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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Review: Act of Defiance’s show at The Rock kind of put the “meh” in metal

    Tom Price

    Act of Defiance guitarist Chris Broderick strums out a solo as five men with handheld vaporizers surround him and simulate a smoke machine at The Rock on Friday, Dec. 4. 

    I am not a heavy rocker. I do not scream and head bang, or even really fist pump. Needless to say, I was the odd one out at metal group Act of Defiance’s show at The Rock last night. I did not have the long hair to thrash back and forth, nor did my ears have the tolerance necessary to make it out of the night without feeling like firetrucks were in my head. But hey, I wore a leather jacket. As a rookie, this show left quite the impression on me.

    Act of Defiance is a relatively new band with very experienced members. Two of the four musicians are from the legendary — or so I am told — metal band, Megadeth. It was very obvious they were comfortable on stage, as they posed when cameras came up and set a very hardcore scene.

    The energy of the show was incredible and like nothing I have experienced at a rock show. Unfortunately, there were not that many people at The Rock to experience it and develop it into something that could have been the complete metal show experience.

    The lack of audience members seemed to diminish the show, at least for me. A few people – who fit the scene much more than I did —were obviously having a great time as they screamed and thrashed around in a way this brand of music typically instigates. But there were only a few and most everyone else stood relatively still.

    Despite the lack of return, Act of Defiance continued to put out amazing energy that was both exciting and sometimes a little scary. Lead singer, Henry Derek, would make eye contact — very, very intense eye contact — while screaming who knows what into the mic. Again, it could be my inexperience, but it made me pretty uncomfortable and I think that was the idea.

    But there was more to this loud night out than just the atmosphere. The music itself was, what seems to me, pretty typical extreme metal. This isn’t to say that there was a lack of musicality, though, as it was clear that each of them have some serious chops.

    Lead guitar player, Chris Broderick, had several guitar-shredding solos that made a very predominant vein on his arm stick out. His technical skills were impressive, particularly when he was faced with random distractions that would make soloing difficult for anyone. At one point, people were throwing mini-beach balls at him — for no apparent reason, may I add — but he was able to shred on.

    The drummer was also impressive simply because of his sheer willingness to keep up with the fast-paced demands of the heavy metal band. I was impressed by the band members’ ability to play together at such an intense tempo and still maintain a steady beat.

    My only gripe is the monotony of their setlist. I definitely would have appreciated some degree of variety in their music — the tunes were pretty redundant, which disappointed me throughout the entire show.

    I left The Rock, ears ringing, feeling both satisfied with this new experience under my belt and disappointed by the few missing details that would have created a much more entertaining show. It did not turn me into a bad ass head banger, but did give me a deeper appreciation of metal music as an art form.

    Act of Defiance’s show was exciting to say the least, but I was a little less impressed than I was hoping for. The fact that the crowd was pretty lousy, my ears physically hurt,and the song list remained stagnant left me feeling pretty cold about the night. Though I will say that, as far as metal bands go, Act of Defiance definitely had its act together and knew how to put on a hardcore show.

    Follow Thea Van Gorp on Twitter.

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