So recently I was in Dallas covering the DORO show. But what some of you may not know is that I purposely got to town two days early so I could also see one of my favorite area thrashers in EXPLODER headline at The Curtain Club for my dear friend Jennifer Barrera’s birthday show. It was perfect because my hotel was mere minutes from all my favorite places in Deep Ellum. And thanks to Angie (EXPLODER’S manager) and her fiance Jesse picking me up from the airport my room at aloft Downtown Dallas was fully stocked with booze! By the way, if you ever can, be sure to stay there when in Dallas. The staff, the decor, and everything about the place is absolutely wonderful.
Now that I was firmly ensconced back in my old stomping grounds it was simply a matter of waiting for Ryan from Ardent Owl Media to come by so we could head out. We’ve covered the guys in EXPLODER before so we knew we were in for a treat. Plus, a lot of my favorite Dallas people showed up for this one: Ruvayne, guitarist from DAYLIGHT INDUSTRIES, On Tour Monthly’s James Villa and Jennifer, his lovely wife, area promoter Torch, and all four guys from SECRET OF BORIS were on hand to throw back the drinks with us in celebration of the Birthday Girl and killer thrash metal.
Since I wasn’t actually there in an official capacity I was pretty much hanging out on the back porch of the club all night so I missed most of the bands before the EXPLODER guys went on. Hey, I’m a social butterfly so it can’t be helped. Besides, we were all having so much fun taking pictures and laughing our asses off that it was all good. Jennifer Barrera was an absolute vision (par for the course) when she showed up in her lovely blue dress, and my new friend Becca also looked amazing. “Gorgeous, party of two? Table is ready!” I’m telling you.
Alright, enough chit-chat. EXPLODER came in on a mission to wreck some necks and that they surely did. Opening with “Hail the New Hell” and “Demolition” the guys were totally on fire. “Faces of Death” was next before not one, but TWO of my favorites in a row rocked the club. “Spitfire” followed by my number one jam “War Machine” once again put on a clinic of savage riffs coupled with drummer Lincoln Mullins frenetic bashing. Another song whose studio counterpart can’t even come close is “Key of Thrash”, and every time they play it the response is electric.
Closing out the set was the double-tap of “Born to Kill” and “Necessary Slaughter” which only managed to get me even more fired up. This is one of my favorite bands on the Deep Ellum scene for a reason, folks. They go above and beyond to always make sure the set is tight and professional. Bigger and better things seem to happen for EXPLODER every time I turn around, and they deserve every bit of success headed their way.
All in all it really was a fantastic night. I got to see a lot of friends I hadn’t since December, and Jennifer’s Birthday Bash was a rousing success. I hope it won’t be too long before I get to see Angie, Jesse, Ryan, James, Becca, Ruvayne, Torch, and the Jennifers again. I love my Dallas Rock family! And y’all need to go out and catch EXPLODER ASAP!!
LIVE PHOTOS: RYAN “C.B.” WHITEHEAD/ARDENT OWL MEDIA