With special guests sHEAVY
Club One, ST. John’s, NL
July 12, 2008
Review by EvilG (normal font) and Rick (italics)
Pics by Celtic Bob, Video footage by D. Pope
It was with great anticipation that EvilG and I headed down to Club One to see the Newfoundland debut of NAIL. Nail hails from Ontario yet has roots in Newfoundland 2/4 of its members were mainstays in cult Newfoundland recording act KAOS (drummer Dale wasn’t a mainstay but reportedly joined Kaos after they relocated to Ontario). Kaos released 2 albums in the mid 80s and toured the island extensively as a headlining act and as a support band. However, Rainer and Cindy will probably be best known for their recent stint in Helix.
On this night however it was Nail with opening act sHEAVY that we were anticipating. Now I have to voice my displeasure with Club One. The doors opened at 9 pm and it is the first time a band has ever went on stage at the same time that the doors open. That, unfortunately, is what happened to sHEAVY. Usually the doors are open at least an hour to 90 minutes before a band hits the stage at Club One but it was soon apparent why sHEAVY was forced on stage early. It was Saturday night and the club was trying to rush the bands on and off so that they could start the dance music. Unfortunately we missed the first couple of songs of sHEAVY’s set and even though they were playing to a tiny crowd they put on a show like there were 5000 people in the audience. It is just so unfortunate that they had to play to such a small crowd and had to go on stage so early.
Local metal veterans, sHEAVY were, as always, excellent. The sound they had for this show was better then usual for them as I find that the vocals are always too low for my liking. This wasn’t the case tonight and the band played great. Despite being the opening act, and playing to a small number of people, the band played fine and looked like they were having a great time. They ended their too short set with a new song. This is easily one of the best songs I’ve every heard from sHEAVY because it’s not the typical groove for the full song. There is a part in here with double kicks that sounds very intense. Both times that I’ve seen this track played live, this part of the song gets a strong reaction from fans so hopefully the band has taken notice and will incorporate more of that into their style.
SHEAVY were a great choice for the opener for Nail. They are easily one of, if not the, biggest metal bands from Newfoundland. For that reason I was shocked at the lack of turnout from the usual crowd of familiar faces that you see at local metal shows. Those slackers missed the local best metal show of the summer and I hope you deeply regret not showing up. Perhaps a part of the problem is that it was only 2 bands and the show was from 9-12? Maybe it’s because the name “Nail” is new to some and some of the slackers don’t know much about their local metal history to know about the band Koas that rocked their way across the province some 20+ years ago? Two of the main Kaos members (Rainer (guitars) and Cindy (vocals)) have finally gotten their own band off the ground after spending a few years in Helix. So enough of my ranting, onto Nail.
After a little while and some gear changes, the lights went down and Nail exploded on stage. The first thing that caught my attention was the gas mask that Rainer was wearing. I have no idea why he was wearing it but it looked damn cool (Note: the mask has a microphone in it and Rainer’s vocals for the first few lines of “No Way Out” were done using that mic!). Cindy and Rainer quickly established that they know their way around a stage. They took advantage of Club One’s larger than average (for a club in St. John’s) stage and used every inch to put on one of the best shows I have seen in quite awhile. Vocalist Cindy Weichman is a great frontperson. She really knows how to work a crowd and the quality of the show is a testament to the professionalism in the band. The unfortunate thing about the whole event was that the crowd was so thin. It’s a shame that more people didn’t come out to the see this great band perform its inaugural show in Newfoundland but those that did show up were treated to one hell of a set.
Nail live video clips:
I first heard Nail last year thanks to Celtic Bob here at Metal-Rules.com. They’ve released their debut self-titled album which is a great mixture of hard rock and metal. However, it’s only after seeing them live that I really got into it and that’s because they sound better live! Cindy’s vocals sounded bigger, more powerful, and just awesome to hear preformed so well live. That’s what really surprised me the most. As well, there are 2 songs on the Nail CD which has a very high vocal part that is kind of mixed low and I thought might have been some kind of studio trickery. Well, it’s not, and live she screamed it out and it gave me chills. We’re talking really high here…crazy high, higher than King Diamond high, higher than I’ve ever heard before period. It’s mind blowing that she did those parts live and flawlessly.
The other highlight is of course the guitar playing of Rainer. As soon as I heard Nail were coming, I was hoping he’d play his signature Kaos instrumental “March of the Gremlins”. This song might not have much meaning outside of our local scene, nor to those too young to of seen Rainer with his British Flag painted Strat emerging from a fog filled stage to play the opening riffs of that song. As a young impressionable kid just getting into metal, that was something that had a great impact on me and I’ve never forgotten it. When he started playing that song live on this night it was magic. Some sort of time bending alcohol fueled thing happened and I was lost in the music and was headbanging and air guitar playing like a kid. I’d go as far as to say that “March of the Gremlins” is easily the best instrumental recoded by a band from here and stands the test of time very well. While all the songs played were great, one other really stood out for me and that is “F.O.A.D.”. Can you guess what that stands for? If you guessed “Fuck off and die” you’re right! The opening riff of the song is very Sabbath sounding, and the simple chorus works so well that many were shouting along with glee.
Below is a video of Nail preforming “March of the Gremlins” The band had 2 high definition monitors on stage with them showing loads of video stuff to accompany their songs. I wasn’t paying a whole lot of attention to it as I was too busy watching the band but if you look closely you might see some clips from the Gremlins movie in the video..ha!
The band got to do an encore but similarly to the pumpkin at Cinderella’s ball, the club turns into a mindless dance club at midnight. Right after the band finished playing, they put on some Def Leppard (sadly it was “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and not something from their earlier albums) so we thought maybe they will play some decent music. But after that it went to shit with complete garbage and we had to get the fuck out before our heads exploded from the noise. The night was only young and didn’t end until a certain somebody (who shall remain nameless) was told he was a “health risk” and wasn’t allowed back into a certain fine downtown establishment after stepping outside to get some air! Ha!
With luck, Nail will return here again. It’s wild that this was the band’s first ever show! They sounded like they’ve been playing live for quite a while. Next time, perhaps they will do a couple of shows including an all ages one so that the kids can have a chance to hear them live as well. If you have the chance to catch Nail live, don’t miss them!!!!
No Way Out
Don’t Say It
Little White Lie
Let Me Out
March of the Gremlins (KAOS)
Power and Greed