Vista Chino w/ Monster Truck
@ The Roundhouse, London
2nd November 2013
Review by Anna Dumpe
Photography by Corinne Cumming
Although Vista Chino is a band name that some might be unfamiliar with, most of heavy metal and rock music admirers will recognize Kyuss.
After the former Kyuss members Brant Bjork, Nick Oliveri and John Garcia announced their reunion and had to face a lawsuit filed by other ex-members that would eventually keep them from using the original band name, all three musicians decided to move on as Vista Chino.
After releasing their first album Peace as Vista Chino, the band soon announced that they will be touring around Europe and on the 2nd of November, Metal-Rules.com team were privileged to witness Vista Chino tear up The Roundhouse alongside the energetic rock’n’roll outfit Monster Truck and making it one of the most memorable shows of 2013.
The Roundhouse might not be packed out with people just yet, but those who have arrived early are surely in for a treat, as the first band to take the stage is Canada’s finest rockers Monster Truck.
Monster Truck storm the stage and introduce themselves with an energetic, captivating and pumping start by kicking things off with „Old Train” off their latest album Furiosity. What instantly stands out with is the band’s straight forward rock’n’roll sound and their old-school groove.
It doesn’t take too long for Monster Truck guys to persuade the crowd with their classic approach to performing rock’n’roll music that’s fun, honest and genuine. Songs like “The Lion,” “The Giant” and “Power to the People” go down exceptionally well and there seem to be more than a few audience members familiar with the band, as the crowd goes a little rowdy already after the first few songs.
Jeremy Widerman’s guitar playing and stage presence makes Monster Truck performance a lot more entertaining to watch, as he lays down the grooviest riffs and bluesy guitar solos while going batshit crazy and throwing himself all over the stage.
What definitely makes Monster Truck music and live performance a lot more melodic is the presence of the man behind the Hammond organ – Brandon Bliss. Just as Deep Purple would not be the same without Jon Lord and Yes would not be as half as good without Rick Wakeman, Monster Truck without Brandon Bliss would miss a lot of their signature melodics and character.
Monster Truck boys mix it up and bring it down with the absolutely mind-blowing blues ballad of theirs “For The Sun,” which holds a great feel and melancholy that is expressed in the most beautiful way. With a heavy blues influence, big riffs and lyrical melodies, “For The Sun” fascinates each and every person in the crowd.
However, few moments later and without wasting too much time Monster Truck go straight back to what they do best, which is playing fun and loud rock’n’roll music.
Jon Harvey comes across as one of the greatest rock singers around as he delivers astounding vocal performance sounding spot on and leaving the audience a little amazed. “Psychics”, which is another banging track off Furisoty, is the perfect choice to highlight the out-of-space vocal abilities of his.
Monster Truck live show is fuelled with great energy and joyful drive as “Sweet Mountain River” makes one of tonight’s ultimate highlights with its great intro to raise the energy, dirty rock’n’roll groove and singalong chorus.
The band really seem to be having a blast on stage and their energy and enthusiasm is much appreciated by the audience. “Righteous Smoke” goes down as a killer track with pounding drums, great guitar work and catchy melody to get the heads banging and hips swinging.
“Seven Seas Blues”, a Monster Truck classic off The Brown EP, is a heavy sounding track that still manages to hold and demonstrate the band’s signature approach to rock’n’roll melodies and feel. It stands out as the ultimate crowd pleaser and is also the best song to represent everything that Monster Truck are all about – straight forward rock’n’roll. No bullshit.
Monster Truck guys have the ability to increase the energy in the room with every next song and by the end of their set, the whole place has turned into a party. They finish their set with the swinging “Call it a Spade,” which has been written after all the best blues and rock’n’roll standards. Once again Jon Harvey lays down some excellent vocals while Jeremy Widerman throws in a rather epic guitar solo to celebrate their successful London debut.
Make sure to watch out for the next time when Monster Truck roll into town with their monstrous riffs, giant grooves, never-ending party and eternal love for rock’n’roll music.
Power of the People
For The Sun
Sweet Mountain River
Seven Seas Blues
Call It a Spade
Check out our interview with Monster Truck HERE!
Quite a crowd has gathered at the Roundhouse when it’s finally time for the stoner rock legends Vista Chino (ex-Kyuss) to take the stage.
