Great Electric Quest, Red Witch Johnny and more at Blue Note Lounge (2018)
Blue Note Lounge (Oklahoma City, OK, USA)
Great Electric Quest, Red Witch Johnny, Crobone
October 9, 2018
GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST brought their tour to Oklahoma City's Blue Note Lounge on a Tuesday night, dodging early fall tornadoes and overall wet conditions for the potential to rock our faces off. And they did so, and did so unquestionably well.
The Blue Note Lounge is one of two venues in the OKC metro area that caters to these road warrior bands, with 89th St. Collective being the other. Both venues take the similar approach of welcoming these bands in like family, treating them and their fans well and presenting fantastic, memorable nights of music. Both venues have great sound, super lines of sight, a friendly atmosphere, and do an outstanding job booking great bands. Unfortunately, both venues also have just adequate, bare bones lighting. But yeah, that's my only complaint, and that mostly comes from my desire to capture the moment in photographs.
As is the norm, local bands are the eager recipients of opening slots on these tours. And again, with appreciation to the those booking the talent, it's amazing how much quality Metal talent is developing in and around the metro areas of Oklahoma. Simply put, there are some great bands here, and each time one of these national touring bands make their way through I get to discover one that's new to me.
On his night, that band was CROBONE. Calling OKC home, the band is a trio featuring Michael Hamilton on guitar and vocals, Sherman Haynes on drums and vocals and the absolutely crazed Walter McLennan on bass and vocals. Self described as "Caveman Party Rock", these fellas made the most of their allotted time slinging out songs from their recent self titled release available on Bandcamp. They have an interesting approach in that each member takes lead vocals, and does so quite impressively. I've since picked up a copy of their release, and have enjoyed it quite a bit. These guys are definitely on to something.
Next on the bill were REDWITCH JOHNNY with another impressive set. These guys opened most recently for DESTROYER OF LIGHT, and continue to really impress me. The fact that they keep getting the opportunity to open for these bands speaks volumes, and indicates that they're on the cusp themselves.
Also a trio, the band features Kevin Kimble on guitar and vocals, Michael Kimble on guitar, organ and vocals and David Hale on the drums. Their sound is original, and unique considering the lack of bass. Between the Kimble brother's guitars weaving in and out of each other, the creative approach of the organ, and Hale's steady percussion approach, you really don't miss the bass one bit. With a new album in the works, they continue to "road test songs", and it's something to see these tracks develop. Their upcoming album is easily one of my most eagerly anticipated.
GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST are the epitome of all things great in Metal these days. Though they often get lumped into the "Doom" scene, but that really doesn't do them justice. Not that there's a damn thing wrong with "Doom", but I just don't find anything "doomish" happening here. Rather, they're best described as a hardworking Classic Metal band that has enough epicness happening thematically and lyrically to appeal to the Stoner scene. Whatever you want to call it, they flat out rock, and rock hard.
Playing a late night Tuesday highlighted by sketchy Oklahoma weather, the band gave it their full effort. I fully expect these guys would give it a full 100% whether they were playing to 1000 screaming fans or 10 appreciative fans, that's just how and who these guys are. Vocalist "Tyler T-Sweat Dingvell" led bandmates, guitarist Buddy Donner, Daniel "MuchoDrums" Velasco, and bassist Jared Bliss through a blazing rendition of their recent release "Chapter II: Of EARTH" in its entirety. Not that their weren't hurdles to overcome. Donner had to play the majority of the set on a loner guitar after snapping a string during the first song of the set. Fortunately, openers CROBONE came to the rescue, offering up Hamilton's Epiphone Firebird without hesitation. "Chapter II: Of Earth is a fabulous album that was reviewed earlier this year by yours truly. http://www.metal-temple.com/site/catalogues/entry/reviews/cd_3/g_2/great-electric-quest.htm
An epic tale, it touches on Egyptian deities, aliens, temptresses, a caveman and a dealer of fate. And most importantly, it rocks.
Closing out the night, guitarist Sam Hayes of the Nebraska band GALLIVANT joined the stage for a blazing JUDAS PRIEST cover. It was a pretty perfect night made all the better at every turn. Every one of these bands are comprised by great people. They're real, genuine down to Earth guys each and every one. I walked away from this evening feeling like I spent an evening with friends rather than just some bands on stage. There's a camaraderie that's present, like few you'll find in other genres of music, and it makes me really thankful that I get to do what I do here.