4/05/2016 Goodwill - Winnipeg, MB
4/06/2016 Exchange - Regina, SK
4/07/2016 Skylite - Edmonton, AB
4/08/2016 Dickens - Calgary, AB
4/09/2016 Rickshaw Theatre - Vancouver, BC
4/11/2016 Crocodile - Seattle, WA
4/12/2016 Hawthorne Theatre - Portland, OR
4/13/2016 Bottom Of The Hill - San Francisco, CA
I was standing right up front and was instantly mesmerized by guitarist Chris Letchford. He was right in front of me with that sparkly green guitar. I could seriously reach and and touch him if I wanted to. It took every ounce of me to peel my eyes off of him and shift my focus to one of the other amazing musicians on that stage. There were so many things to watch. I could watch Chris as he did all of his sweeping guitar riffs flawlessly or I could turn my attention to drummer Pat Skeffington as he played complex rhythms with ease. I could watch bassist Mark Michell on his signature 6 string bass with the lights on the fretboard or I could completely get lost while watching Travis Levrier doing some extreme tapping guitar playing.
Like any other instrumental show, I couldn't tell you what songs these guys played. The song titles were being shown on the screen behind them along with images that went along with the music, but I was too close to the stage to actually read them. I couldn't even tell you how many songs they played because honestly, when there's no singer and no microphone, I have no way to distinguish where one song starts and one ends other than by when the crowd claps. Even then, I was too much in awe and too focused on the musicians to give a damn what the crowd was going... wow, I never thought I'd say that.
As you know, I'm all about the crowd. I love getting stuck in the middle of a good old mosh pit. I absolutely love watching the people different people do different things in the pit whether it's hardcore dancing, pushing/ shoving, hell, even doing flips and crap. There was none of that last night. The crowd truly didn't move much at all. I always say that this is one of the reasons why I hate instrumental shows. It leaves me with next to nothing to watch and next to nothing to do. Last night, it really didn't phase me. I had no interest in what the crowd was doing. I only cared about the amazing musicians that were within an arm's length of me.
Although the band members weren't jumping around or anything too extreme, you could feel the pure joy that they were feeling as they played. They truly seemed to be enjoying what they were doing and, even though the music was mind-numbingly difficult, they still managed to smile at each other. Even though their set was more than clean-- really, I don't think any of them missed a single note-- they didn't seem stiff like some other instrumental bands I have seen.
Headlining the night was Intronaut, a progressive metal band from Los Angeles, CA. These guys are currently on tour to promote their newest release The Direction of Last Things which came out last November on Century Media. These guys were different from Scale The Summit because they had vocals but the amount of talent stayed at the same amazing level that Scale the Summit had hit.
It is hard to call Intronaut just a progressive metal band. They take a lot of aspects of sludge/ doom metal and mix it with vocals that sounds like something The Deftones would put out. It's rare to see a band with such heavy instrumentation yet clean vocals and that's what sets these guys apart from the rest. Since Sacha Dunable may have a voice that sounds like a few other not quite metal voices but it is still nothing short of distinctive and amazing.
Opening the show was the straight up sludge metal group North from Tucson, AZ. These guys were a great addition to the line-up as they were the perfect "in-between" for the two other touring acts.
Scale The Summit at Skyway Theatre, Minneapolis (04 April 2016)