GIG REVIEW: Power Trip, Genocide Pact, Concealed Blade & Iron Reagan Live at the Baltimore Soundstage, Maryland
If you like your metal music with a dash of thrash, then the Baltimore Soundstage was the place to be on March 3, 2017. Power Trip brought their frenzied sound to Baltimore, Maryland in support of their 2017 sophomore album, ‘Nightmare Logic’. The release has been getting high praise, as it should. Clocking in at eight tracks, the effort is simply brilliant.
Entering the venue, I knew it was going to be a rough night. The usual metal barrier that keeps the crowd a few feet from the stage wasn’t part of the show. This is typical for mellow acts, but for a thrash show it meant things were going to get wild.
Opening the night was Genocide Pact. The Washington D.C. death metal trio ripped into a 30 minute set that was well received by the crowd. Their songs were filled with chugging death metal riffs, intense drum work and occasional guttural vocals. The only unfortunate part of the performance was that the guitar riffs were at times over powered by the drums which was a shame because the riffs were quite good when they came through.
Next up was hardcore punk band, Concealed Blade. When the band members stepped on stage, they looked like a laid back bunch of guys as they went through sound check, but looks can be deceiving. When the first note exploded from the amps, they transformed into metal maniacs as they seemingly played and sang with a rage that resonated well with the crowd. Savage vocals and blistering punk riffs brought the audience to a frenzy and the mosh pit into full swing. If you’re unfamiliar with this band, I highly suggest you check out their new release, ‘Concealed Blade – S/T’ which can be heard on Beach Impediment Records website.
Iron Reagan was the prelude to Power Trip. Much like Concealed Blade, they came out like they were shot from a cannon. The group released their latest album, ‘Crossover Ministry’, last month. Their high octane set included several from their latest release, including “Fuck the Neighbors”, “A Dying World” and “Crossover Ministry”. As they blazed through the set, the mosh pit grew in size and bodies bounced off of each other and occasionally off the front of the stage. With the mosh pit active, some crowd members jumped onto the stage, sprinted across it and jumped off the front with reckless abandon, seeming not to care whether anyone caught them or if they crashed onto the concrete floor. At one point singer, Tony Foresta, held up his finger, circled it in the air to rally the mosh pit. Although it didn’t seem like the crowds’ energy level could get any higher, it somehow did.
When Iron Reagan stepped off stage, the crowd was fired up and clamoring for Power Trip. During the show, there were short 15 minute breaks between sets, but it was a 40 minute break until Power Trip appeared. The crowd went from a high energy level, to a calmer, more sedated mood as the minutes passed. As the clock ticked towards the 40 minute mark, some were yelling out “c’mon lets go”. As I waited, I wondered if the band would be able to get the crowds’ excitement level back to where it was.
Minutes before Power Trip came out, the smoke machines kicked on and thick plumes of fog engulfed the stage and they would remain on throughout the set. Once the band stepped on the stage, I knew I had underestimated the crowd. They went from sedated to maniacal in seconds. When the first song started, so did the mosh pit and so did the stage divers. Standing in front of stage, I felt a the rhythmic slamming of bodies into my back while other bodies occasionally hurtled over my head from the stage.
Riley Gale’s vicious vocals, coupled with blazing, infectious guitar riffs conjured memories of old school thrash bands like Sepultura, Kreator and Slayer. Their raucous set included songs from ‘Nightmare Logic’ and ‘Manifest Decimation’, including “The Hammer of Doubt”, “Firing Squad” “Executioners Tax (Swing of the Axe)” and “Soul Sacrifice”. From the beginning to the set to the end, Power Trip owned the audience and elicited rabid response the remained at a high level throughout the performance.
When I attend shows where I’m not familiar with the opening acts, it’s not often that I leave being a fan of those bands. When I walked out of the Baltimore Soundstage after the show, I was a new fan of Genocide Pact and Concealed Blade, while Iron Reagan and Power Trip moved to the top of my playlist. With their sophomore release, Power Trip showed they have the chops to create great music and with their performance in Baltimore, they showed they have talent to kick ass on stage as well. If you haven’t heard their latest release, go purchase it now. You can thank me later.
Also check out our Photo Gallery of the event here.