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Monday, July 2, 2007

Scary Bear, Cicadas and Skelator @ The Comet

posted by on July 2 at 11:38 AM

Bloodhag was supposed to headline this show but dropped off last minute. Something to do with books, probably.

I had never heard of Skelator, but there were a lot of heshers milling around the Comet on Saturday waiting for the opening act, so I knew something had to be up. Sure enough, the lead singer is dressed in a leather medieval lace-up top with spiky shoulder pads, matching leather arm bucklers, and he is brandishing a real sword. The music starts up, and as if there were any doubt, he starts belting out the high notes like Rob Halford. Everyone in the band starts twirling their very long hair, and I am whisked away to a fantastic world where beasts are battled with sharp steel and harmonized guitar solos. By the end of the set the novelty shock fades and my patience starts to wear thin, but it is clear these dudes are very serious about their metal, and they are doing a really good job.


Cicadas are easily the best band out of Bellingham right now, which very few people in Seattle are aware of as the band foolishly seldom comes down for shows. They play insanely frantic and technical instrumental thrash-prog, with so many quick changes their full live experience demands your complete attention. The heshers didn’t seem to care much for Cicadas’ set – I don’t know if they left because Skelator was done or because Cicadas confused and frightened them – but the crowd thinned significantly, which was unfortunate. Guitarist Josh Holland worked hard to invade the personal space of anyone who dare stand near him, proving he meant business by slamming his guitar down on top of the PA mid song, smashing the pint glasses on top into a hundred pieces all over the stage and floor. I could watch this band every night.

Scary Bear sounds like an evil version of the Fucking Champs, but fronted by two ladies. Honestly, the last things I expected from the thin blonde holding a Stratocaster were the sweet metal riffs she ended up playing. Scary Bear was good, but by this point the bar was mostly empty and it felt like all the energy had been sucked out of the room. The downfall of a show not starting until 10:30 is that unless the bar is drunk and wild, the last band plays when everybody is tired out already. Hopefully I’ll get to see them again in a better context.

It’s rare to see a show with two unfamiliar bands and be surprised and impressed by both of them. Good job, local metal.

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Nothing makes me happier, Jeff Kirby, than you now writing things of the musical ilk for The Stranger.

Posted by Carly | July 2, 2007 12:18 PM

PS - You forgot to mention that at one point, the singer from Skelator played air guitar to his own songs. Hilarity.

Posted by Carly | July 2, 2007 12:20 PM

Zu (the thin blonde) is a hell of a guitar player and a really friendly girl. All of her bands are pretty sweet.

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