By Brent Michael, Rock At Night Tampa Senior Correspondent
Venue: The Orpheum, Ybor City/Tampa, Florida–May 7th, 2022
Bands/Websites or Facebook/Social Links:
Before the night even started, Portland dark rock duo/trio Hoaxed had intrigued the audience, and hoaxed them! See, I was there early and just chilling in the pit, when a group of drummers (all guys, and it matters) started discussing the hardware on the stage. Amorphis’ kit was in the back on a riser, UADA’s kit was off to the side, and Hoaxed’s kit (also used by Sylvaine) was front and center. As you can see, the kit isn’t huge, and it’s white, which apparently means something to drummers. Amid talk of brands and pedals and cymbals, one drummer commented that the kit was “small,” to which another responded, “Yeah, and it’s white! Why is it white? Is the drummer showing his feminine side?” Laughter followed, and the conversation came to an abrupt end as three young ladies took the stage.
Now, the info for their EP release says, “Drums, bass, guitar, vocals, and synth written, performed, and produced by Hoaxed (Kim Coffel + Kat Keo).” Kim is the drummer, and yes, she’s feminine! What would someone expect? That’s the duo who started this band a couple years ago, the third member is unidentified, though I think she’d be a great addition to the band! Combining elements of Indie, Goth, Rock and Metal, Hoaxed showed those drummers that they are a force to be reckoned with in the eventual post-pandemic world of live music.
Next up was Sylvaine, both the band’s name and the name of the one woman multi-instrumentalist, bandleader, and composer born Kathrine Shepard. With her porcelain skin, long blond hair, and delicate looks, you might pass her on the street and think, “Oh, I’ll bet she’s a model or something!” And looking at the website, you’d see you were right!
But there’s much more to the artist and to the band! For some time, she has been seen as the petite pixie of the Norwegian black gaze scene, but her small elven features and lightheartedness belie the woman warrior behind the facade. Sylvaine (a play on the name of one of her beloved French poets, Paul Verlaine) spent the time she was suffering from COVID crafting an epic and very personal album. This attention to organization shows in their set, which begins with an ethereal number and grows into a crescendo of sound and voice like no other. Of course, when playing live, she needs the support of a backing band; Sylvaine handles the primary vocals and guitar, while Dorian Mansiaux abuses the drums, Maxime Mouquet provides backing vocals & bass, and Florian Ehrenberg adds backing vocals & guitar.
The next band was a mystery called UADA. Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, or so they claim, the band’s membership is a tightly-guarded secret, though there’s a rumor that it’s made up of Taylor Swift and Adele’s ex-boyfriends. Well, there is now, I just started it! The band would neither confirm nor deny this, not surprising since I never asked them!
Established in 2014, if I were a paparazzi I could make big money had I snuck into their green room or waited outside to catch them sans robes, hoods, and makeup (?). Suffice it to say, if there is a band that embodies the black metal atmosphere in their show and attitude in the band, this is it! Of course, the sound matched! Oh! I just remembered! There was a commercial…found it! Take a minute and watch: https://youtu.be/GISsJT-8Ihk
I wonder if this was an inspiration for them?
Finally, Amorphis took over the stage. Progressive metal all the way from Helsinki, Finland.
The band’s current lineup is: Tomi Joutsen, Vocals; Esa Holopainen, Guitars; Santeri Kallio, Keyboards; Tomi Koivusaari, Guitars; Jan Rechberger, Drums; and Olli-Pekka Laine, Bass. The band was founded by Rechberger, Koivusaari, and Holopainen in 1990 as a death metal band, but later evolved into playing other genres, including progressive metal and folk metal. They frequently use the Kalevala, the epic poem of Finland, as a source for their lyrics. Laine was also a founding member, but left the band from 2000-2017. Kallio joined in 1998, and the newest member is their vocalist, Joutsen, who replaced their former singer after they received over 100 audition tapes and finally were hooked up by word of mouth. The band’s next album, released in 2006, was both a critical and commercial success and paved the way for a return to form that has swept them forward ever since.
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