Tonight they open their set with “Adara” off the new album Peace making it a great start of the show with Brant Bjork kicking the living hell out of his drum kit and John Garcia appearing to be in top form.
“Adara” is followed by “One Inch Man” – the first classic Kyuss song of the night to get the crowd going right away. Presenting a setlist to please any stoner rock fan, Vista Chino cleverly mix their new material with Kyuss classics.
“Dragona Dragona,” which is the first single off Peace, demonstrates emphasized drum and guitar work that brilliantly reflects the classic Kyuss sound and makes a point that Vista Chino might be a different band name, but the musical essence, feel and performance has remained quite the same.
The energy on stage tonight seems electric as Vista Chino throw in “Gardenia,” yet another Kyuss cover. With John Garcia’s vocals sounding smooth, yet soaring and Brant Bjork often stealing the show with his impressive drumming, they deliver a heavy set incorporating humongous grooves and fuzzy psychedelics.
A great surprise is Vista Chino guitarist Bruno Fevery who proves himself as a key member of the band perfectly capturing the feel of Kyuss classic material by adding his own signature approach to it. He puts on a solid performance where he’s as comfortable stepping up to lay down some mind-blowing guitar solos as well as holding back and giving way for the monstrous rhythm section of Vista Chino.
With an intense guitar fuelled intro, “Asteroid” (another Kyuss classic) manages to build up the energy in the room and see the crowd respond with throwing their hands in the air. Heavy in its structure and with a powerful drive, “Asteroid” marks one of the most memorable moments of tonight’s show.
It’s classically followed by “Supa Scoopa and Mighty Scoop” that puts a great accent on to Brant Bjork’s explosive drumming and Mike Dean’s immense bass parts sounding larger than life. At this moment in time the band just seems unstoppable, as Bruno Fevery lays down yet another mind-blowing guitar solo that’s cleverly arranged to blend in with the pounding and contrasting rhythm parts of “Supa Scoopa and Mighty Scoop”.
During their set Vista Chino guys don’t hesitate to throw in lengthy instrumental parts sounding experimental and progressive. And what would be a Vista Chino show without Brant’s heavy drumming and Mike’s bass lines to get the walls of the Roundhouse shake?
Mike Dean, who’s replaced Nick Oliveri on bass guitar has been on the road with Vista Chino guys for a while now and seems to have perfectly settled in as a band member. As the bass guitarist of Corrosion Of Conformity, Mike is no beginner when it comes to stoner rock and he definitely does not struggle with laying down beyond thumping bass lines to emphasize the heaviness of this genre.
Songs that really set the room on fire and get the crowd go nuts are the ultimate Kyuss classics, like “Thumb” and “Green Machine” off their famous Blues for the Red Sun album.
Vista Chino finish their set with “Freedom Run” making it a loud and indescribably heavy ending of the show with drum beats resonating through your chest and making the ground shake underneath your feet.
However, the band returns for an encore and throws in more new material with Bran Bjork taking over the vocals on “Planets 1&2” and presenting another epic tune with a great drive to emphasize the talent and musical skills of Vista Chino band members.
Last two songs of the night are chosen to be off another classic Kyuss album Sky Valley and make the ultimate highlight of the night. “Whitewater” and “Odyssey,” without a doubt, go down a storm leaving the London’s crowd highly satisfied. Vista Chino might not be Kyuss or Kyuss Lives!, but the energy on stage and within the crowd seems very familiar, especially when John Garcia jumps off the stage to crowd-surf. Just like the good old days, eh?
Tonight Vista Chino delivered a set that’s not just about introducing the new material, but also celebrating the history of the band and their love for stoner rock and music in general.
It is and always will be a pleasure to see these legendary musicians together on one stage still having fun and going strong.
One Inch Man (Kyuss cover)
Hurricane (Kyuss cover)
Gardenia (Kyuss cover)
As You Wish
Asteroid (Kyuss cover)
Supa Scoopa and Mighty Scoop (Kyuss cover)
Dark and Lovely
Thumb (Kyuss cover)
Green Machine (Kyuss cover)
Freedom Run (Kyuss cover)
Whitewater (Kyuss cover)
Odyssey (Kyuss cover)
Check out our interview with Vista Chino HERE!