[Concert Review + Setlists] WJCU Metal Benefit Concert #1 at the Beachland Tavern, 2.11.12

Red Giant helped make the 2012 Metal Benefit a success, not to mention a rockfest! (Photo: Gene Natale, Jr. / 88.7 WJCU)

On Saturday the 11th of February at the Beachland Tavern in Collinwood, The Suede Brothers, Red Giant, Venomin James, Lotus Pedal and The Del Rio Bandits rocked the stage in support of college radio! Those who braved the cold and snow to make it to the show certainly got more than their money’s worth – with all proceeds from the show going to support 88.7 WJCU – a non-profit, non-commercial radio station that has served the Heights community for over 40 years.

The Del Rio Bandits keepin' it classy.. (Photo: Gene Natale, Jr. / 88.7 WJCU)

Check out THE DEL RIO BANDITS gallery Here!

Saturday marked the official start of WJCU Radiothon 2012, and was the first of two metal benefit concerts. The show had the theme of surf/stoner/sludge-type rock, all elements of WJCU’s ‘Vindictive Alarm Clock’ show hosted by John “The Rocket” Roddy. The Rocket worked the door as he usually does for the WJCU metal benefit concerts, and he helped oversee all the donations to the station. All told, between door receipts and merch sales, a total of $765 was raised to support home-cooked, non-commercial community radio – a true testament to the great bands who donated their time to play that evening, and the great metal fans who made the trip out despite adverse weather conditions. As always, the show itself was masterminded by the host of WJCU’s METAL ON METAL program and Auburn Records president Bill Peters. Though Peters could not attend the show until late in the evening, his Auburn stage crew was on hand to ensure a well-run show as they always do.

When it comes to rock, Lotus Pedal is all business. (Photo: Gene Natale, Jr. / 88.7 WJCU)

Check out the LOTUS PEDAL gallery Here!

Kicking off the evening’s musical performances was The Del Rio Bandits, and their unique style of surf rock served as a great start to the evening’s festivities. Though not as heavy as the rest of the groups on the bill, they more than held their own, thrilling those in attendance at the start of the night. After their conclusion, Lotus Pedal took over, stepping things up a notch with a stoner-riffic set heavy on the riffs, pounding percussion and wah pedal guitar lead runs.

Tomasz of Venomin James layin' down the riffs..(Photo: Gene Natale, Jr. / 88.7 WJCU)

Check out the VENOMIN JAMES gallery Here!

The evening really began to pick up in earnest as the next three bands took their turn rocking the stage. Venomin James was next – and once guitarists Joe Fortunado and Tomasz Scull had their amps cranked, the feedback humming from their respective speakers was a sure sign that the night was really about to get going. Venomin James is one of many bands that has been particularly supportive of WJCU over the years, as the show marked their fourth appearance at a WJCU benefit.

The band was amped up and eager to show off some brand-new tracks from the group’s forthcoming second full-length album, which is slated to be released later this year. As always, they put on a great show – doom riffs matched with well-formulated melodic vocals from Meador always proves to be a winning formula. Eric Matthews manned the drum-kit admirably in place of the late Jared Koston. Admirable, but it truly would be hard for any drummer to match the sheer force, aggression and passion that Koston displayed during his band’s performance at the 2010 WJCU Metal Benefit in Koston’s last-ever live performance. As a unit, however, the band along with Matthews are a tribute to their fallen brother-in-arms, and those in participation had to have been in agreement!

Red Giant at the Beachland Ballroom (Photo: Gene Natale, Jr. / 88.7 WJCU)

Check out the RED GIANT gallery Here!

Next up was Red Giant, another Cleveland metal band producing some great home-cooked metal for the masses. Their setup was made just a bit easier by virtue of the fact that they didn’t need to switch out the drums – skinsman Eric Matthews was all warmed up and ready to go after playing with Venomin, of course! The extra setup time certainly didn’t hurt when one got a glimpse of lead vocalist/guitarist Damian Perry’s rig, which consists of a two different amp heads hooked up to a trio of speaker cabinets – all blaring out a great low end heaviness. Red Giant played some new tracks mixed in with older favorites like “1960 Starchief” that were well-appreciated by the thrashers in the audience.

Suede Brothers rock in progress. (Photo: Gene Natale, Jr. / 88.7 WJCU)

 Check out THE SUEDE BROTHERS gallery Here!

Closing out the night was The Suede Brothers, and if anyone thought that the bands that preceded them were loud, this group took things up a notch! In fact, guitarist / vocalist Dylan Francis is known to turn his amp so loud that it has to be turned backwards away from the crowd lest their faces be melted by the sheer magnitude of the rockage. (Of course, the amp is fully mic’ed up so everyone can hear it!) Of course, that little courtesy didn’t stop some of the people in attendance from finding the perfect spot to listen to their set – right in front of his amp! Jeff Niesel of the Cleveland Scene wrote a year ago that The Suede Brothers put on one of the area’s best live shows, and that fact was certainly true this evening.

Check out below for playlists, and don’t forget to support WJCU at the second Metal Benefit concert for WJCU Radiothon 2012 – The west side edition! That show is at the Foundry in Lakewood, OH on Friday, 2.17.12 featuring Shok Paris, The Approach and the Execution, Deadiron, JJ Grim, and The School of Rock’s Metal Command. Five bands, five dollars – now that’s a deal, and it’s all for charity, so it’s all good.

(L-R) WJCU Supporter Pauly Mickovic, Gene of THE ROCK on 88.7, and John from THE VINDICTIVE ALARM CLOCK on 88.7. We thank all of you for your support during Radiothon 2012!

Suede Brothers Setlist:
Call it Done
2. Unnamed new song
3. I’ll New You
4. Desert Song
5. Gin and Handguns
6. Other unnamed new song
7. Omega Man
8. Forest City
9. Coos Bay Boogie

Venomin James Setlist:
1. Make No Mistake
2. Unholy Mountain
3. Feed the Flames
4. Dire Days
5. Desert Rider
6. Infidel

Red Giant Setlist:
1. Time
2. 1960 Starchief
3. August / Snow
4. Drip
5. Pungent
6. Walk

Lotus Pedal Setlist:
1. Evil Plague
2. Show No Mercy
3. Crash the Party
4. Social Butterfly
5. Flying Dutchman
6. Ain’t Dead Yet
7. In This State
8. Karma Soldier
9. Rock Generation

The Del Rio Bandits Setlist:
1. Suck-A-Rama
2. Out of Limits
3. Penetration
4. Chick Habit
5. While We’re Young
6. The Embalmer
7. Strychnine
8. Miserlou
9. Mr. Moto
10. Commanche
11. Street Action

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