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2 Sides 2 Die Plays Acoustic Set In Frederick, MD Hot Topic

Photo of 2 Sides 2 Die

Band Photo: 2 Sides 2 Die (?)

The other week I made a trip out to the local Frederick, Maryland Hot Topic to check out the three-piece grunge metal band 2 Sides 2 Die, who had announced they would be traveling from Pennsylvania to play an acoustic set there on a Thursday evening. It had been a couple years since I first caught 2 Sides 2 Die live, but I was also curious about the arrangement that Hot Topic had going on.

It's pretty cool of Hot Topic to allow unsigned/underground bands to come in and play. Having such a performance on a Thursday evening is probably intentional, but unfortunate. Hot Topic wouldn't want the band taking up too much space on crowded shopping day. But conversely, there is not much walk-in traffic to witness the bands' performance on a Thursday. So who does this arrangement really benefit? If the band brings a significant number of fans, it benefits the store, but with the walk-in traffic so low on a Thursday, it's really up to the band to promote the appearance to make it worthwhile to them.

Approaching the store, I could barely hear the music from the outside. As I ventured inside, I could hear the band playing their acoustic set. Not every style of music will work well acoustically, but 2 Sides 2 Die's style of grunge metal, with parts reminiscient of Nirvana or Alice in Chains, worked exceptionally well. The most surprising thing was seeing drummer Thomas King with a pair of bongos between his knees. Despite a few missteps, it was impressive to see and hear his performance. I learned from talking to singer Zack Burkett during their break that he had to re-learn the songs on the bongos in a week, as the band had been told a week prior that they could not bring the full drum set to play with brushes, as planned.

The setup and performance had the feel of a street performance in some ways, but again, without all the walk by traffic. Overall, 2 Sides 2 Die sounded good playing acoustically, during both their slower and heavier songs, and they could take this kind of performance anywhere. A few of the songs I actually preferred acoustically, in fact. I shot a video of one of the songs on my camera, which you can check out below (apologies for the shaky hand/cam - I don't think I'd use this camera for video again).

You can check out more of the band's music on their MySpace page or check them out live at the following location:

Oct 17 2009 12:00P - Bunker Hill Antiques (All Day Event) Bunker Hill, West Virginia

deathbringer's avatar

A self-described "metal geek," Doug Gibson has been listening to heavy metal for more than twenty years and designed and coded Metal Underground.com from scratch over ten years ago.

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