Fully TourQued at the Cobalt Cafe with Victory Heights and Lion I Am
Fully TourQued made its way into the San Fernando Valley – well part of it did anyway. Monsters Scare You were apparently kidnapped by zombies at the other end of the city, and unable to make it out to the semi-wilds of Canoga Park. This would leave the Denver based Victory Heights as the headliner of the night and Lion I Am from San Diego as the main support act.
Exuding a “show-must-go-on” professionalism that was truly inspiring, the two bands literally blew the roof off the Cobalt with their thunderous sets. The Monsters Scare You membership probably heard the commotion from wherever it was there were terrorizing.
Prior to the touring acts, Amnesty unleashed a powerhouse set of metal/deathcore tunes, demonstrating once again why they remain one of L.A.’s most exciting new bands on the rise.
Lion I Am
Lion I Am exudes a tremendous amount of passion and conviction within their lyrics and live performance. Amazingly unsigned, the band released a DIY effort last year entitled Everyone’s A Masterpiece, and they showcased many of the songs at the Cobalt Café. More Than Missing, Your Worth, and Fast Forward were some of the highlights leaving a lasting impression.
Front man Taylor Eastman delivers the powerful lyrics with a ferocious sense of urgency. Nathan Maxwell and Tyler Ruehl absolutely shred it to pieces on guitar, leveling the room with a mighty wall of sound. Conner Umphreyville laid down a pulsating low-end on bass and delivered his own brand of impassioned vocals while Derek Zook drove it all home with a vengeance on drums. Closing with their brand new single Flawed And Free, Lion I Am absolutely roared into the hearts of those who managed to make it out to the show. San Diego continues to thrive with new bands ready to break it out. And if there was ever an outfit ready to smash the boundaries of the Golden State and beyond, it would be Lion I Am. It will be exciting to see what the future has is store for this dynamic collective.
Victory Heights has the scaling the walls of the Denver music scene for a few years now, and already have two independent EP releases under their belts. Although members have come and gone, the current lineup is a definite force of sonic energy – solid to the core and ready to take on the big leagues. Complete with light show and fog machine, the audio and visuals found within Victory Heights set were breathtaking. After a false start where they apparently blew a circuit at the Cobalt, the Denver based collection launched into their Intro I Am Victory and then journeyed into the frenetic sounds of For The Giants. For The Birds was a set highlight, a spiraling song that is available as a single on ITunes. Another standout was their brutally aggressive cover of the Justin Bieber song As Long As You Love Me, placing the pedal to the metal and rendering the tune all their own.
Brant Falliaux is a tremendously charismatic front man, delivering the screamed lyrics with a fiery conviction. Karl Bagnall excelled on drums and clean vocals, and although he was way in the back, his vibrant presence was felt throughout the entire performance. The dueling axe work was delivered with skilled precision by Mike Anderson and Sam Bagnall while Tyler Hutton’s bass work reverberated throughout the room. Showing why the Mile High City continues to boast some of the finest metalcore bands on the planet, Victory Heights is sure to gain a rabid following all across the country if they keep pummeling the masses with shows this impressive!
Monsters Scare You would have obviously ended the evening on a perfect note! Their Century Media debut Die A Legend is a standout seething with imagination, and I understand they were fantastic the night before at the Slide Bar in Anaheim. Here’s hoping the band finally makes their way into the City Of Angels. Many thanks to Dave and the staff at the Cobalt for hosting as well as Victory Heights and Lion I Am for their unforgettable sets!
(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Edward Brandon)