Kylesa is not a band I normally listen to, nor even like exceptionally well. What they are though, is a metal band and seeing metal live is one of my biggest joys and not something I get to experience a lot, so when I was planning out my schedule of shows for the semester, Kylesa was one of the first tickets I bought simply because if all else failed, it would be a guaranteed great live show.
There were four bands on the tab, and the first was a sweet local band that was more punk than anything really. Sadly, no one was really there to see them and it felt like there were maybe 15 people in the entire club for their set. To make up for that fact I stood close to the stage and got into their tunes, hopefully making them feel a little better about themselves. It was all really classic punk and definitely good considering the kids seemed to be my age or younger.
The second band clearly had roots in the 80’s style of metal that was very grandiose and loud. Enjoyable to listen to again, at least this time there were more people there to watch so I felt less obligated to get into the music. It was all solid fun, and I head banged the best I could even with my short hair.
Next, the third band strayed a little further from metal than I anticipated and had someone playing electro synth with an electronic drummer accompanying as well. It wasn’t an electric drum set but it was a box that made electronic sounding drums. It was a unique performance for sure and they drew out even more fans (which really only added about five more people) that actually knew the band and were singing along. By this time I was finally remembering what to do at a metal show and was rocking out fairly hard.
Kylesa came on and the first thing I noticed that really impressed me was with how loud it was. Yes I was standing right next to one of the speakers so obviously my bones rattled a bit from the vibrations from the speaker. My shoe came untied at one point so as I reached down to tie it up, the volume got incredibly louder just from putting my ears on the same level as the speaker. My stomach started to physically hurt from the volume but of course, I wasn’t about to move from hanging right on the stage. This was the closest I had ever been to such a big name and it was weirding me out that no one was there really. This was only my second time in the 40 Watt and seeing it so empty was cool, but also a little disheartening.
The band didn’t care though and rocked out and head banged their way through their set like they were playing a whole stadium. The few fans there were passionate and the intimacy of the show was very high due to how little amount of people were there. The one thing I was disappointed about was the lack of moshing but Kyelsa’s music almost seemed like too beautiful of metal to really mosh, not to mention with so few people, there didn’t seem to be too many people interested in banging bodies. Plus most of the people there were on the older side of hipster age so knocking into them would either end with them being furious or me on the ground due to their hidden hipster strength. I accepted the fact peacefully though and made sure I head banged a little harder to make up for the lack of violence. It was a fun little show that really set the stage for the lineup I had coming my way in the next month.