MAGFest Expansion Pack Tour Review (Pittsburgh, PA)
I headed out to see the MAGFest Expansion Pack Tour at Cattivo and I wasn't to sure what to expect. I showed up about 15 mins before the door and got to talk to some people waiting in line. I had the chance to meet Dan from GTX Media. He was super nice and works for MAGFest. I got a little but of a rundown on the bands beforehand but wasn't sure what I was in store for. I was trying my hand at concert photography for the first time that night so Dan was able to give me some helpful tips. It's great to see that kind of camaraderie in the local music scene.
They ended up letting us all down around 6:30ish once the bands were all through setting up and done sound testing. It was revealed to us that there was going to be six bands on the show that night. The crowd was decent in the beginning but I didn't expect much for a rainy Tuesday night. The first act to play was Mega Beardo and he had a pretty sweet ass beard. Don't let that fool because he's much more than just a gimmick. It was just him, a guitar, and a IPad. That was all he needed because his guitar work was great and the energy he had was intense. I would definitely recommend you check out where he's playing next and see him.
The next band up was Knight of the Round. I first heard this name and thought medieval metal. I was wrong but not disappointed at all. They played music from the Final Fantasy video game series. They were good and technically sound. The stage presence was great and they had some cool stage props. They didn't play too long because the sets were all cut a little short due to the fact that the show had six bands on the bill.
The night continued in gaming metal vein. Danimal Cannon took the sage. One man, one guitar, one laptop and two Gameboys? Yes, he played notes off the Gameboys and mixed it with the laptop. It was unique and good. He was interacting with the crowd. One of the Gameboys was not working and he just played it off. He made the crowd laugh with the comment "This is what I get for using equipment made in the 90's." He mixed in some songs he never played live before. The guitar playing was technically proficient and you could tell he was having fun. It was just a really great set and I look forward to seeing him play agian.
Dethlehem was set to take the stage next. I've heard of them before that night but never had a chance to make it to one of their shows. They came out donning chain mail and helmets. The drummer had glowing red eyes and the lead singer stood behind a wall being bathed in a blood red light. The moment I saw all of that I loved them. They could've sang from phone book and I would have been happy (Google phone book if you don't get the reference). The thing was they could back it all up because they were good. The lead singer interacted with the crowd and the fans loved it. He had great stage presence and really had command of the crowd. They had some technical problems at the beginning but they got through them sounding great. The music and the band were in sync with each other. I can't wait to see them again.The mighty Dethlehem!
The next to last band to play was Urizen, a prog metal band out of Texas. I have never seen this band or heard of them and had no idea what to expect. They started the set off wearing hats with lights as eyes and wires coming out of the top. It was a very cool look and reminded me of DEVO. They sounded great and had a ton of energy. The keytar was a very cool touch. They had a different sound to them that I really enjoyed. The stage show included a mad scientist, a robot that shot NERF darts, a giant inflatable monster, and fireworks. It was great. I don't know why these guys aren't playing to larger crowds and why more people have not heard of them. The thing is the stage show was good but again they could play. They didn't need the stage show to get the crowd involved. I hope I can see this band again in the near future.
The last band to take the stage and headliner was Machinae Supremacy out of Sweden. They were on their first headlining tour of the United States. I had listened to a few of their songs before the show and really liked what I heard. I was excited to see them. They really got my interest when the guitar player played a riff from Back For More by RATT while warming up. They did not disappoint at all. The only disappointing thing was seeing the crowd thin out by the time they took the stage. Listen up Pittsburgh, don't be such "homers" all the time. Stay for the headlining band. Don't leave after your local band is done. I know it was late and I know it as during the week but suck it up. Seriously, these guys came all the way from Sweden to play for you. It really pisses me off when people leave the show like they did for this one. The great thing though was the band didn't seem to mind and the people who did stay were treated to one amazing show. They played as if they had thousands out there in front of them. They sounded great and played with a ton of energy. The singer was on point and the musicianship was incredible. Hopefully I get another chance to see them when I'm more familiar with the music. Also, the crowd that was there was great. They were into it and it was great to see. Thank you to those fans.
I had a great time and really had a chance to experience a lot of new music. That was my favorite part of the night. I had the opportunity to open my mind. Now, onto the next concert.....