Beyond the Fade Fan Appreciation Show
Beyond the Fade Fan Appreciation Show
Photos by: Kevin McGee
Charlotte was in for a night of local music, love, hugs, flashy makeup and hair, and family, and we weren’t even at Pride! that was being hosted just a few blocks away. Last night we were met with a great line-up of bands that all tend to get along well and play shows up and down the Carolinas together. The lineup was comprised Beyond the Fade, Reson Define, Skipper the Lion, and Death in August.
The Beginning: When I was introduced to Neil Jackson, vocalist of Beyond the Fade, many years ago, the first thing I remember was the hug. When you put your hand out to shake hello and instead are met with a bear-hug it tends to leave an impression. That’s marketing gold. I watched him make his way through the crowd, dispersing his affection to old friends and new fans. In that vein – the first time I was introduced to Paolina Massaro, vocalist to Reason Define, and crew last year at the opening of The Fillmore Underground, I remember the giggles. Her and quartet of rainbow colored-hair vixens’ laughter was absolutely infectious. We sat down to do an interview and I instantly felt as if we were kicking it on a Friday night with a pizza, movie, and maybe a sleepover was in order talking shit about boys and girls and the best music to scream to. It was a devilishly good time and, as always, it ended with a hug.
The scene: Walking around the venue tonight, it was the same theme throughout. I saw Adam Nelson, lead singer of Something Clever, and had some fun conversations about crazy things seen at a show along with Shutter 16 photographer Kevin McGee. Looking around when you first walk into The Underground Fillmore, you are met with some cool merch set ups.Tonight Beyond the Fade debuted their new merch stand, which was a road case set-up made by Wright Case. Which, small world, lead singer of Venus Invictus Amanda Caines made the logo for. I found Amanda in the crowd and you guessed it, hugs. The network of musicians grows and shows in events such as tonight. If you were lucky enough to be there, I hope you were met with an embrace, a whip of hair swaying side to side during the sets (thanks random stranger with waist length hair, it helped to cool me off!), and earplugs cause damn that music was loud last night!
The show: First up was Death in August, and for the events of being completely candid, I was not present to see their set. From what I’ve heard with the crowd and those I have asked it was a successful show. I truly wish I was present to see them perform their single “Equinox.” Take a listen here! They are a perfect blend of metal and rock with the lead guitars being my absolute favorite.
And while they are described as heavy metal, hard-rock, I’m leaning more towards punk. Metal alt punk with an invigorating jolt of youthful energy and great playing, there is just something about a chunky guitar and heavy bass sets me ablaze. The quote that stuck out is “They want you to WRECK YOUR NECK!” Next time, my friends, next time!
Up next were Skipper the Lion, we just walked in as they were setting up. I was in the midst of hugs and how have you beens when the first chord struck. The perdantic rustic alternative sound led still to a punk undertone. These kids just did not give a fuck and came to party. Sans PBR tallboys and patched up vests, they throw down with the best of them.
Again, I was unfamiliar with the band as many I talked to the same, but when they ripped into RATM’s “Bombtrack,” everyone started to dance and, dare I say, rage. Lead vocalist Johnny Oliver was like a jackrabbit, hopping and jiving all over the place. The over annunciation of some notes were border-line irksome.and I think their songs are based loosely on sounds “Woohoo,” “Ahh,” and “Umphh.”.
I found myself chucked into a void of “my god, I’m old, these could be my kids on stage… “ and this is kinda cool. They made me want to dance, and people were getting down, screaming, and really getting us primed for the headliners. Great choice to add to this bill. For now. I want to have another show before I lock opinions.
