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The Rock Show: 10 Years With E(v)olocity
Posted on Wednesday, June 07 @ 18:32:42 MDT by roadrash
 Shows10 Years blew into Arizona to thrill and entertain fans and the uninitiated alike with their powerful and theatrical live show, leaving no doubt they'd earned their spot as Headliner, while the newly signed Phoenix band
E(v)olocity kicked the night off with a killer set and a bunch of new fans.

10 Years With E(v)olocity
By Mary Ellen Gustafson
Photos by Janice French

Aaron - E(v)olocity

The Venue Of Scottsdale is one of the biggest club venues in the area, which has its good and bad points. The good part is that it holds a lot of people and it has an elevated stage which makes it fairly easy to see who's playing no matter where you're standing. The bad part is that it's this very long room with very high ceilings and the acoustics often leave much to be desired - especially if you happen to be close to the stage and in front of a speaker. In order to be in a good spot to take photos, we arrived about 30 minutes before the first band took the stage and of course were right in front next to a speaker.

I'd caught a brief glimpse of E(v)olicity when they opened for F5 last November, but since I arrived late I didn't really get a chance to check them out except on their web site months later. Since they were the local opener for 10 Years, I finally got the opportunity to see their live show and it was well worth it! Now signed to Nuerra Records, with their debut release scheduled for 08/01/06, they gave the early crowd one hell of a show. The band took the stage with an energetic burst and lead vocalist Aaron was reaching down toward the people standing on the floor from the minute he picked up his mic.

Opening with their heavily bass (provided by Melon) and drum (provided by Cor(e)) driven song "Troop Support," the music was WAY more intense than what's heard on their web site or the upcoming album. Live, these guys are a seriously hard rocking bordering on metal band and extremely loud. Then again there was that speaker thing happening, so I have to give props to their sound guy.

Of the three opening bands, E(v)olocity was the only one where I could actually hear the vocals and the various instrumentals. "Troop Support" features some really cool lyrics winding up the end of the chorus with ". . . I won't let you down." There's also a killer guitar solo by Jazz in the middle that breaks down into a great instrumental bridge before picking up the vocal harmonies again.

There weren't a whole lot of people in the venue yet, but at least some head bobbing/knee bending/singing was going on in the crowd from the start. As the set progressed, so did the size of the crowd and their participation.

Raydn 1 - E(v)olocity

A slower pace and really heavy instrumental intro led into the song "Too Far," one of several awesome songs by E(v)olocity. The band was really rocking out and moving around the stage and during the emphasized bass lines, Aaron would take his microphone and hold it over Melon's bass to add even more to the sound. Raydn 1 shone on this song as well with his keyboard contributions and the backing vocals are counter sung, rather than harmonies. Aaron cajoled the crowd during the instrumental bridge and the crowd responded as the band crashed through to the end of the song.

Jazz - E(v)olocity

"4th Wiseman" had a really interesting keyboard intro that led into, at least musically, what I thought was the best song of their set. The size of the audience had increased quite a bit and they were totally into this song, dancing and head bobbing big time to the intense chorus of "God, save me from your followers . . ." I think this is one of my favorite songs and has everything - great harmonies, terrific instrumentals, intense lyrics and it doesn't leave your head when the song is over.

The instrumental bridge was WAY cool, as was the ending, and it got a huge response from the audience. Aaron also made a short announcement that they were NOT a Christian rock band, just in case anyone was wondering. Then he spotted a member of the Armed Forces in the crowd, welcomed him home and said their first song, "Troop Support," was written for him and all the members of the Armed Forces.

A major bass led beat opened "Cockeyed" and it almost sounded like a beatbox until the rest of the band joined in. This song totally rocked and the crowd was really into it, especially the vocal mic enhanced bass solo. There was some major dancing happening on the stage as well - at least as much as space would allow.

