MOAB Show Report From Frederick, MD
A few weeks ago on a Friday night, I had the chance to get out and check out Frederick, MD's only decent metal venue and see MOAB, who I had wanted to see in a more intimate setting since witnessing them open for Anthrax. Also playing that night were DBauchery and Admiral Browning.
First, let me touch on the local Frederick, Maryland scene. Years ago when my brother was in a band, there were several places scattered around Frederick that would host heavy metal bands. These days, the Braddock Inn seems to be the only place that has regularly hosted metal bands. They have a show just about every Friday, in fact. The inn or tavern appears to be little more than a large old house on the outside, but in the lower level, it has a bar, restaurant and pool area. The band's "stage" sits actually a little lower than the seating area and the open space directly in front of them, while the pool area is behind them and anouther couple of steps down. The place could probably hold a hundred people or so if they were packed in tight and in the pool area behind the band. View of the band from the bar is mostly obstructed by a large stone fireplace, which creates a cozy atmosphere toward the back of the large room. Overall, it's a nice place to hear new music and maybe sit down while doing it. It's not a great place to mosh though.
I was under the impression that MOAB were up first, which I was happy about because I was dead tired that night. However, Dbauchery took the floor first. Dbauchery are a female fronted alternative rock band, for lack of a better label. Their sound is not what I would usually listen to, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. Their set was 30 or 40 minutes of rock with elements of funk. The vocals and guitar work stood out to me the most. The vocals were good - usually soft, but well sung and sometimes screamed a little louder and rougher. The guitars were usually simply fitting, but shined on several occasions during solos.
MOAB was up next. I'd really come out just to see them, and they put on a great show. They played another 30-40 minute or so set and sounded nearly flawless. By the second song the levels of all the instruments and vocals was pretty good, as opposed to their show at Jaxx where the vocals seemed a little too loud. Otherwise, they played a lot of the same material, much of which I now recognize after listening to their demo and seeing them play live for the second time. All of the things I enjoy in good metal were present - good riffs and solos, well-timed tempo changes, and plenty of aggression. Their set sounded perfect that night with the exception of their Pantera cover of "Mouth For War," which seemed out of sync this time (they did a much better job on it when I saw them previously at Jaxx). But overall it was a great show and I got what I came out for that night and even got to meet the band members in the process.
MOAB's set ended after midnight and they were talking up Admiral Browning as well, who are apparently an intrumental band. But as I said, I was dead tired and just couldn't keep my eyes - with dry contacts - open any longer.
It was great to get out and see that this town with practically nothing to do has a metal scene. It was even better to not have to drive an hour or more to see a show. In the past month I've been surprised by how many bands whose names I know are from Maryland or the tri-state area and I hadn't realized it. Do yourself a favor and check out your local scene and bands no matter where you live. That's where the underground starts, and there are always gems to be found in the rough. I, for one, will be going to a few more local shows and reporting on such bands in the future.
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