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Seeker’s Texas Death Metal Destroys Jacksonville

SEEKER – Concert Review

HappyJack is back and hoping all our friends had a great holiday season!

I have been busy pushing hours on my radio shows here in Jacksonville. And truthfully – I have been itching at the chance to see some metal bands. Lately it’s been pop music all around town – and only one rock station…

I got the call for SEEKER, a very powerful, rib-crunching, Texas death metal band whose new album, Unloved was released in late October to great worldwide reviews and found the band dubbed “Best new metal band to watch!” Having heard a sample of their offerings last year, I was excited to see they were coming to Jacksonville.

Victory Records just signed these guys and they are already opening for major acts; bands like White Chapel, Stray from the Path, and Impending Doom.

Remember Z Rock? An old Texas radio station that played only the best music in Metal back in the 80’s and 90’s? I miss those guys, those bands, those days from my youth. A time that was fresh and exciting. Texas has always been a hotbed for good guitarists and musicians. As a big fan of Texas death metal, I was excited to see SEEKER, a band that would deserve Z Rock airtime.

All the members were looking like they were focused on bringing a good show to Jacksonville, and they were very interactive with each other – a well-oiled machine. These guys really seem to gel so well for being together only a few years, and with new members.

Lead Singer Bryce Lucien was great on vocals, with screams louder than Rob Halford of Judas Priest. Bass player Chris Keasler was always jamming, pounding out solid rib-rattling chords throughout. Guitarist Justin Edgerton was strong, too, and offered up finger playing with that distinctive Texas style that had people rocking. The backbone of the band was Dustin Weaver, a maniac percussionist with a mission to conquer everyone in the room.

At this show, held at the old “Imperial Lounge,” now known around Jacksonville as “The Atticus Bar,” the band was an instant hit when the lights went out and they hit the stage. They carried themselves like a major act featuring bombastic sounds that fans hunger for, with catchy riffs, high energy, and screams that metal-heads love to hear.

The metalheads were in complete force, with 6 foot 6 guys wearing combat boots, just waiting for anyone to even act like they had a problem with them being there. Tattoos everywhere and crazy pircings, I saw half dollar wooden coins that the dudes had cut into their earlobes. An interesting crowd; all there to see their favorite new Death Metal Band, SEEKER!

SEEKER - Photo by Leon Jonjock
SEEKER – Photo by Leon Jonjock

They instantly had an active pit that circled the floors all night. Fans swinging their arms as wild and as fierce as they could; anyone in a 12 foot circle would get smashed. The pit was full of hot blooded dudes who were hell bent on pounding someone… anyone. The legs were kicking in the air, in the dark, in the light, all night long; definitely a very high energy crowd.

I had to dodge a few kicks that came my way, and just to be safe, cradled my expensive cameras close to my chest. As each song ended, everyone outside the pit was relieved – for a split second – then the next song started and grabbed you by the throat and demanded your complete attention.

We do not get enough good quality Metal music anymore – most bands sound redundant, and this was a welcome change. SEEKER, new metal Texas Hotshots have the goods and really put on a great show. I left the club very satisfied, with a few cool photos, and a killer new CD to jam to. When I get to practice these songs on my drums, it’s going to be so much fun.

I can’t wait till they come back through in a year or two – one really great show. I got my metal mojo a workin. Now, you need to grab the new CD; and bang your head all day.

Thanks to the band, management, Victory Records and Rarasfarm.com for making this possible.

I’ll be back with another cool concert review and exclusive photo shots soon – right here on RARASFARM.COM – the coolest music site on the planet. Until then, hang in there and stay warm, and grab the headphones!

HappyJack
Jacksonville
92.1FM

Sick Puppies Rock Jacksonville’s Freebird Live Cafe


sick puppies freebird
Sick Puppies at Freebird Live

Sick Puppies Jacksonville Concert Review

I had just finished hosting nine hours on my FM Radio show here in Jacksonville, and was ready for my day off to see Sick Puppies, Indie rockers riding a recent wave of popularity – a band I had heard much about, but one I had never took the time to really listen to.

