of the setting makes it less conducive to heavy metal than, perhaps, a larger setting might since the mix has to compensate for the loud drums. This makes it difficult to isolate instruments, and more particularly vocals. However, between bands changing, the atmosphere was spiced with excitement at the next band’s arrival. Animus Fall and A Price on the King’s Head opened the evening. In terms of musical orientation; they are both partial to heavy metal. The former similar in style to Bullet for my Valentine’s album, Scream, Aim, Fire, while the latter being closer to The Ascendicate, To Die As Kings.
Set For The Sky
Recently voted among the Top 30 South African bands in a Jagermeister competition, Set For The Sky came ready to rock, having adapted several of their songs to fit the night’s agenda. They opened with a mash-up of songs which have had a meaningful impact on them throughout their lives. This included some random some random songs like ‘I’m a Barbie Girl,’ ‘Girlfriend by Avril Lavigne,’ their own song ‘The Secret Season,’ among others.While this was playing in the background, the band members were able to mingle with the crowd before one by one they took up their positions on stage. They opened with one of their older songs, ‘Cassette’, which started off things well. Next, they played one of their latest songs, played for the first time in front of an audience, ‘Circle of Dreams’. The maturity between their latest and older music is immediately audible.
Set For The Sky definitely appeared set themselves apart with their performance and stage presence which was vigorous and spirited, seeing much of the audience caught up in the overflow. Between songs the crowd was beseeched by the tunes of a synthesizer and bass drops, played by James (lead vocalist) and Brendan (drummer). During ‘Annexure’, the audience was accosted by the sweet riffs of a lead guitar solo courtesy of Trent (electric). The bassist, Jeandre, caught us all off guard when he left the stage to greet some of the crowd mid-song, with no cable trailing behind him.
They ended their set with an outro which combined synth, bass drop and electric, followed by a long roar by James. On the whole, their performance is well rounded, and more accessible to those people not too heavily submerged in metal core. I managed to catch up with the band after the show, interview to follow shortly. For the time being, go check out their website.
Looking Up and Looking Out
Having stayed for the first three bands, I felt that I had experienced enough and retired for the evening. To the best of my knowledge The Anti-Retro Vinyls, similar in sound to My Chemical Romance, weren’t too bad either.