On August 26, the vibe at Albuquerque’s Launchpad was electric. The crowd was a bit sparse, but those in attendance were ready for some fresh metal and hardcore, and that’s exactly what they got.
I was a bit late to the concert, but I was just in time for all-chick thrashers Suspended, who tore it up from beginning to end. The band’s combination of old-school thrash metal and hints of NWOBHM thundered ears beyond belief. Melynda Montano’s bass stood out, contrasting with the heavy licks of guitarist Amanda Castillo, while the concussion-inducing battery of drummer Channing Concho kept things fast and furious. Labels out there: Sign Suspended, now! In the meantime, check out their debut CD, Prelude to Indignance.
I spoke with Amanda between sets, and she let me know that Suspended would be going on a two-leg concert soon. The first leg would span venues in Oklahoma and Texas, and the second leg would cover the West Coast.
Up next was Albuquerque’s Eve of an End, who threw down their potent combo of punk, metal, and pop music. It was vocalist James who jumped into the audience to get the mosh pit started, slamming into several spectators with everything he had. Jumping back on stage, he ripped out some more verses while down below the fruits of his labor thrived until the band closed out their set. The energy now was at full tilt.
Feeding off that vibe, Arizona’s Howitzer kicked out the jams, giving the audience a sweat-filled set of southern-styled rock splattered with thrash metal. The mosh pit continued to flourish, and at one point Howitzer invited all the other bands on stage for one massive throw down. This was the highlight of the night, with everyone getting down to the music and each other. In between sets, I picked up a copy of In Our Name, which I will review later.
Albuquerque’s Blinddryve lived up to their headliner status, with vocalist Chris Sandoval’s epic vocals killing any small rodents that ventured anywhere near the Launchpad while guitarist Casper Gomez shredded his axe at full tilt. Throwing down the screams was none other than bassist Daniel Gonzales, who when combined with Sandoval’s croons made for a stunning pair. In between sets, I picked up a copy of World Insane, which I will review later.
If you have never been to the Launchpad, you need to go. All the staff there are professional, the place is clean, and the audience respectful. Everyone was there to have a good time, and the bands killed from start to finish. I was very impressed with this show, and it demonstrated to me just how good the scene in Albuquerque can be.