Before the next song, different sets of drumheads appeared in front of Aaron and Raydn 1 for the opening drum fest accompanied by Melon's bass and some killer guitar work by Jazz leading into the full band and vocal for "Natural Drag," although the bass and drum line stayed strong underneath the vocals throughout. At first the audience just kinda watched, then got into the groove and rocked out along with the band during the various drumming bridges.

For the last song of their set, "Herbie," E(v)olocity had the crowd right there with them, totally rocking out. This was a heavy, bass laden rock song with really fast vocals during the verses and a chorus that hit hard on the down beat - the kind where you just can't sit still or not bob your head. A really great way to end a set and they got a super response from the crowd. Watch for this band to go places!

Cor(e) - E(v)olocity

I didn't quite know what to expect from 10 Years. I'd seen the video for "Wasteland" a couple times on TV and was impressed with the message. Of course by now I was very familiar with the single, since it was released last summer. I even had "The Autumn Effect" CD, but only listened to it a couple times. It was sort of on the periphery of the usual music I listen to and kind of tame for me.

About half way through set up for 10 Years though, things started looking very interesting. Even MORE speakers were suspended from the ceiling. Three big, shiny metal boxes were pulled up from the pit in front of the stage and put evenly spaced right at the front of the stage. The drum kit was on an elevated platform at the back and a lot of room was left in the middle. What would obviously be Jesse Hasek's microphone was wrapped in something that showed up under black light and stuck in the metal "net" on the top of the center box. Several egg shaped items were put in various places on the stage (which later turned out to be lighting effects) and mega amounts of tape were used to hold all the cords down.

Jesse Hasek - 10 Years

All the lights in the venue went dark and an extended moog/synth note (part of the instrumental on the song "Autumn Effect") hung in the air as the 10 Years backdrop rolled down and a single spotlight shown on it, leaving the rest of the stage dark. The crowd was hollering and whistling as the sound continued and Brian Vodinh slipped behind his drums and started playing. Matt Wantland crossed the stage and picked up his guitar, followed by Lewis Cosby and finally "Tater" Johnson as the whole band picked up the instrumental part of the song.

Suddenly strobes and spot lights were going off in every direction as Jesse Hasek took the stage, jumped up on the center box and the band launched into the song "Paralyzing Kings." The crowd went absolutely nuts, pointing fingers at the stage in time with the music and singing along. I didn't even recognize the music is was SO much harder rock than what is on the album. If I hadn't caught pieces of lyrics here and there, I would never have identified the songs. Matt, Lewis and Tater were all over the place and jumping up and down off the boxes and the band totally rocked out!

I have to digress a moment for those who have not seen 10 Years live. Until Hasek showed up, it was a pretty typical arrival for a headlining band. Once I saw him I knew this wasn't going to be an ordinary show - partly because of how he looked, but even more so by the way he moved. With dreads flying, his face partially painted white, his hands painted white and wearing a white, long-sleeved turtleneck, the reason for that wrapping on the mic cord became clear when he picked it up and began moving. The way he held his head, arms and hands, along with the drape of the mic cord, totally made him look like a puppet being controlled by someone above him.

After reading his views on music and society in general, of course this made sense, but he really pulls this "act" off and keeps it up during the entire show. In addition to being a great live band, 10 Years puts on somewhat of a theatrical performance to match their music, all choreographed by Jesse Hasek. Although the other band members took turns jumping up on those other metal boxes and running around behind him on the stage, they stayed in relative darkness compared to Hasek, who was always in some type of spotlight or blacklight except between songs when the stage went dark.

Matt Wantland - 10 Years

Lewis and Tater were up on the boxes for the beginning of "Cast It Out" with Jesse in the middle. The song was very disjointed and varied between soft and loud. It was interesting to watch the interaction between the band members and who was up on the boxes when. The band members encouraged the crowd to clap and they eagerly joined in and sang along, again wildly applauding at the end.

