A night of flawless metal. That is what August 24th at the Knitting Factory represented. Not one, two, or three, but four local bands annihilated the stage with grand performances. Hosted by the amazing Randy Perkins of 100.3 the X for the fourth Xclusive Showcase with bands; Fall of Fathom, Rise of the Fallen, Abaasy, and Unto Extinction, it was bound to be an epic night. Every time you get a group of local musicians together in our little community, it is always magical. So much love and appreciation, so much support and brotherhood, it is so beautiful to see. Add the Knitting Factory, many of us call our second home, the incredible staff including the man in charge, Gary Pike, and the biggest musical supporter to our scene, Randy Perkins and the X, and you have a recipe for perfection.
Beginning the night was the band Fall of Fathom. I have seen every band on the bill a few times, this was my first with FOF. I briefly met these guys backstage and was already thoroughly impressed with their humble and friendly personalities. They quickly settled comfortably into the setting, even though this was their first show at the Knit. I was completely unsure what to expect from them, and their kind demeanor led me to a complete unknowing of what was to follow. They hit the stage, and effectively conquered it. Consisting of members Tanner Holmes (guitar), Ryan Sparrell (drums), Ben Granillo (guitar), and Jeremy Gardner (vocals), FOF had intense energy and got the crowd fully geared up and ready for a night of metal. Gardner worked the audience and the stage effortlessly while Granillo and Holmes riffed and metaled the roof off. Sparrell kept the heavy pace while drumming his heart out. It was a fantastic performance and one I am sure we will be seeing more of on this stage in the future.
Rise of the Fallen surged in next and stomped their way through the hearts of the onlookers. They are no strangers to this stage, as this happens to be the one they most slay on. One of the main things Rise is known for is their heavy breakdowns, and this night was full of them. Their high energy set had the crowd banging their heads and moshing around the pit. Band members Kegan Stucki (vocals), Daniel Rodriguez (guitar), Jeremy Franklin (bass), and Scott Mifflin (drums), shook the walls with aggressive riffs, gut punching drums and bass, and spinning Stucki. One of the most entertaining parts of Rise is their action stomping frontman. Add in the extreme breakdowns, and you have an impressive hardcore metal band. While I may have some cozy ties with this band and one particular member, I will say, I was a huge fan long before the newest member joined forces. I have yet to hear a crowdsman utter, “they were ok”. Every time, they tear up the people of the metal environment and leave them wanting more.
What can I possibly say about the next band. I feel our local scene has literally watched these guys grow up on stage. Abaasy came into the community full force, shocking the older crowd. Years later, they have continued to shock, show after show. Members Tyler Bunn (vocals), Jevin Winter (bass), Gabe Hodges (lead guitar), Daniel Vasquez (guitar), and Kevin Tillman (drums), are some of the most exciting musicians to watch in the Boise area. Their stage presence is powerful and their talent is impeccable. Bunn executes the stage in a flawless way, as Hodges destroys the guitar. While Hodges is a well known guitarist in our area due to his insane talent and multiple band involvement, don’t let that fool you away from the incredibly talented Vasquez. Both compliment each other beautifully. Tillman and Winter are also no sleepers, this band is full of some of the highest level of musicianship. To quote Ren and Stimpy, “they’re better than bad, they’re good”, okay not just good, stellar. If you have not seen them yet, what are you waiting for?
Last band of the night, Unto Extinction, is something incredibly special. This is my second time seeing them and I believe, their second time on this stage. I was completely floored the initial time, and I was equally, if not even moreso, thoroughly impressed this second. I have seen Morkenna in one other band, but I had no idea of her range until she collided with Unto Extinction. Members; Morkenna (lead vocals), David Ford (guitar, back vocals), Tyler Johnson (drums, back vocals), Ted Clements (bass, back vocals), and Gabe Hodges (guitar, back vocals), consumed the energy and crushed the community to the depths of their souls. Ford, who is far from a stranger to this stage, still dominated his instrument while demolishing the back vocals. Hodges, yes same Hodges, continued to overwhelm the place with his incredible talent. Clements annihilated the bass with strong vibrations as Johnson smashed his drum kit with a heavy beat. Morkenna’s range from screams, to guttural growls, to the most beautiful singing vocals I have heard, drove heavy through my ears and heart. Her voice rang out shattering and overwhelming the entire environment of metalheads. This is a band I highly suggest keeping on your radar and seeing what comes next for them.
The night was full of some of the finest performers and entertainers in our community. Every person appeared to have enjoyed the whole night fully and blissfully. It is incredibly important to support our local bands, and Boise does a fine job at coming out continually and showing their support. I always feel at home and as if I am amongst family when in this element and these wonderful and compassionate people. Metal for me has always been about a certain brother/sisterhood that I have never found in any other genre, and I am happy to be a part of this family. Randy and the X threw together an incredible night of music and I look forward to the next Xclusive Showcase.