GIG REVIEW: Dead Cross & Secret Chiefs 3 Live at St. Andrew’s Hall, Detroit
Summer is coming to an end here in Michigan but the music is heating up thanks to Dead Cross and special guest Secret Chiefs 3. Fans lined up around the block in downtown Detroit in anticipation of seeing these eclectic noise bands.
I had never heard of Secret Chiefs 3 prior to this and I didn’t know what to expect. They had interesting attire on as all the members except the drummer wore hoods, making them look like druids. Secret Chiefs 3 has had quite a number of lineup changes throughout the years since they began in 1995. Their sound? Secret Chiefs 3 sound like any kind of music that has ever existed. Playing a broad spectrum of music genres,Secret Chiefs 3 makes them quite appealing to the ears. Trey Spruance who plays guitar, is the lone originator of this band. Playing along with him was Joe Lester on bass, Jason Schimmel on guitar, Matt Lebofsky on keyboard and Pej Mon on drums.
The music these guys put out is electric and exhilarating, even though most of the members don’t move around too much, the beat and rhythms produced will have you shaking your hips, tapping your feet and bobbing your head. I was drawn to the drummer, Pej Mon, he has a presence about him that draws your attention. Plus, he has hair that reminds of Zach de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine fame. I loved the energy he has attacking the drums. It was very fun seeing this band and the rendition they played of the Halloween movie theme song was so fitting as we usher in the Fall season.
I’m pumped anytime I can get a chance to see Mike Patton perform. So, when Dead Cross came on, a packed house inside Saint Andrew’s Hall was ready for the chaos. You could feel the surge of excitement as vocalist,Patton walked out on stage. The crowd had previously been getting amped up when guitarist Michael Crain and bassist Justin Pearson came out to set up equipment. And the roar when drummer Dave Lombardo took his place in his office behind the drum set. The calm before the storm was about to blow over and once Dead Cross began playing, the crowd went nuts. There was a spot near the upper middle of the floor where a group of diehards moshed throughout the night. Dead Cross is quite a new band, having formed in 2015. They have released their first album, which is self-titled, in August this year.
The live show consisted of all ten songs from their album, “Seizure and Desist”, “Idiopathic”, “Bela Legosi’s Dead” to name a few, plus a couple new songs written for the tour.Patton was like a coiled snake ready to strike as each song began. Patton is great at interacting with the crowd. Early in the set, Patton mentioned that Michigan’s next Senator, Kid Rock was playing in town as well, “Why the hell are you here?”, he asks. To which the crowd responded with boos. The crowd was here because they wanted to be and we all had a fun time. Guitarist Michael Crain chimed in that he’s from Michigan, and that he had family in attendance, the crowd cheered the fellow Michigander and applauded his family for being there in support.
The only sad thing about the show was that it was kind of short. But I do applaud Dead Cross for doing a full set of original material and not lacing it with cover songs to fill out the show. They did however do an encore that touched on each of the band members other bands, namely Patton’s, Faith No More.
When Patton sat Indian style on stage as he meditated as a segue into the encore performance, it was a fitting moment as it displayed calm within the chaos. Dead Cross and Secret Chiefs 3 are both musically infused wrecking balls that will smash your mind into a million pieces and you’ll enjoy every moment as you collect those pieces of your mind to put it back together with a new sense of appreciation for the ever-varied landscape of music genres.