Reign, Kung Fu Lovers, A.S.S., and Sons of Sabotage unveiled their rock and metal wares on the stage of the Token Lounge in Westland, Michigan.

The crowd at the Token Lounge was treated to a wide range of hard rock and metal in the first local music showcase presented by National Rock Review. In addition to great music, the Michigan Music Showcase featured prize giveaways to lucky attendees. Items included National Rock Review merchandise, gift certificates from Lucky Monkey Tattoos, and a pair of tickets to an upcoming show at the Token Lounge.

Sons of Sabotage opened the show and lived up to their name in their set of hard rock with a metal flare. This was the band’s first gig, yet they managed to hold their own on a bill with many seasoned veterans. There was a raw edge that suggested the sounds of early Metallica, particularly in the vocals of Chris Mosier. The band played a mixture of original songs and covers of Motorhead and Judas Priest. In the originals, you could hear the influences of Sabbath and Black Label Society. Matt Yoder jammed on a Dimebag Dean guitar and played some tasty blues-based solos.

A.S.S. was on a mission to give their fans two big fists full of metal. Vocalist Brian Thomas of the Halloween fame came out with a crazy St. Patrick’s Day top hat and searing vocals in lock-step with the neck snapping pace of their music. They mixed in original material from the debut release including “The Machine” and “Falling Angel.” The lineup includes Thomas plus Brandon Richardson (guitar), TJ Richardson (guitar), Chris Taylor (bass), and Foot (drums). Evidently he comes by the nickname Foot due to his aggressive playing style on the bass drum. A.S.S. included a couple of impeccable covers of “Another Day In Quicksand” by In Flames and “Inside Four Walls” by Nevermore.

Imagine an egg roll full of punk rock glazed with fun lyrical themes and you have the music of the Kung Fu Lovers. You could hear a mixture of The Meatmen, Bad Religion, and NOFX in their sound. There was no shortage of energy from these guys as they burned through their set. The performance included originals such as “Same Day, Every Day” and the hilarious “Naked Girls and Chinese Food.” They also played covers of “Just One Fix” by Ministry and “When Doves Cry” by Prince. The good time feel was infectious and there were plenty of smiles and cheers from the audience.

The Michigan Music showcase closed out with the mighty Reign. This progressive metal band brings to mind the music of Dream Theater, Symphony X, and Fates Warning. Reign is known for soaring vocal harmonies upon a backdrop of virtuoso guitar and a strong rhythm section. The flowing arrangements ran deep with emotion and physical intensity. Their set featured all original compositions. Many of these songs will be on their forthcoming self-titled release, which is due out in the spring. There was great chemistry within the band that was engaging and added to the overall depth of the performance.

The band with the best draw at the door were Sons Of Sabotage which awarded them a featured, front page spotlight article on National Rock Review. Check back next week to read more about this young and hungry band.

This was a fine showcase for some exceptional local talent. It goes to show that you never need to go far to find music that will resonate with your soul and put a smile on your face.

Photos by Sami Lipp and Chuck Marshall

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Sons of Sabotage

Kung Fu Lovers
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Token Lounge
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Lucky Monkey Tattoo
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About The Author

Chuck is a native Michigander. He grew up in Detroit, and later Pinckney. He now calls Ann Arbor home. Running is in Chuck’s blood. He has run several marathons and numerous other races. His favorite race is Dances with Dirt in Hell, Michigan. Chuck was first exposed to photography in 7th grade. He has been a photographer ever since, honing his skills shooting landscapes and most recently concerts. In addition to experiencing music from behind the camera, Chuck is a musician in his own right. He has been playing guitar since his teen years. He played in Detroit area metal band, Battalion, recorded two independent releases, and toured. Today when not covering concerts, you can find him online at his blog, Life In Michigan.

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