Truckfighters And The Midnight Ghost Train In NOLA; Video Available
Band Photo: Ryan Mckern (?)
This was going to be a special show; you could feel it in the air. The lineup was great, but there was something else lingering that later took everyone by surprise; and it wasn’t the new drink called the Just Say Yes. They wouldn’t tell you what was in it, but you should just say yes to having one. Anyway, the music kicked off and patrons wandered in. I filmed Midnight Ghost Train’s set which you can see below.
To open up the show, Ryan McKern of The Guilt Of.., Fever, Aphelion, and many more projects, performed a solo set of dark acoustic blues with some harsher electric blues songs with metal growls. The sad, even-temepered sound hung a black curtain over the bar, but didn’t dim the light mood as people walked slowly to the edge of the stage, watching. Just when they thought they were safe, he screamed a blackened growl, surprised them, and shook their sense of balance. His set consisted of “A Lovely Sort of Death,” “The Mortician’s Wife,” “St. Roch,” and “Welcome to the Funeral.”
Endall took the stage second; they’ve been working for a couple months on reworking their sound. The result was a heavy onslaught of southern-covered doom riffs and experimental time signatures from guitarist James Black and aggressive dual vocals by James and bassist Bryan Civello. It’s wasn’t just straight-up metal either, they included different elements to add to this new feeling. For example, one song included a twangy interlude followed by CB radio style ranting similar to songs like Faith No More’s “RV.” Endall dived deeper into their abilities as musicians and song writers with this new material, offering a bit of diversity into our already healthy metal scene.
The band that never stops touring, The Midnight Ghost Train began their set with the ritual they haven’t performed in a while, and my favorite part of their show. With a heavy stomp beat vocalist and guitarist Steve Moss asked in his best preacher voice, “Who’s that writing?” as bassist David Kimmell and drummer Brandon Burghart responded, “John the Revelator.” Immediately, the powerful trio launched into “Henry.” Steve guitar tone’s erupted in a heavy tone as he utilized the Wah pedal distortion like a madman. The crowd cheered after each song like “Set Me Down,” “…and it’s fading,” “Spacefaze,” and “Foxhole;” all heavily blues influenced and incredibly soulful. Aside from a flawless set of music, the most memorable part of this show was Steve telling us all his love for New Orleans, and then explaining his other love, long time girlfriend Megan, who he invited onstage. A Tom Waits song began to play over the P.A. He hugged and kissed her and whispered to her off of the microphone. He dropped down to one knee and as she covered her mouth with her hands, he asked her to marry him. In a roar of cheers from the crowd, she jumped into his arms as he stood and they embraced for minutes smiling and kissing. She said yes. After the jubilation, Midnight Ghost Train ended their set with a old favorite called “Woman of Hate.”
All the way from Sweden, Truckfighters took the stage last. At this point in the show, the whole crowd moved to the front of the stage, eager for more music. I was wondering how the energy level could be sustained or even toped after the last performance, but these guys did just that. A long, swelling guitar note by Dango started things off. Synchronized jumps after strummed power chords were being executed like you’d see at an AC/DC concert. Bass player/vocalist Ozo and Dango quickly alternated sides of the stage to get the get a reaction from the crowd watching so intently. It was like an arena rock show in a bar room setting. Even the drummer Pezo got in on the crowd reaction game by turning the amp feedback up, then down to silence, as the crowd got louder in return. Catchy riffs and singing comparable to Thin Lizzy or Boston made for very memorable and intricate songs.
It was a successful night all around; each band played a great set, Steve acquired a fiancée, and some audience members got a show they won’t soon forget.
Emily is an avid supporter of the New Orleans scene, often filming shows and conducting interviews with local bands to help promote their music. She also runs her own site dedicated to the New Orleans scene, Crescent City Chaos.
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