Manny’s Hosts a Night of Nu-Metal with Nonpoint…and others!
One thing I’ve learned in the last few years is to never turn down free tickets. When I was offered tickets to Nonpoint, featuring Digital Summer and Candlelight Red, I jumped at the chance. I’ll admit I was a little worried about the show. It wasn’t just because I was worried about getting there in time (work has been KILLER lately), but also because of the snow. It had been so nice over the weekend, but in true Montana fashion, the temperature dropped and the snow started flying. I puttered over to Manny’s as slowly as I could drive and not be pulled over for clogging up traffic flow, streets extra-slick under an inch or so of new-fallen, wet snow.
Fortunately, the show hadn’t started by the time I crept into the Manny’s parking lot. There was a healthy crowd inside, but still room enough to move through the beer garden area with relative ease (which is great at an all-ages show–packing too many 21+ people in one place makes it that much harder to get to the bar). I found an empty chair and waited for the show to start. As the band started, I started to sweat–seems the earplugs I remembered bringing with me this morning had…departed my pocket over the course of the day. Luckily, I had my cheapo earbuds. They worked!Three bands were slated to perform. The first, Digital Summer, already had the stage in order. They didn’t start until 7:30, though, which laid to rest my other fear of missing part of the show. This was my first time seeing (or even hearing) this band. They’re a nu-metal quartet from Phoenix, AZ. They played radio-friendly mostly-melodic hard rock in front of a couple “padded room” backdrops. There ended up being a bit too much melody and not enough rock for my taste, though it certainly wasn’t bad by any means.
Austin Rios, a 12-year-old from Oklahoma, played drums for a couple songs. He apparently gained the band’s attention the Justin Beiber way–sending YouTube videos of him playing drums to the band. He ended up on the tour, apparently…kid’s a decent player, for sure. Plus, there are FAR worse ways to spend one’s childhood than touring with a rock band!
The band pitched some shirts from the stage before the last song. That’s a foolproof way to endear yourself to any crowd…no matter what it’s for, what it looks like, or what it says, people will always get excited about a free shirt.
The band wrapped at eight. After fifteen minutes of setup, the second band, Candlelight Red, was ready to go.This was another first for me. Pennsylvania’s own Candlelight Red is another melody-driven nu-metal band, much in keeping with the theme of the night. They set out their own black backdrops, crowned with strobe lights the size of microwave ovens. There was plenty of light to match the noise. There was also a fog machine–rare to see one of those used in a joint as small as Manny’s.
To the band’s credit, they DID play a cover of Roxette’s “The Look.” I’ll admit I didn’t see it coming. The crowd may not have seen it coming, either, and to my surprise, most everybody present seemed familiar with the song. It wasn’t too bad a cover, either…sounded about like you’d expect it would. They cleared the stage at a quarter to nine.
Headliners Nonpoint started at 9:20. Though I’ve heard the band’s music over the course of the last decade or so they’ve been together, this was my first time seeing them live. I can’t claim to be familiar with many of their songs, outside of the ones I hear on the radio, the audience seemed well familiar with the band’s work and more than happy to groove along with it. Nonpoint played the same style of melody-driven nu-metal, and played perhaps the tightest set of the evening. Unsurprising, given that I first heard this band in high school, and trust me…that means they’ve had a LONG time to practice. It’s been years, but the band hasn’t lost a step.The band covered Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight,” which did them a disservice, in my eyes– lead singer Elias Soriano has a pretty good voice, but when it comes to 80s covers, “The Look” was far superior, due in no small part to the fact that I don’t really like Phil Collins.
I headed out just as Nonpoint was wrapping for the evening. The night had been a short trip down memory lane; nu-metal had started becoming popular when I was in high school, and hearing it takes me right back there. It further reinforced my rule about never turning down free tickets—no matter how tough it might be to make a show, it’s always a novel experience.
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