I grabbed my phone, lined up a photographer and began to plan for the show at the legendary Freebird Live Cafe in Jacksonville Beach.  I did my homework and quickly realized that Sick Puppies has been working the rock music scene for fifteen years. They have a lot of talent and plenty of hit songs. So, this assignment was going to be a fun one, and I was ready to go.

I was impressed by the venue. The first thing you notice is how clean and professionally set up the design is. With an upstairs balcony that allows the fans to watch from above, it really makes it much more accommodating and fun to enjoy, versus a venue with a flat floor.

Sick Puppies at Freebird Live
Sick Puppies at Freebird Live

Back to the show; after the opening bands took their bows, it was time for the headliners. The lights went black and smoke bellowed out unto the excited fans on the floor. Sick Puppies took the stage and were immediately busting loose with a fast uptempo song that had everyone head banging and dancing to the hard-driving tune. No metal, just really cool rock and roll jams that I will be listening to on my MP3 player long into the future.

These cool sounding Australian rockers formed back in 1997. Sick Puppies consists of vocalist and guitarist Shimon Moore, who the crowd immediately adored, with his good looks, happy attitude, and showmanship that other front men only wish they could offer. He was an instant success with the energetic crowd. Moore played his guitar with enthusiasm, but took time not to rush the solo’s, which were very well-received by the fans.

He stopped a few times to chat between songs. With triple duties: singer, lead guitarist and rhythm guitarist; he showed no signs of wear.

The long haired beauty playing bass guitar is Emma Anzai. She had everyone’s eyes, because she commanded the stage like no other female in a long time. With the mounted fans blowing at full speed and her hair swirling, it was hard to take your eyes off the visualization of this captivating musician.

Sick Puppies at Freebird Live
Sick Puppies’ Emma Anzai at Freebird Live

The pulsating beats that she hammered out were mesmerizing to watch and a joy to hear. She played to the fans and they really enjoyed her, seeming down-to-earth and untouchable at the same time.  Stalking the stage, she assured the fans were getting complete access to her, which was refreshing to see from a veteran musician. And her perfect on-time bass playing just added to the experience.

Drummer Mark Goodwin, was the backbone of this trio with thunder-drums and pounding excellence that you typically only see in the studios. One thing I realized watching and listening to this show – They could have recorded the next live CD right there at Freebird’s – they sounded like they just came from the studio.

These guys are professionals at what they do. After enough concerts, reviews and shows I’ve been to, I respect seeing a professional band that will always be remembered for how good they really are – without engineers changing the sounds or producers taking over the controls on the soundboard to make the band sound better than they actually are. Sick Puppies is one of those rare gems. No need for any adjustments; they have their sound and act down pat!

That’s why they have pushed through with popular rock hits for years, offering up jams that really are hits and great songs for over 15 years now, and still rocking like it was their first tour. This trio is a can’t miss act who I’ll be catching any time they return to town, and highly recommend that you do the same.

I also appreciated that they gave many fans an opportunity to meet them after the show, and impressed by Moore’s humility, something rarely seen in this world of rock and roll. Thanks to Sick Puppies for a great show and for showing love to the Florida fans who flocked to Freebird Live to see you. At this point, I will put this show down as the best of 2013 and I have witnessed a lot this year in my hometown (Skynyrd’s hometown) of Jacksonville.

Freebird Live was an ideal venue for the show. The club is owned by the the wife of the late Ronnie Van Zant (lead singer of Lynyrd Skynyrd).  If you ever get to Jacksonville, get down to the beach and check out Freebird Live Cafe; you’ll be glad you did. It has a nice historical context, as well. You’ll see rare memorabilia from the Lynyrd Skynyrd family – Gold and Platinum albums everywhere; guitars adorning the walls , and many memories for the hometown locals are shared throughout. I highly recommend everyone to visit  this venue and witness some rock history – the atmosphere is overwhelming! 

Another review for another cool band coming soon – right here at Rarasfarm.com – save us as a favorite on your toolbar.

I’ll be back!

HappyJack
92.1 FM
Jacksonville Florida