I’ve only been to a handful of venues in the Dallas area: House of Blues, Gexa Energy Pavilion, the ballroom formerly known as Palladium. On October 9th, I added one more to my list – Gas Monkey Live – and it was great.
Gas Monkey Live (the larger hall next to Studio Movie Grill, not the bar and grill next to the tiny lake) was host to The Sword, an Austin-based metal band, along with opening acts Kadavar and All Them Witches. It was loud, the beer flowed like water, and Gas Monkey has a Mortal Kombat machine that only costs one quarter. Definitely a place I’d recommend for a metal show; especially one so true to the “flannel shirts and jeans” aesthetic that this concert ascribed to.
I had no prior knowledge of All Them Witches when I arrived at the concert. In fact, it wasn’t until I looked up the time the doors opened that I saw that there would even be more than one opener. That being said, I really enjoyed them. They had a classic, psychedelic rock style, but not so reminiscent of the 70s that it was trite or overly nostalgic, and hard enough for metal heads and non-metal enthusiasts to enjoy. Their unique twist makes them a band to keep an eye on.
Kadavar was next; another psychedelic rock band. A bit heavier than All Them Witches, their guitars had an almost Motorhead feel. Id the goal of an opening band is to ramp up the energy for the headliner, Kadavar did an amazing job.
But let’s be real, I was really there for The Sword. I love their stoner metal music, their fantasy-themed lyrics, and their hip Texas vibe. Seeing the whole thing put together live? Perfect. They played a few songs off their newest album (High Country, released August 21st) as well as some old favorites (including my personal favorite “Maiden, Mother & Crone”) and at the end they bowed politely and thanked us for coming (very Beatles-esque). They were lively and engaging – I’d see them again (which is totally an option, as there’s about five more Texas tour dates). The openers were very much complementary in style to the great main act, but different enough to make their own mark, and The Sword played a fantastic set. Overall, a great night for Dallas metal.