On the outside of the black velvet curtain, there was no evidence of what was lying in wait on the other side. As I parted the curtain that separates the venue from the bar area, a wall of sound slammed me in the face as I entered to Night Demon’s opening song “Screams in the Night”.
The inside of the curtain places you “side-stage”, the excited crowd staring back at me while banging their heads and singing along to the music. I quickly scan the room and see an opening on the opposite side, near the stage. As Night Demon holds the near capacity crowd’s attention, I navigate myself to my intended location. The band’s love and mastery of the music was evident, and they were having a great time putting on a flawless performance. Influenced by the great bands of the 70’s and 80’s Night Demon combines their influences of bands such as Metallica, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath. The light show in sync with the music hypnotizing the crowd, the band controlled the stage with the only break in intensity coming when they paused to announce that they would be returning for another show in the OC in the near future, but that next time it was going to be at an “all ages” venue. Continuing with a heartfelt explanation, stating that the future of heavy metal is the kids. Putting it very simply, “If they aren’t fans by age 21, they are lost forever.” Things quickly exploded back into melodic chaos, crowd favorite Rocky the Demon made an appearance during “The Chalice”, then finished the set strong with their self-titled mainstay “Night Demon”.
Night Demon Set List:
Screams in the Night
Full Speed Ahead
Curse of the Damned
The Howling Man
Road Racin’ (Riot Cover)
During the set change I headed outside for a few minutes of a much needed fresh air break, returning to an even more crowded room with Holy Grail taking the stage to some early sound problems.
With the technical difficulties behind them, Holy Grail unleashed a barrage of guitar and vocals that did not disappoint. The speed and technical precision of the guitar playing is awe inspiring and led to flashbacks of me trying to play “Through the Fire and Flames” by Dragonforce in Guitar Hero. I know, I too wish I could be “cooler” and have flashbacks of playing a real guitar. As Holy Grail continued to melt faces, they left fans wondering how many hours of practice it would take to play half as good. I couldn’t help to wish I was seeing them on a larger stage. Holy Grail has an incredibly “large” sound that I think would benefit to be seen on a larger stage, but it sure was fun it is watching them rock the small club in Fullerton to its foundation.
Thank you to the Slidebar for putting on this show at their low, low price of FREE. It was nice to see such a great turnout to support the local bands and the club.