If you have never been to a Boise, Idaho local metal show, you are missing out on one of the most incredible communities and live shows out there. There is something beautifully strange about this area when it comes to metal. It has become a family and damn near everyone is supportive of one another, there is little to no competition. It has reminded me of Seattle’s grunge and LA’s rock communities. Not only this, but the talent is absolutely insane for a small town. Anytime I see a newer band take the stage, I am consistently blown away. It is like Boise has a vortex and pulls all the most incredible musicians into our, um, hole. A huge part of this, is The Knitting Factory’s Gary Pike. Gary has been a cog in the Boise metal machine for many years. He is a huge supporter of local music, and honestly, just an all around genuine guy. He is quick to give local bands the love, and just as importantly, the stage. Our scene wouldn’t be what it is without him. From the bottom of all our metal hearts, we thank you Gary.
Any local metal night in most towns, I can only assume because of what I have heard, looks like a ghost town or a crowd of five dudes who are the best friends of the band members. Not Boise. Boise local metal shows are sure to bring a big crowd who is just as excited to see their local favorites as they are the big touring acts that come through The Knit. The fans all have their favorites, but they also stay and support throughout the majority of the night. Saturday night, March 30th, 2019, at the X Rock Xclusive show hosted by our favorite local radio station 100.3 the X, was no different. Randy Perkins, radio personality, put together an incredible night of metal bands. Randy, who is also a huge influence on Boise’s metal community, stopped in between each set to introduce the next bands throughout the night. Not only did Randy put this show together, but he also gives a lot of local love on his show on 100.3 the X. Make sure you check his show out Sundays at 10pm, he is quick to take requests, and another all around good dude. Pike and Perkins are the VIP’s of our scene.
Six bands took the stage Saturday night; Atheras, Basement, Faded Leroy, Break Surface, Septic Era, and Black Tooth Grin. It was a crazy lineup of some of the best Boise has to offer. The beautiful and talented Katarzyna Cepek of our very own Metal Nation and Idaho Music Scene was there to take photos throughout the night and as always, she was able to capture some incredible shots and moments.
This was the first time Atheras had an opportunity to assault The Knit, and they took the stage and ran with it. I forgot after the first little bit that this was a local band. They were astounding performers and looked and sounded completely professional. Band members; Austin Hetrick (vocals, guitar), Kasey Hamer (lead guitar), Will Reynolds (bass), and Colin Hayman (drums) are the beasts behind the music. I could not take my eyes off of Hamer, as he nailed solo after solo on his headless guitar. I felt as if I had transcended to a parallel universe. Hetrick’s vocals are extraordinary. Reynolds and Hayman as equally as prodigious. It was a quartet of some of the best musicians I have seen thus far, and that says a lot. Their set was energetic and stellar all the way through, from “Arise” to “Felheart”. Their last song that was humorously introduced as a D&D song, was phenomenal. The changes and the pauses were fresh and exciting. You can tell these guys really enjoy playing and seem to enjoy each other as bandmates, which is always good to see. On a scale from one to ten, I give Atheras an eleven. They are a force to be reckoned with and a must see.
This was my first time seeing Basement, even though they have been around for many years. They went on hiatus for many of those years, and they have since resurfaced and started to make a name for themselves, again. Their hilarious advertising always has me in tears. Clearly funny and fun dudes, but can they play and perform? Psh! Yes and yes! The only way I can think to explain Basement, is a stoner rock/rap band. That seems like it wouldn’t work, but I assure you it does. I saw it work, Saturday night. Members; Steve W. Bade (bass), Bear Benson (vocals), Jeffro Hoskins II (vocals), Mychal Jenkins (drums), and Bo Wahl (guitar), are the epitome of entertainment. Two vocalists, a screamer and a rapper who also screams at a different octave, was something I didn’t have the slightest clue I would enjoy so much. Jeffro came strolling on stage with a bright pink camo head to toe suit and ruled the crowd their whole set. A set which included tracks like, “Purple,” “Precious Things,” “Auschwitz,” “Enemy,” “Curve” and “Joseph.” Steve, who is also a member of Ghostbox, is one of my favorite musicians to watch in Boise, he is extremely talented and exceptionally entertaining. Bear’s screams are doom metalish and are polished finely. Mychal plays exactly what the song needs, which is so important for a drummer to have the ability to do. Bo’s riffs were an epic tribute to everything I love about stoner rock music. These guys are amusing and insanely talented.
