By Erin Jardine
August 19, 2016
VANCOUVER — The Rickshaw was hot and sweaty at half-past eight as the second band of the evening, WTCHDR, took the stage. The heat affected no one’s energy, as the crowd settled in for a long night of heavy bands. It was a pleasure to see WTCHDR in this opening slot, as their sets usually occur deep into the night, when one is either too drunk or too tired to absorb their set, and for a drunken party band WTCHDR is the tightest. Lead vocalist, Chris Stiles, reminded the definitively thrash metal crowd, “we aren’t really a metal band, but…” Throwing a joke at the blending of hardcore and metal genres. Admittedly, WTCHDR isn’t metal, but they held up against the stacked bill to be a highlight of my night.
Gross Misconduct has made serious rounds in the metal scene since their recent resurgence. The band is loud as hell, delivering abrasive and unique songs. Their set had a dose of new tunes as well, and hopefully an album is in their future. Dave London on guitar and vocals delivers like a true frontman, the tone of the vocals is excruciatingly clear with no hand techniques to distort the microphone. Another heavy player in the band is drummer John Kurucz, adding amazing texture to the onslaught, giving Gross Misconduct an even deeper sound.
Set changes were smooth and fast, as per usual Rickshaw etiquette. This venue is notoriously on time, which makes predicting when bands play very easy. Three-piece outfit Skull Vultures performed a great set. Eli Salmang on guitar is the backbone of this band, and the songs are dominated by his endless soloing.
Nylithia took the stage for a thoroughly warmed up audience, everyone moved to the bouncy riffs.
A valuable addition to their set is vocalist Kyle Scott’s use of triggered samples throughout the set, adding to the progressively more intense set.
Skeletonwitch’s set was a decent length to round off the night. Boasting new singer, Adam Clemens, the band remains firmly rooted within thrash, but Clemens gives off a polished vibe that is not usually seen in the sub-genre. With left handed lead guitarist Scott Hedrick on one side of the stage, and Nate Garnette holding up the other, the visual treat of watching this band play live was not lost on anyone. Never settling on a power chord based riff for too long, the band delivered hard and fast to the eager Vancouver fans who stirred the pit for the entire ride.BC, British Columbia, Gross Misconduct, Nylithia, Rickshaw Theatre, Skeletonwitch, Skull Vultures, WTCHDR