I recently was able to check out The Showdown & Still Remains along with The Acacia Strain and Shadows Fall in Johnson City, NY. I was pretty happy about it because I liked all of the bands and secondly, the venue is only 20 minutes from my house. Many of you probably don’t find that odd, but normally I drive well over an hour to get to any show of interest. Usually it’s 2 or more hours. Needless to say, it was bound to be a good night, regardless that there was a snow storm going on and that we arrrived an hour earlier than needed due to a misprint on the venue’s tickets. After a long wait the Showdown finally took to the stage. As the openers I assumed they wouldn’t have as good of sound as Shadow’s Fall from the sound guys, but what they got was ridiculous. The mix was horrible and the vocals weren’t loud enough. You almost had to strain to pick out the guitar parts as well. The band sounded tight and the vocals were mostly dead on as usual despite the sound issues. Many people might be surprised that David can actually sing as well as on the album. The band played mostly new tracks, but threw in some olders ones for good measure. They played “A Monument Encased In Ashes”, “Hell Can’t Stop Us Now”, and “Iscariot”. It was pretty sweet that in the midst of one of the older tracks, I believe it was “Iscariot”, the band broke into some classic metal riffs from Metallica, Pantera, and more, before heading back into the original song. They played the expected new songs “Temptation Come My Way”, “Head Down”, “We Die Young”, “Fanatics & Whores”, “I, Victim”, and “Breath Of The Swamp”. Regardless of sound and the fact that most people didn’t know who they were, they definitely won over some fans. They’re one of the more entertaining acts out there and they didn’t let down with the new material!
After an intense set from The Acacia Strain, I was happy to see Still Remains again. It had been 2 years since I’d see them and I was pumped. I knew they’d be showcasing new material from one of my top awaited releases “The Serpent” as well. Well once again I was disappointed by the sound guys. The vocals were off for over half of the set and could only be heard through the monitors and possibly the speakers on stage left. It was beyond horrible and really ruined it for the band. So it’s kind of hard to do a review for them but I’ll do my best. They played “To Live And Die By Fire”, “The Worst Is Yet To Come”, “White Walls”, and “Bliss” (I think) and a few more that I can’t remember. They played four or five new ones as well. The new songs are seriously more of everything. They are faster, heavier, more melodic, better written, include more singing, and plenty more keyboard, and a bit darker. They made me wish I had the album already, but unfortunately I still have to wait a few more months.
Even though both of the bands suffered from horrible sound guys the concert was enjoyable and I was able to hear what the songs could sound like. I highly recommend checking out both of these bands on tours if you can. They will not disappoint, even if the sound technicians do.