These guys have quickly become a favorite of mine. I would have loved to see them have more stage to explore, like I have seen them do in the past. Poor guys were sardined up their whole set, but that didn’t take away from their sound and their energy. Jeremy Cummings (vocals), Beau Kolar (drums, vocals), Brian Lewis (bass, vocals), and Brendan Nickel (guitar, vocals) are the brains behind this band. Jeremy’s screams are aggressive and controlled. I always enjoy watching him move around the stage and give it his all. Beau is an outstanding drummer who has a ton of intensity and spirit. Lewis is another favorite bass player, who is dynamic and electric. Brendan’s clean vocals are a perfect mix to a metal mashup. They are part of the glue that holds all these bands together because of their diversity. They have a stamina that is difficult to capture and maintain, yet they continue to do it. Anytime I see Faded Leroy on a bill, I am quicker to want to make that show. On this night they delivered a seismic set that included, “Blood Bank,” “100 Monkey Theory,” “Chariots,” “Upon Returning,” “Buried Alive,” “Garden Party,” “Don’t Microwave My Cheeseburger,” and “Blessings & Curses.”
Timber Vanlom (vocals), Isaac Torres (drums), Anthony White (bass), and Brian Denney (guitar) are the powerful musicians behind this progressive rock band. If you say the words “lead guitarist” many locals first thought is bound to be Brian Denney. He has been playing in the Boise scene for a while and is influential in all the best ways. His vigorous and progressive sound has been a scene favorite. Throw in his incredible personality, and you have a nearly perfect human specimen. His riffs and solo work are a pleasure to continually witness. Add in Torres on drums, easily one of our scene’s best, White’s bass perfection, and Vanlom’s clean rocking vocals, and you have yourself an insanely great rock band. Another band who looks and sounds professional and has all the talent. They are impeccable and excel in what they do. Torres is incredible to watch. His timing and footwork are superb. Vanlom does a fantastic job of crowd involvement and stage presence. White put on a hilarious and rather disturbing baby mask for the last song that had everyone in fits. The groups rolled out a tight set that included; “Regurgitation,” “Do Or Die,” :Dearust Departed,” “Ascension,” “Angel Ativan,” “Time and Distance,” “Like You Mean It,” and “Use Too Much.” Another band who looks and sounds professional and has all the talent. They are impeccable and excel in what they do.
Another name you might know across the Treasure Valley music scene is Raider Dean, who has taken on many persona’s in the metal world. His screams are a local favorite with all its controlled pitch and aggression. Band members Dean (vocals), Zach (drums), David Draper (guitar), Dane (bass), and Kyle Longo (lead guitar) have paved a brutal death metal path in Boise. Adding Longo to the Septic Era mix has proven to be a foolproof move. Longo, who already has a name for himself in the metal community due to his incredible soloing and unique sound, is a perfect inclusion to this band. The Septic stage presence delivered with relentless energy. They are heavy, demanding, and absolutely in your face. The band crushed their set, pulling out tracks like “Septic Era,” “Genetically Modified Humans (GMH),” “Nibiru,” “The Unknowing,” and “Fuckushima.” Yet again, a band of flawless musicians who work so well together you can almost watch the magic happen before your eyes. They worked the stage well and included the crowd every step of the way. Raider’s heartfelt message to his local musician friends, fans, and Gary Pike was a beautiful sentiment on the partnership surrounding this scene. They have a CD release show coming up at The Shredder on May, 25th. Make sure you go show your support and see for yourself this brutal wizardry.
Black Tooth Grin
These guys have been leading the Boise metal scene for over a decade. A personal favorite for many reasons, and some of the best people I know. The formidable line-up of voclaist Justin Arthur, guitarist Jeremy Schmidt, bassist Lou Miller, and drummer Derek Sanford, form this incredible band. Unfortunately, they had some technical difficulties on this particular night and Justin had some intermittent issues with the loss of his voice, so they had to call it quits a bit early, But hey, these things happen. That doesn’t take away from what these guys did, have done, and will always do as long as they are playing. Justin nailed his vocals even with the struggles he was having. I would have had no idea if he hadn’t said anything. My favorite vocalist on the scene, with his heavy growls and dynamic cleans. Jeremy is always a joy to watch, with his entertaining riff work and highly-talented soloing. His son, Brad Schmidt, came out to sing “Shine On.” He continues to make his presence known on stage, which is impressive to see since he is every bit as talented as his father. Lou grooves out the best bass notes and Derek flows admirably along in an unblemished manner. These guys increasingly continue to be one of Boise’s finest and have covered a diverse array of music throughout the years, proving they will continue to move with the times and continue to be a dynamic platform for metal music.
Kegan Stucki of Jintrick and Rise of the Fallen states,
“Treasure Valley local music is very much alive and will NOT be denied! Atheras, Basement, Faded Leroy, Break Surface, Septic Era, and Black Tooth fucking Grin are exceptional emissaries for an incredible scene full of amazing people.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself. This scene is full of amazing people both on and off stage. The camaraderie is astonishing and alluring. It is a sight to see when you walk into The Knit and see everyone hugging each other and smiling. It almost becomes a family reunion, and I think everyone would agree with me, The Knit has become our second home.