March 4, 2017 – Atlanta, GA – The Highlander
Late Saturday night, Atlanta, after work. I can finally make it to a gig again. Of course, as usual, I missed the first band, Sara and the Safe Word (damn Atlanta traffic). Seems they just played a half hour and apparently I really didn’t miss anything. My objective was Filthy Rebel and Gunpowder Gray anyway.
Around 10:45 pm Filthy Rebel took the stage. What seemed to be the start, was just a quick soundcheck and Jeff made a quick trip to the bar to get some beer…err…water.
Then they started rockin’ the joint, and I mean really rockin’. With a new drummer who really kicked some serious ass they started off with “Get Some”. They seemed to rock harder than usual tonight and I really liked it.
The venue was very nice, although a bit small. Only thing annoying was the sound mixer, who seemed to be a kind of perfectionist, as he was constantly running back and forth. There was more movement on stage than usual, Jeff was even making his rounds through the audience, his voice blasting the songs like a Klaus Meine. They continued with “Try”.
“Escape From the Fight” calmed things down a bit, but the refrain and guitars were still hard and actually gave it a psychedelic feel. After Jeff inquired if there was some heavy drinking going on, they continued with “Never Again” (don’t know how often I have said that to myself).
Next up was their cover version of the Awolnation song “Sail”, which I still think is better than the original. Jeff seemed in a very good mood this evening. Someone in the crowd requested ‘Freebird’ to which Jeff replied he “ain’t gonna be performing no fucking Freebird” and they continued with a song Jeff wrote called “We Don’t Belong”, which is my personal favorite from this band.
For the last song Jeff was wanting to see some people crying but “What You Made of Me” was by far not a love song and rocked until the end.
Filthy Rebel delivered again with their filthy mix of bluesy hard rock. They rocked the house and the new drummer is great behind his kit. I hope they keep him. Jeff’s great vocal range, Chris’ excellent guitar skills and Johnny’s wild bass playing always make this band a real treat. I have very high hopes for this band and think that the direction they are going will prove successful. I will keep going to their gigs and suggest everyone go see them when they get a chance.
I have been trying to see this band for the longest time, but they usually have their gigs during the week. Tonight, I was finally able to go. They seemed to have brought their own fan base as the stage front area was suddenly packed. I was talking with the vocalist before the show about punk, and THAT’S what this band is about. And they were awesome!!!
Loud guitar riffs and ear busting volume, Gunpowder Gray are Chris Heffernan on guitar and vocals, Sam Vaughan on bass, Alex Parra on lead guitar and Justin Smith on drums.
Their next song, “Straight To Hell” was about being real bad and I was surprised that Chris wasn’t annoyed by the one fan that was pretty much in his face up front.
A punky crowd, I heard remarks from some fans that people who don’t know the band don’t matter. Okay, I am starting to be reminded of my 80’s punk days. At this point I felt the urge to pogo (the punk predecessor of mosh for those unfamiliar with the scene).
Next up a song they wrote a month ago. Unfortunately I was unable to get the set list, Chris had told me they had improvised and was unable to give me the song titles afterwards. But next up was “Revolver”, which started with some serious drums followed by the guitars.
Their cover version of Thin Lizzy’s “Emerald” definitely had the fans going.
Time for the last song and the fans were already begging for 10 more songs. They did an encore, a Rolling Stones cover of “Play With Fire”, which was a slower tune by the band and not my personal favorite from them of the evening.
I will definitely be seeing this band again. I loved it and my ears were ringing, haven’t had that in a while. You can find the band on Facebook and Twitter @GunpowderGray as well as ReverbNation and Bandcamp.
Although I missed the first band, it was a great evening. The venue was cool (I was surprised to hear The Oppressed blasting out of the speakers after the gig) and both Filthy Rebel and Gunpowder Gray delivered. Atlanta has some awesome bands.