THE STARLITE ROOM (EDMONTON, AB), MARCH 22, 2014
Opening up Saturday night’s show at The Starlite Room were Edmonton progressive metal locals, Of Articulate Design. Having opened for Scale the Summit and Tesseract in October at the Pawn Shop, along with being on a few other local bills, I wished the best for them. The lights went up and, as the four took place onstage, Zakk Pendree (OAD’s lead vocalist) let out an earth-shattering scream, which was followed by chaotic riffs coming from the guitars of Peter Zawalski and Dan Beaudoin, overtop Nelson Collins-Lee’s thundering drumming. As their set progressed, more and more people began to approach the stage, each smiling and cheering. Eventually the floor was full and moving — it was a night to remember for these local metallers.
Soon after, Navene-K took place onstage behind his drum kit, his MacBook at his side and a spotlight illuminating his presence. At first, I was unsure of what to expect as I had not heard Navene before. I could tell that everyone on the floor was eager to see what this guy was all about. Then, an abundance of electro-beats flooded through the monitors, and a series of gut-busting drum beats followed. The crowd began cheering and nodding their heads in appreciation. I was amazed with the precision of this man’s drumming — the way he made it flow with dubstep-style music was brilliant. Even after his set, there was a murmur of praise amongst fellow drummers in the crowd: Navene-K had made a good impression on Edmonton.
The third band of the night was After The Burial. The lights went dark, Anthony Notarmaso came onstage and the audience began to roar: strobe lights fired off, strings and drums shattered the cheers of excitement. There was constant movement throughout the entire set. I have never seen such and energetic crowd in The Starlite Room before. Even though they were short a member, these hardcore/metal gentlemen still managed to deliver a wicked performance and drove the crowd’s energy through the roof without missing a beat.
Finally, the headlining performance: Animals As Leaders. The air was thick with anticipation and excitement. The band’s electric banner had come to life, as they filed one-by-one onto the stage, each cheer of the crowd progressively getting louder. Stage divers launched themselves into the crowd with reckless abandon. After announcing that they would be playing a track off of their new album, The Joy Of Motion, the intensity of the crowd had Tosin Abasi grinning like a kid on Christmas morning. With high spirits and smiling faces, Animals As Leaders had once again graced Edmonton with another outstanding performance.
By Dana Zuk
Photos by Dana Zuk