Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Chevelle, Index Case, and Waiting for the Fall

Tuesday August 16th, 2005 – Val Air Ballroom, W. Des Moines, IA

Thinking the concert was going to include 30 Seconds to Mars and/or Taproot, we all were surprised when Waiting for the Fall took the stage at the sweltering, 105 degree Val Air Ballroom. WFTF is a local Des Moines band formed out of the remnants of legendary 90’s local band 35 Inch Mudder in 2001. The band features local Lazer 103.3 radio dj Andy Hall on bass guitar. They impressed me with solid, slow-burning rock and roll. While singer Cory Brown may not sound exactly like Scott Weiland, he sure as hell looks like Scott, plus 100 pounds (and Mr. Brown looked like he weighed no more than 175). They played a good mix of songs from their 2003 six-song debut EP “Gift of Self” and their follow-up five-song 2004 EP “The Place Where Good Things End.” They played very listenable (is that a word?) hard rock. The best song of the night was “Almost Beautiful,” a very easy listening post-grunge-sounding song (hint: anything having to do with grunge scores points with me). They are heading back into the studio ASAP to record their next EP with producer Matt Sepanic (Slipknot, Murderdolls, Marilyn Manson) due in November.

If you’ve never heard of Index Case, you soon will. With Slipknot ready to step aside, the Indianola, IA-based Index Case will take over the title of “that band from Iowa.” Index Case features four guys who featured four different hair styles on this night (mohawk, dreds, bald, and short-cropped). This band brings an incredible amount of energy and darkness to their blistering sets. Joe Ansley sounds amazing, and when he screams out his lyrics he sounds eerily like Chino Moreno. And he may also be the only male on earth besides Rafael Nadal to pull off wearing Capri pants. They played tracks such as “Oxycontin,” “Arusall Analogy,” and “Why Dreams Bleed” off or their first two LP’s, Birth and Glass. But the best song (by far) of their set (and the entire night!) was their closing song, “Listen,” featuring Cory Brown from WFTF. They absolutely tore the song (and my soul) apart with searing guitars and quick tempo. My friend Ben and I were still awed by the song hours later over a few (many?) captain and cokes at Cabaret. So when you go to the store on September 27th to Buy System of a Down’s latest “Hypnotize,” make sure you also pick up Index Case’s major label, self-titled debut which also drops that day. After recently signing with Mortal Music, they tour with Bobaflex beginning September 14th. Also look for their first single and music video, “Deserver,” which was just recently filmed near their native town, 10 minutes from Des Moines.

After waiting (and sweating) for 45 minutes in the almost unbearable Val Air, Chevelle finally took the stage. After Booting Bleach-Blond Bassist-Brother Joe from the band, the remaining Chi-town band of brothers Pete and Sam (with former Filter bassist Gene Lenardo) blasted out of the gates with six straight songs off of their newest LP This Type of Thinking(Could Do Us In). This included “Vitamin R,” “Get Some,” “Still Running,” and “Tug-o-War.” They then went into six straight off of 2002’s Wonder What’s Next, including “The Red,” “Comfortable Liar,” “Forfeit,” and crowd-favorite “Send the Pain Below.” Pete Loeffler’s thick-as-molasses guitar riffs were only outdone by the blinding light show. This is the second time I have seen Chevelle, and they still keep away from most of their older material (why won’t they play MIA??). They did, however, come out of their first encore with the easily recognizable (and awesome) riff from pre-WWN “Point #1.” I was a little disappointed that Chevelle didn’t play my favorite song “Closure,” but they replaced it with the equally good (and new favorite) “Panic Prone.” Both these songs showcase Pete’s underrated (and emotional) voice, and serve to also bring out those lighters . After an hour and half of little talking and all playing (take note: Shinedown!), Chevelle ended the set well with “The Clincher.” Chevelle is on tour through the end of October, so make sure you check out the Loeffler Brothers, sans shirt-less Joe. Check out all the concert photos of all three bands here

Next week: Disturbed, Ill Nino, and 10 years @ the Val Air

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