Concert Review: Cold-Kopek-Oceans Divide 4-1-2011

I was treated to this line-up at the Alrosa Villa on April Fool’s Day, but if it was a joke – it wasn’t on me! Truly awesome time was had experiencing some excellently crafted rock n’ roll.

First up after the local bands were the Alternative rockers Oceans Divide out of Spokane, WA. Very radio accessible & melodic, I also found them to be extremely energetic and a lot of fun to watch (with WAY more stage presence than any of the local bands, sadly). Not syrupy or chock full of mindless ballads, a slight punk influence was evident alongside healthy doses of metal and hard rock. Hey, I don’t mind a more mainstream act if it’s done well and in this case, it was. Nice guys too, which always helps. I hate meeting a band then wanting to kick them in the face.

Ireland’s Kopek were next, a band I’ve been wanting to catch live ever since reviewing their CD. They totally lived up to my expectations, with a dynamic set comprised of my favorite songs, flawlessly executed & powerful – like a slap across the noggin.  Lead vocalist/guitarist Daniel Jordan (pictured with yours truly) isn’t a tall man, but he’s a giant onstage with a full-out vocal assault that quite honestly, I don’t see how he replicates night after night while on tour.   His band mates played hard & tight, delivering a phenomenal performance that I’m sure instantly brought them many new fans.  The set list consisted of “Fever”, “Love Sick Blues”, “The Easy Way”, “White Collar Lies”, “Cocaine Chest Pains”, first single “Love is Dead” and finally “Bring It On Home”.  You couldn’t ask for a better performance.

Last up was the reunited Cold.  Ok, ok – I know they’ve been back together since 2009 but this is MY first time seeing them since then, so I’m sticking with the term ‘reunited’.  Anyways, the nearly sold-out venue was treated to an excellent set of greatest hits (my all-time fave being “Stupid Girl”, like so many other folks) plus a taste of their new CD (“Wicked World” for example, showcases that their sound hasn’t lost anything over the time away).

Vocalist Scooter Ward, despite looking more gaunt than I remember, has lost nothing in the pipes department while the rest of the band blasted a literal wall of sound that encapsulated the brainstem & tickled my cortex.  And I like having my cortex tickled.  Seriously tho, they had a great mix and an impressive stage show oozing with smoke and flashing spotlight beams.   Where I honestly expected a lot of mellowness,  we the audience were thankfully rewarded with more high energy rock n’ roll that left everyone sweaty, soaked and weary.

Great triple bill.  We didn’t get Egypt Central who are also on this tour, as they’re playing Rock On The Range here in a few more weeks.  From what I saw this is a bill of bands that perfectly compliment one another, without being 3 sets of “didn’t we just hear this?”.  Definitely catch this tour when it comes to your area.

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