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> The Sword, Lincoln Theater, Raleigh NC
JVM
post May 22 2008, 10:46 PM
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Ladies and Gentlemen, on tuesday may the twentieth, I saw an amazing show. Riding into the city of Raleigh amongst such bad weather as (literally) tornadoes, two inch hail and a general pouring thunderstorm, I came to the Lincoln Theater to see none other than The Sword.

The Lincoln Theater is a pretty nice venue, theres room for maybe 100 people on the floor and another hundred in the rest of the building (which is kind of stands and a bar). The stage gave them plenty of room to move around and do whatever they wanted. I was right up next to the stage in what would later turn into the mosh pit. Great view, great sound and good moshin'!

Stinking Lizaveta

Kicking off the show was an act that left me wondering if the sword could top it, a band hailing from Philly called Stinking Lizaveta. Beginning their set the guitar player came out and played this 30 second or so long trippy effect-laden intro part that was more rhythm than melody, but I was still impressed. If I hadn't already bought an awesome Sword shirt at the show I would have gotten their CD afterwards. From my research they have five out, I would encourage you to check out this band if you can!

They were an instrumental group with this crazy guitar player that did all kinds of heavy riffing and kick ass soloing, and the bass player (on standup electric bass!) was amazing as well, once solo-dueling the guitarist. Awesome stuff, great way to start off a show! He played a mesa and a les paul studio, I couldn't tell what his amp head was but after he was done I shook his hand and asked him. He has a very similar setup to me, I just wish I had his chops!

During the show he passed the guitar to my friend graham and let him play while he went up to his pedalboard and messed with some whammy and wah effects, which was pretty cool. Graham then passed the guitar to this other guy in the crowd who proceeded to shred things up with a pretty nice solo before handing it back to the guy and then disappearing back up to the bar biggrin.gif

The Torch

Next came a North Carolina local band called The Torch. I was pumped to see these guys because this huge guy from in the crowd told me they were really heavy and good. After Stinking Lizaveta was done, their gear was taken off stage and revealed behind it Torch's gear, kind of like an onion being peeled, and I got a glimpse of the Sword's gear. Torch had two guitar players, one with a marshall and one with an orange stack. So they looked pretty promising. However, once they got going they weren't really that impressive. Their songs sounded more like the product of a jam than a studio session and without any real soloing or audible vocals things dragged on. They weren't even nearly as heavy as I was expecting after the big guy in the crowd had built up my expectations for them.

What qualified as their lead guitar player was this short stocky guy who kept coming up to the edge of the stage to show off his skeelz that weren't really that impressive (if it were me I would reserve that for awesome riffing or soloing to be shown off, neither of which he had so it seemed more like a stage gimmick to me). Then, his amp (a marshall jcm 800) seemed to have some issues several times during the show and would just make this huge buzzing sound. To give the guy some credit, through his obvious frustration he worked with it and they did jam a song where he made kind of a not-really riff (you couldn't make out distinct notes since there was so much feedback and buzz, but he made it rhythmic) and the rest of the band joined him and turned it into something decent but that went on too long without going anywhere.

He also tried passing his guitar into the crowd, except by rubbing the strings on peoples shoulders. Also, the spot at which he came up to the edge of the stage was right in front of me, which was a little awkward because his crotch was basically five feet from my face, and his headbanging made it so that his long sweaty hair would touch me when it came down (eww) so I just headbanged to it, partially to get my face out of his crotch and partially to avoid the hair through good timing! Overall they weren't the worst band, but with technical issues, not-so-good stage presence and going on too long, as well as just being way too loud and badly mixed, it wasn't much of a live show. Maybe their album would be better, I might check it out if I run into it.

The Sword

Finally after a fairly long set from the Torch, The Sword came out. Their gear made me drool even more than before. The Sword has two guitar players and their gear was pretty sweet. Kyle:

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..had a sick combo of two heads chained together each on a 4x12. An orange and to my somewhat suprise, a laney! His sound was by far the best of the night, and he was also the better guitar player in the band. His tone was incredible though!

J.D.:

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.. had a similar setup but with a marshall replacing Kyle's laney. As I said, I preferred Kyle's tone, but his was pretty awesome as well. I noticed that J.D. was using a metal muff in his pedalboard as well, which just reaffirms the metal muffs almighty majesty among all heavy distortion pedals!

Their mix was very good, you could hear everything clearly except the vocals which were a little buried but still understandable. I've never been extremely keen on the Swords vocals, but thats okay for J.D. because even if Kyle is a better guitar player than him, from what I understand, he writes a lot of the riffs and most of the lyrics, so his place in the band is forever ensured (plus, well, it's his band!) biggrin.gif

However, I came for the riffing. And man, did I get some riffing! The tone absolutely crushed me, and my face melted several times even as I tried in vain to collect it in a jar from off the floor! They started off with Iron Swan, which of course is what we were hoping for. They played a good 10 or 12 or so songs including the encore and extended a few of them for a stage length of around an hour and a half. Even today, two days later my neck is sore from all the headbanging. They played stuff from their first and the new album, both sounded equally great live! Everything was played flawlessly. I couldn't get a good look at the bass player due to my position but he kept up as well, and the drumming was great, lots of cool little fills everywhere.

I came not knowing entirely what to expect, but I left having been exposed to a great band I'd never heard of before and knowing that the Sword put on an awesome live show! Go see them if they come close to you! Sorry for the bad pictures, you know how it is with phone cameras.



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Hisham Al-Sanea
post May 22 2008, 11:06 PM
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cool nice pictures


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fatb0t
post May 23 2008, 05:50 AM
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bad ass dude, I love The Sword - their new CD rocks!
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JVM
post May 24 2008, 07:32 PM
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QUOTE (fatb0t @ May 23 2008, 12:50 AM) *
bad ass dude, I love The Sword - their new CD rocks!


Indeed it does, and it carried over very well live!


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Toni Suominen
post May 25 2008, 10:33 AM
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I had to check out their myspace site after this review, they are a cool band! smile.gif


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Trond Vold
post May 25 2008, 09:17 PM
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Nice review smile.gif Never heard of any of these bands though, but will investigate them smile.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post May 27 2008, 11:40 AM
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That's a great review man. It should be a template or something. Great stuff smile.gif


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