GIG REVIEW: FROM BLUE TO GRAY & More Live at The Loft, Lansing, Michigan
From Blue to Gray brought a cohort of great musicians to the Loft in Lansing, Michigan to mark the release of their new album ‘Abstention of Interference’ on Luxor Records. This is the first major label release for the band, and they drew in a host of diehard metal fans to enjoy a diverse mix of music.
The show got started with Nagazi. This five-piece band was at home on the stage, and grabbed the crowd’s attention with their riveting blend of speed and thrash metal. Imagine an amalgam of such metal greats as Anthrax, Havok, and Flotsam and Jetsam. Stomping riffs and powerful vocals from this high-powered outfit had the audience fully engaged in their performance.
Some People’s Kids offered something completely different in their subsequent set — energetic pop-punk music. They came from the musical realms of Blink-182 and Sum 41, with catchy choruses and popping rhythms. They nevertheless brought in a fine group of fans who enjoyed their polished set.
You may not know about “Doomgrass,” but you should. The Jonestown Crows created their own genre of bluegrass, filled with the attitude of hardcore punk and metal. It is music that embraces the dark side of life with a middle finger and a smile. The speed and power of bluegrass music with just the right amount of “fuck you” attitude allowed the Jonestown Crows to fit right in with the metal audience that night. They had the crowd in the palm of their hand, and jumping for joy. With songs like “666 Pack of Beer”, you can’t help but love this band.
Past Tense was the embodiment of all that is great about thrash metal. They ripped into a terrifying metal onslaught that reminded you of the legendary Hirax and Exodus. Their music featured a brilliant display of hammering rhythms, fiery twin guitars, and virtuoso vocals that clawed at the sky. This hometown band has a large following for good reason; they put on one hell of a performance and the audience ate up every note.
Before their set began, From Blue to Gray revealed that they would be playing their new album in its entirety. This led to many shouts of approval, just as the shit hit the fan with the lip-splitting riffs of “Slave Grinder”. Dale Fewless looked as if he were possessed by demons as he screamed into the microphone. “Vulgarity in Silence” demonstrated the melodic complexity and dynamic range of the new album, and the band expressed these musical textures perfectly.
Dave Jaber and Tim Drexler ignited a firestorm with their adept guitar playing on “Forceful Stare” and “Fractured Reality: Obscurity”. They made this technically demanding music look easy to play, and appeared to have a great time in the process. Drummer Dan Graham was also a study in perfection behind the kit. With burning focus, he kept the band locked on target through a variety of time-changes and syncopated rhythms.
The solo bass intro and bass-driven melody of “Ataraxia” provided room for the exquisite playing of bassist Jordan Myers to shine. “Buried In Sand” left the pit strewn with bodies as squealing guitars and concussive rhythms filled the Loft. From Blue to Gray finished up their show with the last track from ‘Abstention of Interference’ — the epic “A Reason to Resonate”. With the crowd calling out for one more song, the band returned to the stage and cranked out “Bath Salts” to round out a fantastic evening of metal music.
Also check out our photo gallery of the gig here!