Tortured Saint, Atria, and DBD at Rockstar
Located in the Old Club Alouette building on Central Avenue in East Windsor, Rockstar has been open for just over a year now. Their basement venue vibes like a mixture between the old Venue Music Hall and The Player's Club Backstage, with an exciting light setup, complete with projector that might or might not be shining Windows Media Player default designs on the bands as they play. Immediately upon walking in I was impressed that the band was loud enough to be heard well, without making conversation completely impossible - quite the feat for a metal show.
The next thing I noticed were the tables. So. Many. Freaking. Tables. Sure the ones at the back are round hightops made to look like classic vinyl records, but even with the room at probably less than half capacity, moving around was a nightmare as you try to wind your way through twice as many tables than is necessary for a space of that size.
The bands were great though. I haven't caught Devilz By Definition in a while, but they always manage to bring me back to the days of The Coach and Horses, where you could catch them every other weekend, more or less. This show was a definite improvement on the last time I saw them (although if we're being honest I can't remember exactly when that was), and I genuinely enjoyed their set this go around. Although I do give some of that praise to the venue's sound system and audio tech - maybe the band was always better than I gave them credit for, and I just couldn't tell because they were playing in the basement of The DH.
Up next was a brand new band out of London called Atria. This group of seasoned musicians were playing their second show ever, and the crowd was loving it. The sound of this group was not as harsh as the other two bands on the bill (think less Lamb of God and more Opeth) but still kicked ass. This is definitely a group to follow, and I recommend checking them out if they're in your area.
Tortured Saint, also out of London, apparently had a cymbal mishap that required them to do a bit of extra driving prior to their set, but you wouldn't have known based on the performance. The vocals were growly and the guitars squealed at appropriate times, with some double kick driving the whole thing along.
Technically there were four bands that night, but I generally don't fuck with cover bands, and the faux-Judas Priest thing going on that night failed to catch my interest.
Devilz By Definition