For the longest while I’ve felt like the Baltimore music scene was derailing just a tad due to lackluster attendance and bands that played it too safe with commercial clichés & little emphasis on rock star decadence.
I was blown away when I stepped inside the front door of The Sidebar on this night because 3 of the 4 bands on the bill were locals and the local acts brought just as many fans as the national act!
Sonic Creeps were onstage when I arrived and their show/music is 100% derivative of Michael Grave’s era Misfits. What caught my attention from the moment I walked in was their high energy show which actually brought out a new, young audience to the local club scene!
Sonic Creeps sounded good, they brought something new to the Maryland scene & this was the first time in a long while that I saw a local band and was actually excited by what I saw because their performance was as theatrical as it could be for a small club.
JJ Damage was next & this 3 piece psychobilly act sounded good but they couldn’t compete with the energy of Sonic Creeps.
Pain! were co-headlining with Koffin Kats and they played a solid set which sounded great despite some guitar issues which eventually caused the band to go from 2 guitarists to 1 by the end of their set.
Pain! have changed over the years and their stage show has developed to a point where they look more horror punk than before with their onstage makeup...Misfits & Samhain are clearly bands that influenced Pain! heavily.
Koffin Kats were the nights headliner and in all honesty a good chunk of the crowd had filtered to the back where the opening acts were selling their merch by the time the Kats took the stage. Koffin Kats had a large crowd up front but the local openers had larger crowds up front which showed the amount of support the newer acts had on this night.
Koffin Kats sounded amazing and they played a long set which included a cover of “Man Eater” by Hall & Oats!
Koffin Kats blend punk, hard rock & Rockabilly in a way that makes their sound and style palatable to both the underground & the mainstream and part of the bands draw is their personable appeal both on & offstage. K. Kats clearly love what they are doing and they pour their heart & soul into every note they play onstage and that’s what makes them such a great band to see live!