Opening with a rather strange and calliope sort of instrumental intro was "Waking Up," the opening song on "The Autumn Effect." Hasek stood on the center box in a very puppet-like stance with purple and blue spot lights shining on the smoky stage. The crowd sang along with the refrain "Are you there?" and as the major rock instrumental and second refrain began one of the band members was throwing water out over the crowd, the lighting alternated between the purple/ blue and lots of strobes. The people were singing and throwing their hands up right at the front, while a giant circle pit formed behind them and everyone was going crazy. At the end of the song, Johnson stood on one corner box, Cosby on the other and held their instruments high in the air before the lights went dark.

The most recent radio single (at least around here), "Through The Iris," brought a roar from the crowd who were immediately singing along with the band. Jesse was quite theatrical performing this song, accompanied by a lot of strobes and colored lighting as well as great harmonies and a major bass & drum line. The much heavier and slower song "Prey" was given the same dramatic treatment with the puppet business. The strobes and colored lighting going off during the chorus with serious instrumentals had the audience bobbing and singing and applauding wildly at the end.

"Fault Line," a much slower song, was WAY heavier in person than on the CD. The circle pit was getting totally wild, while the people up front were singing along and waving their pointed fingers at the stage. As the song progressed the lights changed from red and blue spotlights to strobes and the tension built on the stage with the intensity of the song. During the final chorus, Hasek's dreads were flying around his face and Johnson, Wantland and Cosby were taking turns jumping up and down off the various boxes.

A very intense performance that moved almost immediately into "The Recipe" and then "Empires," songs the crowd were REALLY into. Again super heavy rock from the band taking turns jumping up on the boxes and egging the crowd on at every opportunity, while Jesse Hasek reminded me so much of a puppet it was almost spooky. It was made even more dramatic with the use of colored spotlights and strobe lights, built to a crescendo and then the stage was dark for a moment.

Brian Vodinh - 10 Years

Jesse took a few minutes to talk to the audience and I didn't catch nearly all that he said, but part of it was "You have no idea what it is like standing here right now thanks to you!" as he gestured to the crowd and everyone screamed and clapped.

At the beginning of the song "Autumn Effect," Hasek climbed up to the top of the highest corner speaker on the left side of the stage, I believe during the lyric ". . .climbing Jacob's Ladder . . ." but I'm not positive. He continued to sing the beginning of the song after he got down, crouched in front of the drums. Meanwhile drummer Brian Vodinh and Guitarist Matt Wantland were lit by yellow spotlights during the acoustic intro that accompanied the rest of the opening vocal. Once the words Autumn were sung, Hasek turned around and came to the front of the stage and the whole band joined in for the heavy rock part and the song ended before the extended instrumental that's on the album.

There was one other song in there that I didn't recognize and I didn't see too many people in the audience singing along to this one either, but they were still rocking along. Once again Hasek took some time to talk to the crowd and I had a really hard time hearing what he said. Part of it was something like ". . . one song represents a band . . . [for us] it's this . . ."

Smoke poured out onto the stage as the first notes of "Wasteland" rang out and the crowd went absolutely nuts! This was the song everyone had waited all night for! Red and aqua lighting changed to red and green with the words and EVERYONE was singing along, hands high in the air, pointing at the stage, the lights were going crazy between spots, strobes, backlight and house lights. Besides totally rocking, it was like every person in the venue united for this song. The atmosphere was absolutely incredible and when the music stopped it still echoed through everyone.

The members of 10 Years came to the front of the stage together and threw towels, water bottles and anything else loose into the crowd, as they screamed and cheered for the band. They played some feedback noise and walked off the stage. What an incredible show! I was not a fan of 10 Years before this. I am a total convert now! If you EVER get the chance to see this band live, find a way to go. You will not be disappointed!!

Ryan Johnson, Jesse Hasek, Lewis Cosby, Matt Wantland - 10 Years

Venue of Scottsdale
Scottsdale, AZ


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