GIG REVIEW: Periphery, Sikth, Chon & Toothgrinder Live at Dallas, TX
I will always remember the first time I heard Periphery for the first time. It was the music video for “Icarus Lives” and it completely blew me away. That was five years ago and since then, I have seen this band put out consistently good records while still experimenting with their sound and pushing the boundaries of progressive metal to new frontiers. Sunday, August 7th was my opportunity to watch them live for the first time and see for myself how the band was on stage. I went along with a group of my local metal friends and it wasn’t long before I found myself in the familiar halls of House of Blues in the heart of Dallas, TX.
The first act to start the evening was Toothgrinder. Having already seen them before with Killswitch Engage , I knew about this band and it’s power. I had met them outside the venue after the show as well and had a chat about life on the road. These chaps are very serious about the music they put out and their passion out-pours in their live show. The songs were a very interesting hybrid of metalcore and progressive metal with some ambient influences. The vocal delivery and guitar work was strong as ever, but it’s the drummer that stood out for me. I have a feeling that this band is going to go far ahead.
Next to grace the stage were CHON. I had heard about them from a few people I knew but I never really paused to listen to them. Their sound is very clean, almost pristine but their skills are at par with the best in the business. I was reminded of Animals As Leadersin how they arranged their songs. For a instrumental only band, they have phrased their songs very well, mixing many styles. The vibe on the stage was very chill until it erupted into a moshpit – the most happiest I’ve ever seen. You have got to check out this band. They are the needle in the haystack, and one band I can come back to anytime, anywhere.
My excitement grew more intense, as I waited for Sikth to take the stage. I had previously seen them headline BIG 69 in Mumbai in 2015 and it was one of the most powerful concerts I’ve ever seen. “Flogging The Horses” was my anthem at one point in my life and I was looking forward to seeing it played again. Pin and Dan were excellent on guitars. In fact, I have to retract that statement as everyone in the band is extremely good at what they do. These guys are one of the godfathers of modern extreme progressive metal. Their influence is undeniable and their writing is very smart. The fact that they stayed after the show to talk to the fans, sign stuff and just have a chat about anything speaks volumes about their humble attitude and approachability. It was their first time in USA and I can say with confidence that they are leaving a mark.
The stage setup changed and I could see stacks of Axe Fx on the stage. It was time for Periphery unleash the onslaught of progressive metal, supporting their new record ‘Periphery III: Select Difficulty’. They opened up with “Scarlet” and the stage was lit up with crimson lights. They played six songs from their recent release including the amazing “Marigold” and “Flatline”. The guitars switched from six strings to seven to eight. Tuning dropped, hair flew sideways and Spencer’s soaring melodies stitched themselves in our memories. I cannot emphasize how accurate everyone in the band was. The camaraderie between Misha Mansoor, Mark Holcolmb and Jake Bowen was heart-warming. Holding everything together, was my personal hero, Matt Halpern. He plays poly-rhythms so effortlessly, it almost hides the fact that he’s worked very hard to be able to do the things he does. One missing element from the equation was bassist Adam Getgood. I wish he is present on the next tour. It was a memorable night, where progressive metal shined and reigned supreme.