Sacramento, California | Sunday, May 1, 2016

Article & Photography by Kari Butler

A masked lead singer, long-haired, Adonis-like men with cellos and a nearly sold out crowd created an atmosphere of anticipation and excitement at Ace of Spades on Sunday, May 1st.

Failure Anthem took the stage first for the evening with their first ever performance at Ace of Spades, presenting their debut album, First World Problems.  A hard rock band from Greensboro, North Carolina, consisting of JD Eubanks (vocals), Wil Andrews (guitar), Ryan Nimmo (bass) and Zane Frye (drums).  JD  sang with passion and conviction and had the crowd industriously raising their fists in the air to the beat of the drums.  Slowing it down and showcasing their harmonizing skills, Failure Anthem poured their hearts out for the Ace of Spades crowd.

10 Years took to the stage next with a dramatic and moody entrance.  Lead singer, Jesse Hasek, swept onto the stage as a masked character straight out of a Stanley Kubrick, Eyes Wide Shut. After the show, he elaborated on his sweeping dramatic entrance; that he was attempting to do something different each night.  10 Years began a mesmerizing, heart-pounding set with raw lyrics and haunting riffs. Hasek proved that he and his band were going for something different. Hasek a smooth conversationalist, talked to the crowd, making an immediate connection and humbly showing his appreciation. As Hasek announced, “We play real music…no tinsel town here,”  he spent time venturing into the crowd. At one point during the set, he was serenading them while they held him by his legs.  The intensity only grew with a powerful blast when they played “Wasteland” and the crowd echoed the entire song back.  With an adrenaline filled, dynamic set, this alternative rock band from Knoxville, Tennessee, worked this crowd as moldable clay, a creatively inspiring sight!  10 Years member: Jesse Hasek (lead vocals), Ryan “Tater” Johnson (guitar/backing vocals), Chad Huff (bass/guitar), Kyle Mayer (drummer/keyboards), and Matt Wantland (guitar) make an incredible team. You don’t want to miss this band if you can see them.

Next up, the event we were all waiting for with baited anticipation… Apocalyptica! These fine-looking men took the stage with flying hair, swinging cellos and an energy that immediately electrified the venue.

Apocalyptica, a Finnish band, ventured onto the rock scene covering Metallica songs with their cellos and has been described as neoclassical, symphonic prog, progressive, and cello metal group. Presently touring with their new album, Shadowmaker, Apocalyptica has definitely creatively added to their repertoire of music and performances.  With the venue packed, the crowd cheered, screamed and applauded as they covered some of their infamous Metallica covers, such as “Master of Puppets” and “Unforgiven.”  Yet when they brought the house lights down and sat quietly in front of the crowd with three cellos serenading the fans, the crowd grew eerily silent and enraptured by the slow classical numbers, which suddenly exploded into progressive insanity, “metal with cellos!”  Spinning their long-flowing hair in time with the music, while their fingers frantically manipulated the cello strings, making it look incredibly effortless with such grace and ease!

Apocalyptica members: Eicca Toppinen (cello), Paavo Lotjonen (cello), Perttu Kivilaakso (cello), Mikko Siren (drums) and Franky Perez (vocals).

To witness this musical treat is sheer creative bliss and a must see when they come to a venue near you!






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