By Matt “Rabit” Martinez, Red Hare Images
2017 had been one hell of a year for Brandon McCarthy and I as we not only attended over 75 concerts over the course of the year, but also many of those concerts consisted of some of the biggest names in metal and hard rock. For starters, we covered Korn and Stone Sour headlining at the Forum, to Ozzfest Meets Knotfest which is the biggest metal festival in America, and all of the smaller shows in between. One of my personal favorite bands which we discovered this year was Davey Suicide. Headlining their Made From Fire tour, Davey Suicide came through Chain Reaction in Anaheim, California near the end of December and they brought with them at this stop Dianthus and Critically Disturbed. These three bands were ready to give an end-of-the-year performance for people to remember.
Starting things off this December night was melodic metal band Dianthus, consisting of twin sisters Jackie Parry with the lead vocals and guitar and Jessica Parry on the drums and backing vocals. Together, these sisters are an up and coming force to be reckoned with. Jackie Parry exudes the perfect front-woman aura as she commands the stage with a fierce voice that demands attention. Harmonizing perfectly with her sister, Jessica Parry keeps the beat with killer drum fills yet never losing a touch of elegance as she whips across her drum set. Joining Dianthus on this set is guitarist London Mckuffey who had a Keith Richards like swagger to his performance and bassist Ronnie Ficarro who could barely be contained by the small space at the Chain, as he flew around the stage. Every band member came together to perform a 5 song set that featured “While We Live” and “Within Hazel Eyes.” Dianthus is gearing up to release their first full-length album later this year and I will be on the lookout for when this drops.
Full Dianthus slideshow below:
Taking the stage next was the metal band Critically Disturbed from Beaumont, California fronted by Craig Woodward Jr. who easily would switch between singing clean vocals and growling when the song called for a heavier tone. Trading off lead and rhythm guitar duties were guitarist Nicolai Fairrington and Aaron Powell. Laying down the low tones was bassist Doug Rakow Jr. and sitting right at the foot of the stage was drummer Damian Navarro who could be seen head-banging at every moment, but never losing the beat. Critically Disturbed played songs from their upcoming debut album, Side Effects of You. Near the end of their set, Woodward made a speech about anti-bullying and suicide prevention proving that metal bands are not all just about brutality. To keep matters interesting, during their final song, Woodward jumped into the audience crowd-surfing all the way to the back of the venue and then to the stage almost colliding with my camera. Keep an eye out for the never mundane yet “Critically Disturbed” as you can catch them playing around Orange County and Los Angeles.
Full Critically Disturbed slideshow below:
Before the headliner was ready to take the stage, we got a sideshow performance from the one and only Dangerous D giving the audience a little taste of what the Dangerous D Shock Show has to offer. Performing feats of the bizarre-like stupidity, D opened his set by breaking multiple meter sticks. Yet of course, this could not be done over the knee like a normal person might do. Bizarrely enough, he proceeded to ferociously break them across his head proving how hard-headed he can be. Following that up, he wanted to show that he has a slim figure by slipping his body through the head of a tennis racket, which at one point could barely slip over his pierced nipples. It would not be unreal to say that one could hear groans from the crowd from outside the building as his final routine involved a classic staple act, inviting people to come up and staple money to him. The higher the bill, the more tender the location he lets you staple. Dangerous D is one of the most fun freak shows I have come across and I highly recommend anyone to seek them out.
Full Dangerous D Slideshow below:
As the crowd eagerly waited for the headliner to hit the stage, I looked around and noticed that I was surrounded by fans wearing shirts displaying the song title “Too Many Freaks” and their freak number. A nod to the lyric, “Too many freaks, not enough circuses, ” is about how we are all freaks but there are not enough outlets that we can call home to our odd habits and interests. The band wanted to prove that no matter where you are, when you are at a Davey Suicide concert you are with family who understands and accepts you.
Finally, it was time for the boys from Unholywood Killafornia to take the stage. Promoting their newest album Made From Fire, which was released earlier that year and the band’s first independent release, we got an hour of the best Davey Suicide had to offer. Lead Singer Davey Suicide went through a few different costume changes throughout the show. One of which was designed as an American flag, styled as a tailcoat during “Kids of America” as if he was Uncle Sam leading the kids on a rebellion against society. Guitarist Niko Gemini was on fire this night, not only slaying the licks of each song but he got a moment to shine with his own guitar-solo where he pulled out some new tricks he learned from Jacky Vincent while touring with Cry Venom. Niko tapped, sweep picked, and got to unleash a flurry of guitar mastery showing he can hang with the best shredders. Playing perfect against Niko’s guitar work is bassist Derek Obscura, who also provides the backing vocals. Supporting the band on this tour and their current European tour, is drummer James Decker who finds himself fitting in perfectly with the guys and his fractured face makeup. They played songs from all three of their albums like “Rise Above,” “World Wide Suicide,” and ended their set with the song that put them on the map “Generation Fuck Star.” Davey Suicide proved they are a band that has the skills to headline a tour.
Full Davey Suicide slideshow below:
All three bands brought their A-game to Chain Reaction that night as this was one of the last concerts of the year for them as well as Brandon and I. Here’s hoping that Davey Suicide gets the chance to headline more of their own tours in 2018. Critically Disturbed and Dianthus were such fantastic supporting acts to this show and were great discoveries in the Los Angeles local scene. With that said, Dangerous D bringing his shocking skills to the stage was a stellar experience to be a part of and a great way to end our 2017 concert-going year.