Onesidezero - 7.13.19 @ The Viper Room
All Photos By Rebekah and David Priest (C) 2019
At the turn of the century, the Hard Rock/Heavy Metal scene was a peculiar place to say the least. Nu-Metal had made its mark and was in full swing. Artists such as Slipknot and System of A Down were the heavyweights of the movement while across the pond we had stellar musicianship stem from the likes of such renown acts as Opeth and the less prominent yet still poignant Pagansmind. Both releasing albums that were based in more traditional Metal styles and very different from the North American scene. Then we had the in-between which although some may disagree I viewed as the Alt-Metal revolution. Bands like Mastodon, Adema, and my favorite of the time Onesidezero. Mixing very melodic textures with aggression laden in-your-face rock they were creative geniuses who to this day are highly underrated IMHO.
Although the band has gone through a few lineup changes over the years their core element remains with guitarist Levon Sultanian and guitarist/frontman Jasan Radford. The group is now rounded out by the addition of former Soulfly bassist Cello Dias and drummer Mike Tarabotto. According to the band they never officially broke up and have just been an on again off again entity for the past 18 years. The guys got together last year for a couple of gigs and again just recently they played to a packed house on July 13th at the legendary Viper Room in Hollywood CA and proved undeniably that the years have not diminished their abilities in the slightest.
The energy from the crowd was intense from the opening chords of "Preacher" the first song of the set but when they broke into "Tapwater", the melting of faces was in full effect. I have to say that the mix was superb this evening and hearing Jasan's somber and melancholic voice so clearly and up front with songs like "A Point In Time", and "Instead Laugh" was a huge plus. The heavy raspy vocals also shown through on such stand out songs as "Eight" and the shows triumphant grand finale "New World Order". It's true that we are all older now but with the way Mr. Radford performed you would think he's still in his 20's. Lead guitarist Levon Sultanian was enormously precise. His execution of every riff and his penchant for weaving the perfect tone with unambiguous melodic competency in his solos and leads brought a tear to my eye on more than one occasion. The bands rhythm section was equally tight, bassist Cello Dias adds just the right amount of bottom end to unite all portions without detracting from the whole of the band's sound. Furthermore, skinsman and visual timekeeper Mike Tarabotto was an absolute beast and to put it bluntly, impressed the crap out of me. Additional songs that found their way into the set worth mentioning were the always favorable, "Holding Stare", "Safely Forgotten", from the bands self titled album and live fan favs like "Chasing The Sun", "Brathworth", and "Youthphoria", (as they appeared on their set list lol). Hopefully these will be released in a recorded studio version in the not too distant future. There were a few new tunes as well including the aforementioned opening song "Preacher".
The general feeling of the night was one of not just camaraderie but of family as most in attendance were longtime fans who have been with the band since their inception. Jasan in fact repeatedly would come down to the front of the stage and encourage the audience to sing portions of the songs instilling that the night, the music and the memories being made were all about everyone being there together. Through it all, this was a truly great night that won't ever be forgotten. Thanks guys!