One of the coolest things about this job is watching the progression of bands. The first time we met No Conviction, it was at the Side Bar of The Rave for a smaller local show. This time around, they invited us to see them on the big stage. Opening for several larger acts, No Conviction had some big shoes to fill. Locally based, they needed to reach out to people who may have never heard of them. Also they were under pressure from shooting a video of the evening.
They filled the big boots well. This time they sounded much better. For some reason they lucked on the mix lotto. There was a more thrash feel rather than the totally insane hard core of last show giving them an almost softer sound. With a limited set (a mere 6 songs) they tore through their 20 minute set at full steam ahead. Playing highlights for me were the songs "Sin is In" and "No Control." They closed with perennial favorite, the Superjoint cover, "Fuck Your Enemy."
Invitro was up next and for some reason I had a problem concentrating on their first song. These boys are creative, I'll give them that! What can I say about a band that comes on stage with lab coats and aluminum foil helmets with laser beams coming from their heads? They did put on a decent show, once I was able to focus more on the music and the head pieces came off. A combination of light industrial with a pop/punk feel and a fast set. There were some great guitar riffs that were extremely catchy. Overall what I would term a "bouncy" set.
Otep was up next and with this being the set I was looking forward to, I was somewhat disappointed. There were no vocals for the first two songs, and when they finally were able to be heard, they were not that great. Since the show was at The Rave, I'll blame it on the mix. Otep Shamaya is one of the few kick ass women vocalists out there, and I was really disappointed that her vocals didn't come across as great live as they do on CD. But she was pretty damn hot on stage. More than just a pretty face, she gave her views on politics and life, which at times excited the crowd and other times brought them down. I do give her credit for her beliefs and even more credit for sharing them openly. Although personally, when watching a concert, my mind isn't in the mood for politics. I just want to have a good time and not have to think. But did I mention she still looked damn good?
Finally was Static X. This is a band I swore I didn't like and wasn't familiar with. Apparently I was wrong on both accounts. I was shocked at the number of songs I knew, but even more I was shocked at how much I not only liked the show, but their music. Opening with their new song "Cannibal," they tore through their almost 2 hour set. I won't even attempt to give them a genre beyond their self described "Evil Disco." This band had amazing energy and sounded almost flawless. For those in the Milwaukee area, you know what this means for The Rave. I was incredibly impressed with their energy level. For a band that ain't really spring chickens anymore to tear through that many songs and stay on stage for as long as they did really is truly impressive. Crowd faves were "Push It" and "I'm with Stupid" although they also played "Destroy," "Dirthouse," and "The Enemy." And I still want to know what Wayne puts in his hair.
The true bonus to this show was the fact that we were allowed to photograph for the ENTIRE set. We learned exactly how many pics it takes to fill a 4 gig memory card. It was an amazing show, and we would like to thank No Conviction for the invitation!