After seeing them three times in a span of thirteen months I had been without my boys in GEMINI SYNDROME since November of 2014 back at Trees Dallas. This simply will not do. So, to rectify that my buddy Bobby and I trekked out to the Chameleon Club in Lancaster, PA on July 29 to catch them headlining for the first time. Over an hour of GEMINI SYNDROME?? If I could say, “Hell yeah!” in a thousand different languages, I would.
Alas, I cannot so English will have to suffice. Add to this killer rock show labelmates STITCHED UP HEART and 9ELECTRIC and you have all the makings of one helluva Friday night out, no?
So, 9ELECTRIC went on first, right? Let me tell you all something…if EVERY band had as much energy as these guys do onstage no one, and I do mean NO ONE would ever miss out on a concert. Attendance would be through the roof nationwide! Frontman Thunderwood spent half the set riding on the arms of the crowd, (when he wasn’t flying all over the fucking stage), bassist CaseyDC and guitarist Mikey Lopez were kicking ass and taking names, while drummer and programmer Micah Electric held it all down and made it look easy.
The band tore through songs from their Another Century debut The Damaged Ones including “New God” the title track, and “Take It away”, all of which sounded heavier and ballsier than their studio counterparts.
I love it when a band does that in a live setting, just crushes the tunes. And in a surprise move, they decided to cover the AC/DC classic “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”, something that raised my eyebrow at first, but I have to admit, it was a really good rendition. Overall, a fantastic job by the 9ELECTRIC boys! Not only that, but the two gorgeous young women Ashley and Eve (my new friends!) who were at their merch table engaging everyone were two of the most pleasant people I’ve ever met at a show.
Next up was STITCHED UP HEART. I only had time to hear their recently-released debut Never Alone once, but I was familiar enough with the songs to know that they too are a band that thrives best in a live setting. Lead singer Mixi is a little lady with a BIG voice, wow!
Opening with “Finally Free” the band got the crowd riled up right from jump. Other highlights included “City of Angels”, “Turn You On”, and “Catch Me When I Fall”, but the real powerhouse from them came in the form of closer “Monster”. It’s great on disc, but live this fucker has more teeth than a sawblade and Mixi and her bandmates Decker (drums), Merritt (guitar), and Randy (bass) all went for broke like their lives depended on it, and this was their last show on earth.
Definitely hellacious performers and I will be taking them in again as soon as they’re back in Philly. Mixi was such a sweetheart after their set, signing everything put in front of her and showing off her selfie skills with each of us who waited to get a picture with her. You can totally tell that her home is the stage. May she never lose that fire.
Now we come to the one, the only GEMINI SYNDROME. I was fortunate enough to have a sit-down interview with vocalist Aaron Nordstrom before they went on (our fifth, I think?), and I could tell he was relaxed, but ready to whup some ass. More on that to come soon guys, I promise…The familiar strains of “Resurrection” from 2013’s debut LUX stirred things up super-quick as the rabid fans pushed forward.
One thing about the Synners…we are all family. I have probably made more new friends at GEMINI SYNDROME shows than at any others. And they are the most respectful fans out there. No shoving, no violence, we are all lost in the rapture. Next up was the one-two punch of “Falling Apart” and “Basement” which sounded particularly venomous.
This was followed by “Babylon” and “Syndrome” which showed off new members, Daniel Sahagún and Chuck Lee’s (lead and rhythm guitars respectively) playing chops, but also skills on the mic as backup vocalists. I think these two are keepers for sure! Drummer Brian Steele Medina had a field day on new song “Eternity” from their forthcoming sophomore release Memento Mori (August 19), as did bottom end-badass, bassist Alessandro ‘AP’ Paveri.
The whole band just looked, felt, and sounded in sync. Fuck, I missed these guys! For a change of pace it was back to LUX with “Mourning Star”, whose beauty lies in its haunting melodies and vocals. The band then tore the room a new one with “Alive Inside” featuring dirty, low, and dark guitar work to go with Aaron’s evil-sounding vocals on the verses.
And then, OHMYSWEETSATAN, it was time for “Pleasure and Pain”, my first exposure to this amazing band, and a version designed to burn the city to the ground. Man alive, this time was one of the most ferocious I’ve seen them play it!
A pair of singles from the new disc, “Anonymous” and “Remember We Die”, two bangers in their own right, smacked the audience upside the head one right after the other before closer and perennial favorite “Stardust” brought the fucking house down in triumphant fashion.
So let’s review: GEMINI SYNDROME came, saw, kicked ass, and hammered everyone into submission over the course of thirteen songs. Sound about right? Oh, and it was great to FINALLY meet Kate Drexel in person (these are her awesome photos you see before you!) as well as new friends Cody (kickass photographer) and Jessica (kickass writer) from Flash Is Off as well.
These be the dates remaining, so go catch the power and fury of GEMINI SYNDROME, STITCHED UP HEART, and 9ELECTRIC live…NO EXCUSES!!
LIVE WORDS: THE MAESTRO
LIVE IMAGES: KATE DREXEL PHOTOGRAPHY