Beartooth, Avatar + More Preview Rock + Metal’s Future at 2017 Loudwire Music Awards Kickoff Concert
Before rock and metal's biggest night of the year at the 2017 Loudwire Music Awards, a Kickoff Concert, hosted by Sirius XM's Jose Mangin, was held nearby at the Echoplex in Los Angeles with headliners Beartooth were supported by a diverse cast of bands that brought out fans from differing scenes to come together the night before celebrating it all collectively.
Beartooth, who are out supporting their latest album, Aggressive, have been nominated for Breakthrough Band of the Year in the 2017 Loudwire Music Awards, alongside some of their support for the night, the masquerading Avatar, Royal Thunder's walk-the-train-track blues-tinged rock 'n' roll and the trance-induing King Woman. Nu-metal upstarts Ded and rising alt-metal act My Ticket Home completed the package.
The night began with My Ticket Home, who thanked the crowd for coming out early to catch their set, which is vein-bulging marriage of anthemic grunge hooks and twitchy nu-metal textures anchored by sweat-stained, frenetic garage rock drumming. The band is currently sharing the road with Loudwire Music Awards performers Nothing More and are on the rise following the release of their latest record, UnReal.
My Ticket Home's more watery-toned psychedelic facets gave way to Brooklyn's King Woman and their spellbinding hypnosis as they hit the stage to unfurl offerings from their trance-sludge debut, Created in the Image of Suffering. Repetitive, fuzz-drenched rhythms drew out synchronized, subconscious head bobs from the crowd as Kristina Esfandiari's uniquely haunting voice transported the Echoplex to a location unknown to both time and space.
Continuing the sonic trend, Royal Thunder, who flew in from Atlanta, took the stage and instantly locked into their own world, beginning the set with a cut from 2017's WICK. Each member's distinct presence on stage rounds out their multifaceted sound, which spans from springboard energy to bottomless despair as Mlny Parsonz's gritty-toned throat shredding screams quickly flip to quivering, subdued pangs of heartache.
The mood in the room was somber, as it often is following the conclusion of an emotive Royal Thunder performance, and Jose Mangin reversed the leveled energy, effectively hyping the still increasing crowd for Ded's chest-beating, finger-flipping angst. Frontman Joe Cotela engaged the crowd with "bounce that s--t" bouts of collective arm waving and took the crowd to ground level before leading them into an explosive jumping moment as Ded ran through cuts off their debut record, Mis•An•Thrope.
While fans awaited the Swedish court jesters Avatar, circus-like, almost yodeling poured through the PA and eventually the lights dimmed and ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls and children of all ages (well, maybe not so much the children) gathered to take in a band that has been an increasing live attraction every time they return to the United States. With rhythmically-lunging cuts taken from across their canon, including 2016's Feathers and Flesh, Avatar took command of the Monday night crowd.
Finally, it came time for Beartooth's headlining performance and following another introduction from the ever enthusiastic Jose Mangin, the band owned the rest of the night. Despite only having two albums to their name, 2014's Disgusting and 2016's Aggressive, their status is unquestioned as fans leapt from the stage into the outstretched arms of the crowd as they stood with eyes fixed on the stage, barking out every word in time with frontman Caleb Shomo.
With the 2017 Loudwire Music Awards set for Oct. 24 featuring performances coming from some of rock and metal's biggest names, the Kickoff Concert provided a glimpse into the future with a dynamic look at what's buzzing in various scenes. Tune into the 2017 Loudwire Music Awards tonight at 7PM PT on AXS TV or stream it live on the Loudwire and WWE Facebook pages!
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