Like seemingly everything else I put my hand it to it took longer than I'd have liked, but I promised a pit report for Tuesday evening's Protest the Hero show and now I'm here to deliver. So read on, and live vicariously through me!
Tuesday's show was one of a few impromptu additions to the Volition tour announced after the main dates but taking place before the bulk of the tour -- some pre-tour warm-ups, or something along those lines, is what I think I recall reading in one of the band's Facebook posts. I would guess that this had something to do with the venue choice of a bar, The Mansions, rather than the comedy club that often hosts shows like this, but honestly, I don't really care. Anything that lets me see Protest in a tiny venue is A-OK in my book.
The first opening act was a local band called Ponderous Chain, but we elected to go out for dinner before the show and as such only caught the second band on the bill, Salt of the Chief Cornerstone. Regular readers will remember that I featured a song of theirs earlier in the week, "Taken by Storm", and this track was just one of several that captivated the whole room with Salt's energetic performance and it's build-and-release style. I dug it enough that I bought a copy of their EP before the night was out.
Also before the night was out, of course, was Protest the Hero. Or at least three-fifths of the Protest I've seen before. Drummer Moe has been officially replaced by The Kindred's Mike Ieradi (the drum work on Volition being handled by Lamb of God's Chris Adler, in case you...somehow... hadn't heard) and bassist Arif is sitting this tour out to work on a stage production he's involved with, his spot being filled by the band's producer Cameron McLellan.
In any event, the boys came on stage to the strains of the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers theme song and proceeded to rip through a varied set that included tracks from all four of the band's LPs (even Kezia, which doesn't always get a lot of live love from the guys). There was enough old stuff to please longtime fans such as myself, and enough new stuff to remind everyone that they're touring on a new record.
Highlights of the evening included our close proximity to the barely-elevated stage at all times (thanks to the tiny room at The Mansion) and the crowd's passing Rody crowd-surfing style from the stage to the bar and back for a mid-set brew. Very metal.
And that's about all she (or me) wrote on this one. Head on over to setlist.fm if you're curious about what tunes the band was rocking on Tuesday. Hopefully Protest will be back to town sooner rather than later, and I for one certainly wouldn't be opposed to more stops in small venues like this one. High energy and intensity + an intimate setting = a good time had by all.