Impulse Tattoo on the east-side of Toledo likes to put on a thank you party each year. The cool thing about this party is that is not only features some of the best bad ass bands around the mid-west but the shin dig benefits Toledo Children's Hospital too. Not just the hospital exactly but a fund called Sami's Wish Fund.Basically this fund exist to help folks out with bill not generally covered by insurance. Things you dint think about until faced with a child
in the hospital. Bills piling up, transportation,food, lodging etc....
All the proceeds
form the tattoo contest which cost 5 bones per
tattoo to enter in 8
different categories went to benefit Sami's Wish fund. Toledo packed the house at Woodchucks,outside on the patio it was gorgeous 75 degrees ,breezy and not a cloud in the sky. Lots of really cool tats, goofy ones and even some sexy ones.Trophies taken home by winners, prizes being tossed out into the crowd all night long. Most of all the benefit helped out some struggling families so I was proud to be a part of putting the night together.
Now on with the music portion cause that's why your here right?
First off and in great spirits considering it was still light out when they kicked off the set was veteran Toledo metal act FIRE. Now these guys usually open packed houses at medium size venues for the ever popular "tribute bands" and they themselves have played many covers set.But the band who influences vary from the classic Black Sabbath and Judas Priest all the way to the modern sounds of Disturbed is looking to branch out and play a circuit that appreciated the fact that they have their own sound and very good songwriting too.Having seen their set now I could not agree more.While bands over all sound in refined commercial sound it does not comes off like wood veneer would, looks and sounds hard as a granite.The band nailed the set from the
beginning with the song Tsunami till the end.Singer Tim Ray has an intense delivery and unique style not only with his vocals but with the various masks, and even over sized head he puts on and manages to sing through. The Rhythm section is a force drummer Johnny Cappelletty and Shane Craig on bass play and you can feel it, even in this an outdoor show.Guitarist Chris Cass showcased some fine fret board work with out being boring and ooodlly noodly over over the place with is something allot of metal guitarist's seem to have trouble with.Over all FIRE has something to offer fans of metal, and rock and surely did not disappoint live. The next year or so will be interesting to see how they progress playing the originals circuit,I'm inclined to think they'll do well and bring new fans on board.
As night settled over Toledo, Downspeed took the stage. Now you've seen me cover them several time here now and while I'm having trouble coming up with different ways to tell you readers how dam good they are don't take that out on the band.Its me, my writing is limited in its skill so... Here it goes. Hard,heavy,outlaw metal played with the same passion they have for the things they right about. Fast bikes,hard liquor,even faster women,and the devil chasing your ass down the road. Whoooaaaaaa doggie it didn't get better than that. Sing like Ride the High, and a killer version of Motorheads Overkill kept the crowd rowdy and up close to the stage. Passing around a bottle of Jack Daniels that began with singer-guitarist Burn helped too. Downspeed is beginning to hit spots well outside Toledo for shows so if you see them coming I highly recommend checking them out.
Next to hit the stage was the highly touted group from Detroit called The Crashdollz. Now this band form the first note oozes that thing allot of performers strive for and never quite hit,the rare blend of raw talent,songwriting,hooks,attitude and stage presence. Nikki darling the groups lead singer is not a center piece for the band, and Rachel Rekkit the groups guitarist does not play second fiddle to Nikki either. The bassist Ron Krash and drummer Brian Kaos are the very back bone to the band.This band is a well oiled machine and witnessing them play live is the sum of all the vital parts.It would be too easy to compare their sound because the two
most up front players are
Nikki and Rachel to compare them to The Runaways
or even L7...
But they reach
beyond that in their sound. From the Sex Pistols power chords, to the swagger of the MC5..if you had to press me for a comparison I would have to say Betty Blowtorch. Yeah they are that damn good and that damn gutsy too. Song like"Dumpster Punk", "Sugar Rocket" and "I Will Not be Ignored" could not be written and pulled off by anyone else. The crowd which was a at the start arms folded I dare you to impress me Toledo crowd came alive and fed off the bands
energy and the band in turn fed off that. Rare that I've seen a crowd demand an encore for a band that's never played here before but they did and the band
ramped it up again. Don't miss Crashdollz if they come your way and be prepared to spend your time up front as close as you can. Rachel's guitar solos with the lighted ray gun was fun to watch, and Nikki commands a crowd too. Oh and if your dumb enough to yell for her shirt to come off you will be challenged so pick up your knuckles cromag the spice sluts they are not.
As the evening got late Toledo metal band Buried But Breathing all but blew the place out! Louder than a bomber on a run, and all engines up... Up the irons .Buried But Breathing play a very modern almost European style of death-doom metal that just permeates younger bands these day. But they do pay homage to the classic and older bands that helped influence their sound. Buried But Breathing does not have a full length out yet so I'm not very familiar with all their material but I can speak to their energy and performance. Brutal, punishing ,onslaught. Its a bulldozer loaded with TNT, the band just gives off the stench of hellfire. Hell the guitar player was even bleeding from cracking his head on the bass not on purpose of course but the inner
teenager in me though it looked pretty cool running down his head during the set. Now my only downside to the niter and not so much Buried But Breathing but the crowd that watched, then got into the act ....I love it when a crowd get involved and does not just stand there, humping, headbanging,arms up and
mosh pits. But, when dicks and dickettes decide they are going to start trying to hurt each other.... It has no business at any show.This happened a couple of times during Buried But Breathings set and it did two things.... the stupidity drive people out of the show who otherwise would have stayed because the band was damn good, and it put a damper on us the shows organizers thinking "wow this is a benefit for kids and people are going to beat the snot out of each other?" Thankfully sense finally came back to the audience at the request of the band and the bar and rest of BBB crushing set could be enjoyed. Buried but Breathing is currently working on getting a CD out and I will not only keep readers informed when it does but if plans to hit the road happen you'll hear about it hear too.
Toledo came out in droves and a wide variety of bands put on a great show for a great mix of people who not only showed off some skin and ink but got down n dirty with fantastic music. I'm sure Sami's Wish Fund is thankful for the funds and I know the bands were stoked about the audience coming out staying and getting into the show.
Cant wait till next summers show.