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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Local Tucson bands lead a rocking performance as they open for Takers Leavers

Amanda Mourelatos
Orange County rock band Takers Leavers played at the Edge Bar in Tucson, Arizona with other supporting local artists.

On Sept. 29, local Tucson and Orange County bands made for a wild and rowdy Thursday night at the Edge Bar.

Local Tucson rock/metal bands Nightstand, Headhunt and Friends in Hell opened up for touring Orange County band Takers Leavers, with another Tucson band NVRLESS ending the night. 

Nightstand kicked off the show, coming in hot and heavy.

The band played a couple of songs off their new EP titled “Spruce.” 

Audience members were shy at first, staying seated or standing further away from the stage. As they settled in and got interested with the music, everything loosened up.

When they played their title track, the drummer, Mikey Gallardo, screamed and shocked the audience. As it is, it’s uncommon for the drummer to be a prominent source of vocals, let alone scream vocals.

Cody Holland came to the show to see NVRLESS, but was not disappointed by the opening act.

“I thought the drummer screaming was really cool,” Holland said.

Nightstand also played their songs “This Time of Year,” “Not This Time,” “Endless,” “See You Up There” and “Wake Me Up.” 

During their last song “Wake Me Up,” a tall man with a blonde mohawk began pushing people around and forming the first mosh pit of the night with just a few people.

The young trio Headhunt took the stage afterward.

When audience members saw these three kids walk onto stage, and the lead singer, Jake Rydberg, said they were all in high school, the audience was taken by surprise.

“We’ve been together for about a year and we’re all in high school. Our bassist is a sophomore, our drummer is a senior and I’m a junior,” Rydberg said. 

That surprise grew when Rydberg first opened his mouth and let out one of the nastiest screams ever heard from a teenage metal vocalist. 

The band played a few songs such as “The Exsanguination,” “2 Minutes of Genocide,” “Noctiphany,” “Morbid Conscience,” “Brutal Illusions,” “Killvan,” “Barbaric Blues” and “Bloodlust.”

Victoria Dykeman, who came with Holland to see NVRLESS, was equally surprised and impressed by the first two acts.

“They were stellar. They took the ceiling off this place, and that kid’s [Rydberg] voice is crazy,” Dykeman said. 

The next band onstage was Friends in Hell.

This five-piece group with three contributing vocalists took the energy to the next level.

One of the vocalists, Noah Dwaileebe, had a wooden box that he stood on while singing to create depth on the stage.

One song they played titled “Note on the Door,” a song about suicide and similar topics, was contributed to a friend of Dwaileebe’s that passed away. 

They also played “Get Out of my Face,” “Crooked Smile,” “Time Bomb,” “Life Destroyer,” “Amber,” as well as two covers of “Diamonds Aren’t Forever” by Bring Me The Horizon and “Mistakes Like Fractures” by Knocked Loose. 

In the middle of the show, Dwaileebe got onto the floor and persuaded the crowd to perform a wall of death or a metalhead’s version of Red Rover. When the beat drops, the crowd, once split in two, rushes towards each other to form a mosh pit again.

During “Mistakes Like Fractures,” Dwaileebe got on the floor. “I will be in the mosh pit,” Dwaileebe said.

After the band finished, the crowd chanted, “Friends in Hell, Friends in Hell.”

Takers Leavers then took the stage as the second to last group of the night.

This was the band’s second time performing in Tucson, but guitarist Robby Friend felt this time around was different.

“We saw a different side of Tucson this time around,” Friend said. 

They played their original songs “You and the Violent Tide,” “Fist to Wall,” “M.O.A.B.,” “ACT 1: Quiet / Chaos” and “ACT 3: Breathe / Burn.” 

Throughout the show, lead singer David Baqi made shoutouts to the other performing bands, the bartenders and God. 

At the end of the show, Baqi closed with an appreciative message.

“The youth is moving in the right direction,” Baqi said. 

Finally, NVRLESS took the stage.

As their first home show, the band was very excited.

“Seeing all of our friends and family come out and see us for the first time in our hometown, especially after that tour we went on, was a cool feeling,” Cory Real, the drummer, said.

The crowd filled the room from the edges of the bar and around every table.

The band played songs such as “Gaslight,” “Fake It,” “Watch Me Bleed,” “Alone Tonight,” “Empty,” “Sympathy,” “I’m Not Listening” and a cover of Billie Eilish’s “No Time To Die.” 

The contrast between the two vocalists, Jourdyn Shelby and Kacey Foxx, made the crowd very interactive. Fans were shouting, whistling, singing along and moving arms and bodies to the beat. They created the biggest crowd of the night.

All five bands put on eye-opening shows and left the crowd with a night to remember, even for a Thursday night.

  Follow Amanda Mourelatos on Twitter  

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