After the set came to a close, I circled what I could of the venue, making it from one chair to another and gaining hugs; seriously I’m like a vacuum for bear hugs! While another hug sesh went down, the next band set up for their set. I was familiar with Reason Define and wanted to see more of what the crowd thought, or who they were there for. I spotted a small child stage right with his dad; with the full package – band shirt on proudly, I walked up and overheard their conversation that he wanted to a be a band photographer. I introduced myself as having done that for 20 years. As I was NOT in the photo pit for the night, they looked at me like I was nuts for a little. I explained about Shutter and our #twitfromthepit stream, and if he really wanted to pursue band photography, he should.
I grabbed a quick #twitfromthepit shot of them (with dad’s permission of course) and asked who they were there for. They said all the bands, but especially BTF and Reason Define. Just then RD was starting with “Start Me Over.” Fans alike screamed and jumped up and down. Next up was “Theives,” and then Paramore’s “Misery Business.”
Now without saying, RD is talented and they do have a sound unto their own but I’m not surprised by this cover; they sound an awful lot like Paramore anyway. They have the energy, the pipes, the rock-pop, and the look. At one point during their set, their “band grandma” (no true familial relation) crowd surfed on in. I want to be as cool as that lady when I’m her age.
After she set the bar, the rest of the venue decided everyone wanted a ride into the photo pit and the slew of crowd surfers were birthed to the front of the stage. The greatest Guns-N-Roses cover I’ve seen was up when they tore into “Welcome to the Jungle.”
Massaro donned a bandana in Axl fashion as well as some Aviators to get into character. Even the diehard metalhead I was with, who basically wasn’t much into any of the music around, said this was a great cover. After the gals got their safari on, Neil joined them for the song “Lock & Key” to really get the crowd pumped for the upcoming BTF performance.
Overall, Reason Define made the crowd jump and crowd surf the most of the entire night. It’s always a good time with them! I spoke with Massaro this morning, and when asked how the show went she said “This was definitely the coolest show we’ve ever played. The most rowdy crowd ever and we’re so thankful to have been part of that night.”
Main performance: This show was dubbed the Fan Appreciation Show. For many reasons. BTF has a dedicated fan base. When I checked in today with Neil he had this to say about the show:
“The night was beautiful, and all the bands brought their best to the stage last night. It was a show for our fans, and I know that we didn’t let anyone down last night. The passion and energy was high in the room from the time the doors open until the time they closed. It was one amazing mixture of band personalities and quality musicians. We are like family. Last night was more like a family reunion between bands and fans. It was a perfect night. Honestly doesn’t get much better than that. I’m glad that Shutter 16 can be a part of it. Thank you so much. And thank you to everyone who came out last night despite everything else that was going on around town.”
Then it was time for break down again and set up and the air was thick with anticipation. The band everyone came to see was up next. The lights dimmed and boom there were big smoke streamers; and what a great light show! Beyond the Fade, the Charlotte scene goliaths, came on to a energetic crowd. The sound was on point. While I may get ripped to pieces for this, I’ve just gotta say it: they have always reminded me of Korn in some aspects. Regardless, it’s still pretty sweet that they’ve shared the stage with Skillet, Godsmack, Shinedown, and Motley Crue. That’s an accomplishment in itself!
The band released their highly anticipated new album, entitled Welcome to the Pain, last August, so tonight’s fan-based show was fitting. A celebration of sorts, I guess you could call it. And a celebration it was!
They did a few crowd favorites, a cover I could not quite pick out, and as in my form of not really feeling all that great I ducked out on the 4th of 5th song respectfully. This night was great stroke rehab and suggest music as a healer for anyone (as long as the doctor approves!) I’d come for a great show, I’d experienced one. I was satisfied.
Until next time: There is something to be said about the music community. No matter what headspace you are in, once you enter those concert hall doors and step inside, you can leave it at the door. You are met with hugs, smiles, hopefully cheap beer, cool stories, and community. Love to everyone who attended, see y’all again soon!
Reason | Define setlist:
Start Me Over
Misery Business (cover)
Welcome To The Jungle (cover)
Lock & Key (With Neil Jackson)
In Your Eyes
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Death in August
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