Oxygen Fest with The Air I Breathe, For All I Am, Famous Last Words, This Romantic Tragedy, Forty Fathoms, End Of Truth, Cobalt Café, March 2, 2013
You have to applaud the folks at Twoheart Concerts for bringing some of the best rock and metal shows to the Cobalt Café in Canoga Park. The Saturday night of March 2nd was an especially ambitious endeavor – Oxygen Fest, with 12 bands in all, tearing up the stage at the venerable West San Fernando Valley venue. What made the occasion memorable would be the final Los Angeles appearance of The Air I Breathe, coming through town on their Farewell Tour. Other up and coming bands on the package included the likes of This Romantic Tragedy, For All I Am, Forty Fathoms, and Famous Last Words. A whole collection of local acts were featured on the bill as well, with the door opening at the breakfast time hour of 4PM. Highwire Daze managed to catch up with the later part of the show, and what an memorable event it was!
END OF TRUTH
The first band we caught up with at the Cobalt Café was End Of Truth, a local Los Angeles band who has really been making a name for themselves as of late. Performing a dark yet intensive brand of melodic hardcore, End Of Truth did the City Of Angels proud, going on right before the bands on the multiple touring package and more than holding their own. After a haunting Intro, the band exploding into Hopeless Findings, and definitely caught the undivided attention of the Cobalt crowd. Jonathan Arevalo is a charismatic front man, conveying the lyrics with a sense of conviction and really drawing you into the material at hand. The songs are shaded with a gloriously chilling effect by keyboardist Danny Morrison. Dual guitarists Felipe Herrera and Ricardo Argueta supply a dynamic wall of sound while bassist Randy Rios and drummer Eddie Villicana make up a tighter than hell rhythm section. Expect to hear great things from End Of Truth as time rolls relentlessly on – there is no stopping these guys now! And incidentally, the final untitled song in their set was fantastic! Keep up the good work guys!
And now it was time for the massive touring package to commence, and Forty Fathoms kicked it into high gear with an all-out vengeance. Based out of Denver, Colorado, Forty Fathoms presented a set of metalcore so intense and explosive, it was probably heard and felt back home in the Mile High City. The heavy anthems found within really set the mosh pit into overdrive and singer Taylor MacNicholas was right in the thick of things, singing with the crowd with a fiery sense of conviction. How in the world Forty Fathoms remain unsigned is perhaps the greatest mystery of all. Songs such as Back Stabber, Sin Sin Sin, and Hopeless from their In/Famous self-release were performed, an explosion of sound that sent the room reeling. With an opening this utterly dynamic, it should be no time at all before Forty Fathoms find themselves headlining their own tours. A thrilling performance that is not to be missed.
THIS ROMANTIC TRAGEDY
Next up on the bill was This Romantic Tragedy from the city of sin known as Las Vegas, Nevada. If you think walking away from a noteworthy label such as Tragic Hero Records while losing key bands members could even keep this hard working band down – think again! The Cobalt venue was being saturated with a thick veil of fog as This Romantic Tragedy took to the stage and beyond. Clean vocalist Sean Neumann and lead screamer Chad Dague were right there on the floor with everyone else, performing practically in the faces of the audience members who crowded around the area. The live show This Romantic Tragedy presents is tremendously tight, with the rapturous songs reverberating throughout. Opening with a new tune entitled Illusions, the band clearly demonstrated there is a lot of life and determination to found within This Romantic Tragedy. Towards the end of the set, the band’s should-be genre classic You’re Just A Trend was delivered, still sounding more impassioned than ever. Sole original member David Diaz remains a subtle yet very vibrant presence, with all of the electricity generating from the two front men, but his guitar work was impeccable. Look to the future and you are sure to find This Romantic Tragedy rocking your world with their mesmerizing tunes and captivating live shows. The best is yet to come!
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
Famous Last Words from Petoskey, MI took to the stage next, presenting an exciting brand of screamo and rock and roll. A bit different from the other heavier acts on the bill, fans of Escape The Fate and Falling In Reverse (and there are many) are destined to find their next great musical fix when exploring what Famous Last Words has to offer. It’s been over a year since their debut EP Pick Your Poison was released through Invogue Records, and the band has toured relentlessly since that time. There was a ton of passion and energy emerging from the stage, and Famous Last Words presented a rock solid set of tunes that were instantly memorable. While we wait to see what Famous Last Words releases next on CD, be sure to check into their live show and get a shot of their wildly infectious tunes!
FOR ALL I AM
If there was a band on the verge of greatness, ready to break it out into the big leagues, this collective would certainly be For All I Am. Based out of the thriving Chicago music scene, For All I Am has grown tremendously over the last year, and their live shows are profoundly moving and sonically devastating. Opening with the dynamic strains of Forgotten, For All I Am sent the room spinning and the Cobalt crowd remained enraptured throughout their entire set. Aria Yava is one of the vastly underrated front men on the scene today, wildly charismatic and super impassioned about the performance at hand. Presenting a positive spin in even the most bleak and desolate of situations, songs such as The Strange Daze, Overthrown, and Oppressor were thrilling to behold. Their full length debut Skinwalker was recently unveiled through Equal Vision Records, and as exciting as the band sounds on disc, to know the full impact of For All I Am’s raging tunes is to see them within a live arena. Paying their dues now, expect this very passionate band to amass a gigantic fan base in no time at all. The resourceful For All I Am lineup consists of the aforementioned Aria Yava on vocals, Chase on guitar and vocals, Tom on guitar, Mario on bass, and Aaron on drums.
THE AIR I BREATHE
The main event of the night arrived in the form of The Air I Breathe, who went through hell and high water to make it to the Cobalt Café. The night before, the band has much of their merch and equipment stolen and van problems were soon to follow. It was touch and go on whether they would even make it into the City Of Angels in time for the show, but indeed they did! While their performance at The Whisky last year was the essence of a band falling apart at the seams, the set presented at the Cobalt Café was vibrant and full of life. This did not sound like a band on the verge of breaking up, and Tony Dougard was quick to explain that they would be going through a name change, write new material, and then make a return. All of the favorites were performed, and in between songs, Tony encouraged the audience members to come over and talk with him after the show. He wanted to know if the music really mattered and if anyone in the audience was moved by the legacy of The Air I Breathe. Judging by the love and admiration exuded from the fired up audience, Tony and the band clearly had their answer well before they made their way to the merch booth at the conclusion of their set. The Air I Breathe will be missed but it will be exciting to see what Dougard and band has in store for us all in future days.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS AND LINKAGE
And a wild Saturday night at the Cobalt Café came to an end. Many thanks to Cobalt owner Dave Polito and TwoHearts promoter John McCrary for their endless and unwavering support of our local music scene. And special thanks to Talia Farber for the wonderful photography!
Be sure to show your support of the local bands and venues who truly deserve the recognition.
(Review by Kenneth Morton – Photos by Talia Farber)
Cobalt Café Official Home Page
End Of Truth on Facebook
Forty Fathoms on Facebook
This Romantic Tragedy on Facebook
Famous Last Words on Facebook
For All I Am on Facebook
The Air I Breathe on Facebook
Twohearts Concerts on Facebook
Talia Farber Photography on Facebook