Static-X, Otep, Dope, Smile Empty Soul, Thira, Therion X, Club 412, Spokane, WA, May 15, 2014

Thursday night seemed to be a walk down late nineties/early 2000s nostalgia street, but I beg to differ on some levels. This particular show brought about a diverse and hard core following to the headliner and the band that preceded them (which in my opinion ruled the night).  

This was the first time I have visited Club 412 in downtown Spokane. As you enter the venue, you see a nice little bar where people were enjoying their beverage. The twist on this place was that it had a huge menu of shots in which you could partake in. Perhaps some night where I’m not driving, to sample some of the shots would be a great evening out. You’re looking at a very narrow, old style bar on the first floor of the club, but as you walk in, you notice a stairway to the main floor of the venue where the stage is located. Upstairs is quite impressive with plenty of space to host such an event. Pool tables, merch booths and then there’s the main room where the stage and floor are to enjoy the concert. I suspect capacity would be around 500 people or less. There’s also a two–sided bar on the venue floor where you can order everything under the sun. As a first timer to this place, I was impressed again; there’s another venue to hold such a fantastic lineup of bands. Spokane is very blessed with great locations to promote the music scene locally and internationally.

The first band of the night was Thirion X which continue to bore me with every time they open a show.  They have not improved and live off of the local following so they will never grow to anything special until they have more to offer the audience.

Then, it became interesting…..a band called Thira hit the stage. Imagine a band that had the stage look of Mushroomhead and enough sound of Meshuggah and you have yourself a very interesting opening act. I will be digging into these guys a bit further in the future to hear what their soul really captures.

Next, was Smile Empty Soul and they are stuck in the Nirvana-era of sound and granted they aren’t too bad of a band as a three piece, they just put the crowd to sleep waiting for the next three bands to wake them up again. They played their big hit, “Bottom of a Bottle” and the crowd was pleased…otherwise bored.

Then the fun picked back up again as DOPE hit the stage. This band has been pretty silent for years but apparently have 2 albums coming out in 2015 so I look forward to hearing the new material.  Dope has evolved a bit, for the last time I saw them, they simply were younger and more mobile. Don’t get me wrong, with age comes wisdom so the hits they played just kept coming and the crowd response was intense and craved for more DOPE. They still are a very energetic band that brings the goods! They were my draw to this show in the first place and I was not disappointed one bit. Their montage of songs that have to do with the word FUCK still blows anyone away with how powerful each of those songs are individually but mixed together make them even more significant in power and message. Watch out for DOPE in 2015 for they will destroy once again!

The overwhelming majority of the crowd was there to see OTEP, for they are still relevant to today’s metal/alternative scene. OTEP has been on the map for YEARS and it seems like they are now more than ever relevant and disturbing than ever before to the scene. The lead vocalist, Otep Shamaya has drawn a very devoted and hardcore audience now more than ever before. Being a female lead vocalist in a male-dominated genre means nothing when it comes to OTEP for they surpass SO many bands that are on the radar of the metal scene. OTEP keeps plugging away with fantastic new albums and digs deep in the dark mind of anyone who goes through heavy shit in their lives. If you ever get a chance to see OTEP live, do it, Otep Shamaya will captivate and mesmerize you to the point you cannot help yourself but embrace the moment to dance and sing along.

One thing I have not mentioned was the temperature of the venue. Holy Shit, it was HOT! Club 412 had not set up their A/C yet so the venue was beyond warm. I spent my evening at the bar, kind of isolated and behind a door so I could be left to enjoy the show (I had a fantastic view of the stage from that location). I must have had 5 or more glasses of ice water and an early soda that evening and did not pee a thing all night. It was like a sweatshop in there.  Other odds and ends from the night…as I waited for the doors upstairs to be open, I waited on the first floor, sipping on bottled water and meeting some locals and overhearing some conversation from someone who called himself the director of operations at the club and some Chinese investor guy who seemed disgusted at being there. I wanted to chime in and discuss with them about what they do and perhaps crowbar my design skills to help them out but it didn’t seem too appropriate for they seemed simply shady characters. There was some dweeb club manager or something that kept coming around to make sure those two guys were enjoying themselves and I just thought, the first firing was to get rid of that dweeb for he was such a goober/kiss-ass. Alas, it made for interesting people watching/listening while waiting to go upstairs. Also, to top off the night and kind of expected, I parked in the closest parking lot to the venue which was a bank parking lot and sure enough, I earned a parking ticket. I did the same thing as I felt out the Knitting Factory so it was simply no biggy. I noticed as I left the other parking lots near the club so if there’s a next time, I will know where to park without getting a ticket.

thironx1

Thirion X opened the show…local band

Thira..best opener of the night

Thira..best opener of the night

Great stage presence

Great stage presence

Wayne owning the stage

Wayne owning the stage

Great to hear the classics

Great to hear the classics

the evil disco continues

the evil disco continues

Most boring band of the night

Most boring band of the night

The band that ruled the night

The band that ruled the night

Otep, singing her her heart out.

Otep, singing her her heart out.

once a truly stellar live act.

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