Filter and Saliva Break Out of the Basement
night in Columbus.The night began with Heart-Set Self Destruct and Anew Revolution in the A&R Bar. Hailing from Chicago, Heart-Set Self Destruct played a set of hard rock that balance soaring melodic choruses with the crunch and scream popular in modern hard rock. At least that’s what I heard when I came back and listened to their MonsterEP. I don’t know if it was the sound man or just the system, but the lead singer’s vocals and a lot of the guitar work on songs like “Monster” and “Useless” were drowned out by a wall of bass and drums. It’s a shame, because in the quieter moments of their songs, you could tell the singer had some pipes. It just got muddled when they got heavier.Leading me to think it was the sound guy, Austin band, Anew Revolution fared a bit better. The wall of bass and drums was diminished enough to hear Joey Duenas belt out “NME,” “Social Suicide” and their single “Head Against The Wall.” Anew Revolution were also much more in command of the stage and the audience. I chalk it up to experience this band has had as a unit, and in previous bands like Slaves of Dope and Unloco. Those years of experience showed as Joey and bassist Frankie bantered with themselves and the audience. I’m certain they won over some new fans Thursday night.
Eventually, the growing crowd was ushered down to The Basement for Saliva who kicked off their set with “Black Sheep.” With the crowd packed in around the small stage, Saliva had them all with their hands up and heads bobbing. Among the numerous “Hell Yeahs,” and interludes of “I Love Rock N Roll” and “We Will Rock You,” Saliva laid down a slab of greatest hits that covered their fifteen years as a band. Lead singer, Josey Scott, lead the way through “Survival of the Sickest,” “Ladies and Gentlemen,” “Superstar,” and “Click Click Boom” with guitarist, Wayne Swinny, bassist, Dave Novotny, and drummer, Paul Crosby providing that pummeling swagger that is Saliva’s bread and butter.
The Basement, as a venue, is built for that intimate hole-in-the-wall concert experience. Having the small stage set lower than the main floor, the result is the crowd being right up there surrounding the band. A couple bands I’ve seen there shrink in the confined settings. Filter’s, Richard Patrick, though made the setting it into a plus for the audience. Even before the band started into “No Love” from their latest album The Trouble with Angels, Patrick was pacing around the stage like a caged tiger. Through their cover of ZZ Top’s “Gimme All Your Lovin’,” and “Drug Boy,” Patrick kept the pacing and looking for something to grab onto on the ceiling, clearly wanting to break into the
crowd. By the time Filter was into a block of songs from Short Bus, Patrick had broken free. He was hanging over the crowd while belting “Does,” surfing across the fans through “Best Things,” and leading them in a chant of “A Ok” from Title of the Record’s “Welcome to the Fold.” There is something to say about a band’s ability to build a concert experience to a climax rather than just a string of songs. The climax Filter built to with Sabbath’s “Black Masses” (Guitarist Rob Patterson handling the vocals) and their classic cut “Hey Man. Nice Shot” had the audience at it’s highest point with Patrick conducting them through the chorus. The night of rock ended with an elated and spent audience hanging around while Filter talked with fans and signed whatever they had.
Being the headliner, you would expect Filter to be the talk of the show. Yet, the way Filter blasted through the setting, delivered the set they did, and treated their fans afterwards, a lot of other bands should have been there to take notes.