ION INDIE MAGAZINE April 2017, Volume 35 - Page 69
Story and Photography by Timothy Schumann • 513 Photography
Ok , here we go again . And what I mean by that is--just like last month , I am covering a headlining act and the publicist for the supporting act reaches out to me to include that band as well . So , once again I am “ double dipping ”. This time , I will be pulling “ double duty ” shooting headliner DEVILDRIVER , while also photographing THE AGONIST , the opener . The “ Bound By The Road ” tour arrived here in El Paso on February 28 th , and of course , at the only venue in town that would host a show of this caliber … TRICKY FALLS .
The Agonist hails from Montreal , Canada , and has been around since 2004 , but didn ' t release their first album until 2007 . To their credit there are 5 releases in 9 years . The music they play is labeled “ Melodic Metalcore ” -- a la NIGHTWISH or DELAIN . Now , here ' s nice “ fun fact ”: In 2007 , they took 6th place in “ Most Popular Music Video ” with “ Business Suits and Combat Boots ” on MTV2 ' s “ Headbangers Ball ”. Not too shabby ! Another cool part about this band--The Agonist has a female lead singer , VICKY PSARKIS . I did have moment backstage with her … she was very warm and welcoming . Although it was a Devildriver crowd in the house , The Agonist was wellreceived by this El Paso metal madhouse . Their songs such as “ Thank you ”, “ Pain ”, “ You ' re Coming With Me ” and “ Business Suits and Combat Boots ” had those devil horns standing tall ! There was definitely an enthusiastic reaction , especially for a band that , for the most part , was unknown to this crowd . I think it ’ s safe to say that Vicky has left her mark here in West Texas .
Next was the headliner and Santa Barbara-based band Devildriver . DEZ FARARA is the only original member left from band ’ s inception in 2004 . I do have a bit of history with Dez--from when he was last here with COAL CHAMBER in 2015 . I won ' t go into it , but let ’ s just say that I walked somewhat gingerly to the pit to shoot my 3 songs for this performance . They categorize their music as “ Groove Metal ”. I ’ m not really sure what that means . From my vantage point , it was Hard Metal Rock , but putting genre aside , this show really had me on my ear ! I was impressed to the core … great show , Dez !
The catalyst for tonight ’ s circle pit was Dez screaming out songs like “ Devil ' s Son ”, “ Driving Down the Darkness ” and my personal favorite , “ Digging up Corpses ”. I might add that watching the entire show from the side of the stage , I could see Dez was just having fun , a master at his craft , giving this crowd everything they wanted and more .
El Paso is passed over by many major tours and festivals . They are either on their way to Dallas or Albuquerque . What I am getting at is , the bands that do come here are treated and received very well--especially large national metal acts . What can I say ? El Paso is a Metal Town . On second thought--if the sold-out Devildriver show is any indicator , El Paso is a GROOVE Metal Town !