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05.09.2023: Adelitas Way @ The Lost Horizon

Wsg/ Otherwise, Moon Fever, Above Snakes and Kilter

This night was like the metal version of a refreshing beer flight. Each of the bands brought a distinct style to the stage. Local group Kilter got things started. While the music was good from the jump, it seemed to take time for them to get comfortable on the stage. I don't want to bash on a local band, and their music was honestly pretty good, but their performance stood in stark comparison to the rest of the night. I'm a photographer first and a journalist/writer second, and visually it was just uneven. The most engaging performance came from behind the kit. Their drummer was going wild with double bass drum rips and just beating the hell out of things at one point jumping up to beat the hell out of his cymbals. His energy seemed to eventually make its way to the lead singer, who really opened up as the set went on. He was at his best after he (literally) let his hair down. The other guitarist and bassist were possibly the most serene players of metal I've seen. I look back through my camera's memory card and they have more the look of like a jam band or a blues player: feet planted, eyes closed, faces relaxed; not a wisp of lead guitar face to be found.
The energy in the room shifted significantly when Boston's Above Snakes stormed the stage. New to me, I wasn't sure what to expect when Johnny the lead singer took the stage with a fur vest, and waist length techno-rave neon blue braids, but my cynicism was unfounded.
Their approach to performing reminded me of the recent Fozzy show. They know how to work a crowd. There was lots of straddling the photo pit to get closer to their fans, getting the crowd to sing along, throwing merch to into the crowd, etc.

Above Snakes doing their thing.

At one point they announced they were filming a music video and asked people to film the performance (with cameras sideways, thankfully) and to submit the footage to possibly be included in the video. The crowd rose to meet them. The appreciation of their fans was not just the stage act. As I stood in line to buy a sticker later, I was eavesdropping as the bass player and drummer talked to the fans in front of me. I was honestly impressed by how personable they were and they seemed genuinely engaged in the conversation, not just the usual "thanks for comin' out, so glad you like us" small talk.

Next up was my favorite performance of the night: Seattle band Moon Fever. They had a real rough start. A guitar broke, van keys were summoned, the monitors weren't working, but if anything they channeled their frustration into energy for their performance. Vocalist Cody Jasper better have a coach and gallons of throat coat, 'cuz he was putting his voice through it, from singing to full afterburner screaming. It was a much more feral, primal, and raw performance than their records on Spotify and stronger for it.

Moon Fever's Cody Jasper getting up close with the crowd.

And crowd work? Cody's dramatic flair doesn't end with his on stage fashion. (Red mic cord color coordinated with the red liner of his leather jacket? Check.) Forget simply straddling the photo pit, when not strutting the stage like an angry, self flagellating Mick Jagger, Cody frequently crawled over it, delivering is vocals inches from the faces below. The bass player took it further, not only coming into the crowd, but starting a mosh BASS IN HAND. "Pics or it didn't happen!" I hear you say! Well, ask and ye shall receive! Although blurry (it was really dark in the pit!) you can see the headstock of the bass just behind the bearded guy's head, to the left of the center of the photo below. I'd have been fully satisfied had they been the headliner.

Somewhere in the dark blur, a bassist is moshing.

The penultimate (second to last) band of the night was Otherwise. They brought their own twist to things. I was amused at the family centric nature of the show, and still chuckle at the juxtaposition of it with the number of f-bombs and middle fingers thrown. Before their set, I was approached by vocalist and frontman Adrian Patrick, who very nicely asked if I'd move as his family (wife and 2 elementary school aged sons) were in attendance and he wanted them to watch from where I was standing in the wings. The thread of family also continued as the guitarist is his brother Ryan. At one point Adrian went into the crowd, but not before letting his sons help out with a chorus on his way off the stage.

The brothers Patrick doing their thing.

The crowd LOVED them. After being introduced by local KROCK DJ Big Smoothie, they proceeded to rip through song after song, and the crowds support never waivered, head banging along with fists in the air. I'm pretty sure they played every single they've released. A final treat was later in the evening, when guitarist Ryan Patrick crossed the stage with one of the boys. The boy threw up his metal horns and the crowd LOST IT. It was a super cute moment in the midst of metal mayhem.
Lastly came the headliners, Adelitas way. The crowd was pumped and here to party. They even were singing along to the set break music. Some of them may have partied too hard, as this set break was the when I got petted. Yes, you read that right. I was petted, not pelted. Petted like a dog. I was crouching in the photo pit, when a woman at the rail behind me taps me and says "Excuse me sir, but I need to pet you." which I didn't realize at first was what had been said, as I had hearing protection in, but then just like that... she proceeded. to. pet. my. hair. It wasn't hostile in any way, but will definitely be a story I can tell for at least a while. Anyhow, as you'd expect, any change to the lighting during the break led to cheers from the crowd. They were amped, but not quite to the level I witnessed when Fozzy played The Lost, complete with chanting the bands name.
Their set had the crowd as close to the rails as they could get. The lit the fuse of their set with Bad Reputation and rolled from there, working their way through their set, including Ready for War and building the crowd until they closed on Invincible. Unfortunately I don't have as many photos from their set as I was limited to just the first 3 songs, but still, helluva night!


Adelitas Way


Moon Fever

Above Snakes


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