Forbidden, Revocation, White Wizzard, Havok, Vanlade Show Review


The Beaumont Club is a good-sized venue (1000 capacity or so) in Kansas City, Missouri’s Westport area, an area sometimes considered to be Kansas City’s birthplace but that now mostly houses good eateries, shops and nightlife options. The Beaumont’s rectangular shape— with the stage at one of the small ends, the bar at the other, and a long-ass walk in between—usually makes it difficult to traverse in the midst of a packed show. But when the place is mostly empty, the difficulty’s not there. Such was sadly the case of the Forbidden, Revocation, White Wizzard, Havok and Vanlade show held at the venue on Monday, June 27th.

by Jodi Van Walleghem

The Beaumont Club is a good-sized venue (1000 capacity or so) in Kansas City, Missouri’s Westport area, an area sometimes considered to be Kansas City’s birthplace but that now mostly houses good eateries, shops and nightlife options. The Beaumont’s rectangular shape—with the stage at one of the small ends, the bar at the other, and a long-ass walk in between—usually makes it difficult to traverse in the midst of a packed show. But when the place is mostly empty, the difficulty’s not there. Such was sadly the case of the Forbidden, Revocation, White Wizzard, Havok and Vanlade show held at the venue on Monday, June 27th.


Vanlade

It’s possible that the promoters expected a better turnout for legendary thrashers Forbidden, and the fact that the show started early and on a Monday certainly didn’t help. But the lack of people inside The Beaumont made it seem hollowed out. Openers and local true metal lads Vanlade began playing to literally no one…at least none in front of the decently large stage and the barrier erected (that’s right, I said erected) in front of it. A solid minute or two of playing changed that, however, as the young dudes busted out the right riffs, charisma and talent to draw people forward. Vanlade even got a nod of approval from Steve Smyth (Forbidden), who came out from backstage to watch the band before darting back into the darkness.

Colorado thrash-mongers Havok were next to hit the stage, still to an embarrassment of a crowd, but that was no matter to them. These guys rip Kansas City to shreds every time they play here, regardless of how many people show up to watch them, and their opening slot for Forbidden was no different. Their crunchy, high intensity set included some of the band’s early material in addition to the killer Destruction-meets¬-Metallica stuff from recently released Time is Up. “D.O.A.” in particular, a massive headbanger of a tune with an insane “Angel of Death” scream from David Sanchez, was a highlight. Havok did an excellent job of inciting the little audience — so much so, in fact, that they should have probably been pushed back in the lineup. Just an opinion.


Revocation

With more people trickling in the door, White Wizzard began their set. Now, there have been all sorts of nasty things said over the internet about this band and their ever-revolving lineup, especially in regards to vocalists. Here’s my comment to this: who gives a fuck? The vocalist is not the group’s end-all-be-all (unless, of course, it’s a one-man project, which would just be silly). Fucking Van Halen did just fine with both Roth and Hagar, and nobody died over it. (It should be noted that while it’s my opinion that Roth was superior to Hagar, each person is entitled to his or her own tastes. Also, in no way am I comparing White Wizzard to Van Halen, merely stating an example.) Anyway, Michael Gremio, formerly of Cellador, did vocal duties for WW in Kansas City, and he did a stand-up job. He breezed through sugary-sweet tunes like “Celestina” and “High Speed GTO,” the latter of which is probably the only White Wizzard song anybody will remember five years from now. Regardless of the band’s kitsch and overall squeaky-clean sound, they’re hellaciously good musicians and that should be respected.

On to Revocation, the immediate openers to Forbidden. These guys are insanely talented, and while they garnered the most crowd reaction up to that point in the show’s timeline (all 35 people or so who were in attendance), they didn’t do it for me. To me, their positioning in the lineup was odd, considering the thrash of Havok and traditional metal of White Wizzard would have been better suited for the prime spot in front of the headliners. But I digress. They played extremely modern, progressive tech death, and as previously mentioned, they’re talented and played their tunes precisely. But it felt a bit too mechanized and heartless. Their emotive moments were fleeting and everything ended up sounding like a wall of noise.

And finally, the moment that most people inside of The Beaumont Club had been waiting for all night — Forbidden took the stage. They immediately ripped into “Forsaken At the Gates” (if memory serves me correctly) from Omega Wave. Craig Locicero and Steve Smyth viciously tore through newbies and old stuff alike, including “Twisted Into Form.” Vocalist Russ Anderson wailed. At some point, members from the night’s previous bands carried a birthday cake onstage for Locicero, who was celebrating his birthday the day of the show. Toward the end of the set, Forbidden did a killer cover of Black Sabbath’s “Children of the Sea” in honor of Ronnie James Dio and closed out the night with a rousing and much needed “Chalice of Blood.”

While it’s sad to see such a great show shunned by so many in such a large city, there’s also something exciting and very personal about being close enough to a band as energetic as Forbidden or Havok to feel their sweat. And though the Kansas City crowd was small, its passion for thrash was evident that night.

 

 

Comments

  1. Commented by: Apollyon

    Nice quick read and the movement in the photos is excellent! More of these, please!


  2. Commented by: Jodi

    You should see the 80,000 other pictures of Steve Smyth that I took.


  3. Commented by: Sara

    Great review, I’m sad I couldn’t stay for the show!


  4. Commented by: Jesse David

    Awesome pics – post more of Wizzard and Havok please.


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