Psychostick and metal-comedians in arms, Downtown Brown and Urizen came through St. Louis, giving fans a smile to go with the music.
“Humorcore” band, Psychostick, played an infectious set on May 12 at Pop’s concert venue in Sauget, Illinois, just across the river from St. Louis. The band is known for their combination of humor and spectacular musicianship.Â One lucky audience member was celebrating a birthday, the band brought him onstage to sing â€œHappy Birthdayâ€ to him, with accompaniment from the crowd. For their final number, Psychostick invited all the bands from the show onstage to lead the crowd in a sing and dance along to the â€œHokey Pokey.â€ From their entrance onto the stage until their final number, the crowd grinned and sang along from beginning to end.
Detroit natives, Downtown Brown is a band that is refreshingly difficult to pin down. Their music combines punk, funk, metal, and experimental styles with a subtle helping of hip-hop. While some lyrics are outright outrageous, others are dry and satirical, and still others more serious. The lyrics focus on social issues and personal introspection, especially those released once Norwood Fisher (bassist for Fishbone) began managing the band.
Urizen rounded out the touring bill, a band based in Dallas, Texas. The band melds together a background of synth and keyboards with fast drums, distortion-laden guitars, and clean vocals. Their set began traditionally, but quickly ventured into an odd realm that included â€œmind-controlâ€ devices, a mad scientist, and a robot. Of course, this fit well with the overall mood of the night.
Nethersphere is a St. Louis-area based band that features keyboard-backed geek-metal. The keyboards add an extra layer to their already thick sound, setting them apart from other bands.
Acid Era is another local band featured on the bill. They are a metalcore/deathcore band who blasted through their set, pounding the air with brutal guitars and screaming vocals.
Sozorox opened the evening with their signature Christian/hard rock/LIFE metal set. Their sound is reminiscent of 1980s-era hair and glam metal, vocalist Doug Moore sounding at home within that range and doing an exemplary rendition of Van Halenâ€™s â€œAinâ€™t Talkinâ€™ â€˜Bout Loveâ€ mid-set. Playing the night without their usual second guitarist and a bass player, the remaining trio (Doug Moore-vocals, Darren Loberg-guitar and backing vocals, TJ Callahan-drums) managed to fill those voids so it was almost unnoticeable.