By Tim Schumann
Due to the pandemic, everything for me came to a screeching halt in early March and I’m sure I’m not alone in saying this.
For the most part, I’ve sat at home doing my part to stay safe, but a few things have popped up, a couple of graduation shoots as well I shot four protests, make no mistake, I’m gone as soon as the sun sets, rest assured, not a fan of rubber bullets or tear gas, for some, that’s when the fun begins, for me, I’m already home having supper watching the madness on TV.
So when I got wind of a fairly new promotions company doing a live stream event, I was quick to reach out and boy, I’m glad I did, it’s Shameless Entertainment / Glasshaus Records and so far, I can’t find or say one bad thing about them. Its run mainly by Gerardo Mendez and his partner Keith Shameless, both of these gentlemen I’ve had ample time to sit down and speak with and we’re all on the same page when it comes to our support and love for our local music scene here in West Texas, in a nutshell, I feel real good about our newfound friendship and really look forward to doing future shows with Shameless, which quite a few are on deck for next month, next up for me will be another live stream at none other than the Rockhouse Bar and Grill on 4 September, really looking forward to getting back to our premiere concert venue, I love that place.
Now, on to the matter at hand, speaking of venues, this event which was held on 15 August at the Raves Club / Bar and Grill. Personally, I had never heard of it and there’s a good reason why, it’s brand new, it had opened in late February and due to Covid, it closed its doors after just a few weeks, recently has reopened and because of the kitchen can operate at 50%, hence the live streams over the past couple of weeks, again all thanks to Shameless. I really like the place, capacity is 480, fantastic restrooms, friendly waitstaff, excellent bar, just a really clean, great atmosphere. It is geared up for EDM / DJ / Dance Music, really not my cup of tea, I did have the pleasure of meeting the owner Josh who gave me the Dime Tour of the second half of the venue which is nothing more than a 4000 square foot warehouse, plans are to make this portion of Raves into a live music venue, accompanied with professional lighting, massive stage and a Green Room, the goal is to bring national acts that favor Rock and Metal, but construction has yet be started, hopefully they’ll be up and running by next year.
Our show on the 15th consisted of 14 bands and 12 DJs, bands indoors, DJs on the outside patio, show started at 12pm and ran till 2 am and for the most part stayed on time with the expertise guidance of Mr. Markie Gunn, running the show behind the scenes and of course, the relentless staff of Shameless. I had never seen all that goes into a live stream, it’s quite the undertaking.
A handful of DJs had my attention, first on tap was the combination of Frankylicious and Carmoney, you could easily see that these two had been performing together for a minute, just feeding off each other, combining their talents to bring you the absolutely best dance music experience possible. It truly was fun watching these two, looking forward to seeing them again.
Next was Chris Reyes, again a master at his craft, I could have been watching the next Steve Aoki or the next Hardwell, Chris is a man of sheer talent, keeping the crowd on their feet by dropping those massive beats, again, fun to watch and after a brief conversation before his set, I could tell you he’s a man of integrity, an outstanding quality, if I say so myself.
Pretty Baked and Electric Dream also caught my attention, fantastic skillset, commitment and undying talent, there’s no other way to explain it, make no mistake, I was in the company of greatness.
Now, to the inside where the bands were performing, close to 20 to sometimes 40 people were watching the show, social distancing and masks were the order of the day, tables were placed well over 6 feet apart and Hand Sanatizer on every table, safety first.
The stage was set up with box lighting on either end of the stage and umbrella lighting behind a sheer white curtain to defuse the lights. This all reminded me of a studio shoot instead of a live concert, two cameras were set up, one side stage and the other center stage, needless to say, everything was covered.
Local acts such as Counter Play, Arreola, Broken Dime Band, Evan Di La Razor, Abyss Walker featuring Chucky Gomez on percussion and The Damian Issac Band to name a few, but there were a few that really caught my attention, first was Damian Issac, everytime I see these guys and this time makes 3, I become more and more a fan, they are spun a Country/Rock band, but I beg to differ, in my opinion, they are a Rock band peppered with Country, non stop fun and in your face music. I might add, Randy Vega is in this epic line up, a friend for years, he too, I had a set down with before the show, getting his opinion on his place in the band, he seems happy and content, watching him on stage, I couldn’t agree more, I believe he’s found his calling, good for you, young man.
One other band that caused me to lower the camera a take note was Carriers Of The Dead, to my suprise, Josh Rincon on vocals, at that split moment, I knew I was in for a treat.
Truth be told, I have never heard of this band, but after a few songs, I got that feeling the first time I heard Guns and Roses in 87 or the first time I saw Nickelback play to 35 people on a Saturday morning back in 99, you just knew that these guys are going to make it, Carriers of the Dead are a reminder that Metal is still alive and well in the Great State of Texas or better yet, in West Texas.
The band delivered one body shot after another with Josh losing his mind on vocals, I just stood there in awe as I knew I was witnessing something great, looking forward to seeing them play before a live audience, its going to be like someone throwing blood in the water with a school of White Sharks, good luck getting into that circle pit, should be fun.
Last but not least, is Texas Gigantism, straight up maniacs, I’m friends with everyone in the band, have seen them several times, recently culled the heard and George is no longer in the band, both him and Ryan shared vocals, but for personal reasons George has moved on, no worries, Ryan is the captain of the ship now and its full speed ahead, fuck the dumb shit.
Robert killing it on the kit, Nick the Shredder on guitar and my absolutely favorite bass player, Markie Gunn, this cat is so much fun to watch, I love photographing Markie, he puts on quite the show, not to mention, he’s sort of a public figure here in El Paso, extremely popular.
In no time, the boys had burned through their set delivering a punishing onslaught of brutal metal, a set that would kill a normal man, but for the true fan of Texas Metal, it just left you breathless.
All in all, this show was a huge success, a superb show full of focused energy with a huge dose of fun thrown in for good measure. With the powers to be at Shameless, booking more shows via live stream, I’m thankful for these guys providing entertainment during this pandemic which has affected all our lives.
Everyone I spoke to on that day, was so grateful be be back on stage, audience or not, just happy to be out and playing, we have a huge local scene here and it truly warms my heart to see the support we all share, we are all in this together and we’re all taking care of each other.
In closing, thank you Raves Club, thank you Shameless Entertainment, everyone who performed, everyone behind the scenes, all who attended, all who watched at home, you guys are the best and we’ll see you all real soon, again, thank you for your support.
Full Shameless Music Festival Gallery Below: