Artist: Seventh Void
Venue: Highline Ballroom (New York, NY)
Opener: Suicide City, Acey Slade, Pui, The Party Death
Label: Big Vin Records
I think that that it was still summer when I last attended one of the Cirque du Rock events over at the Highline Ballroom and here we were again at their event entitled “Hypothermia”. It was the perfect name for the show when one considers how the city had just been hit by a reasonably powerful blizzard. There was about a foot of snow piled up in the city and thanks to the snow plows people were able to get out and do some rocking at the venue with all the talented people that were involved tonight. This was a loaded menu to say the least and it would once again feature CDR acts and these would come between a seemingly endless roster of bands that would be playing their Metal and Punk Rock hearts out. Delivering the musical goods tonight would be Seventh Void, the crushing Heavy Metal band that features Johnny and Kenny from Type-O-Negative, Suicide City, Acey Slade and the Dark Party, Pui and The Party Death. That’s one hell of a lineup and the evening would also be slightly historic for it was reported earlier in the week that tonight’s show would be the final Suicide City performance ever. Our musical program would start off with The Party Death and while the doors for the show opened at 7pm, the event would not be rolling along until after 8pm. Here is how everything went for those who sadly missed out.
The Party Death: I didn’t know much about these guys and was not originally sure that they were on first or second so I got inside the venue to be able to catch whoever was hitting the stage at 8pm and it turned out to be them. Musically this stuff was a good start but nothing that really separated itself for me. Of course this is the first time that I was seeing and hearing and I have found that when one comes in “blind” so to speak that the band does not easily win them over. They are fronted by Joshua Lee and play a conventional brand of Rock and Roll. Oddly enough the singer’s name rung a bell and upon further research I discovered that it was indeed the guy that also goes by the name “London” and was the winner of that VH1 “reality dating” show “Daisy Of Love”. Had Daisy actually been walking around the room tonight I might have made the connection a little faster but that was not the case. Additional research found me learning that Daisy and London are no longer together and that the show is getting a second season. Ugh, Odin please save us from this drech once and for all. Now it was time for the man with the plan, Acey Slade and the Dark Party.
Acey Slade: It’s never a bad thing to find Acey Slade on the bill and now with his band The Dark Party the celebration was really set to get underway for the Cirque du Rock. Acey is one of those journeymen when it comes to the Rock and Roll genre as he is a man who has had a number of amazing adventures over the course of his musical career and finds his skills honed from the likes of Murderdolls, Dope, Trashlight Vision and Wednesday 13. With all of that coolness under his belt we were bound to find it delivering us one of the more energetic performers out there. Tonight Slade would be celebrating his just released solo CD entitled simply “Acey Slade & The Dark Party” and for the most part his set tonight would focus on material on the album. Acey is in my opinion the consummate showman and follows in a long line of charismatic front men and like the greats that preceded him realizes that the stage is the place to give those who watch you a rousing good time. Acey and his Dark Party troupe hit the stage with great energy tonight and one could have assumed they were the main event as a result of this. Among the great tunes delivered by Slade were the sure fire hit to be “Here Today, Gone Today” and his smoking rendition of The Cult’s “She Sells Sanctuary”. He was playing right up to the audience members that were pressed up against the stage and also projecting his rock and roll energy out to those who stood a little further back in the venue. This was a great set and truly a band to see again in the future. Make sure to check out that CD as well. Now the moment many were waiting for and dreading at the same time – the final performance of Suicide City.
Suicide City: There is a saying about how all good things come to an end and such would be the case this evening as Suicide City began to perform their final gig as a band ever. It’s always a shame when a group decides that their best option is to break up but this kind of thing happens far more than it does not and very few bands remain together as long as Anvil does without questioning the projects effectiveness. In my humble opinion I felt the band did some good and served a purpose in their fans eyes and had some pretty cool stuff musically when it came down to it. Tonight their set was all about appreciation to those fans that supported them since their inception and it showed in the manner in which they delivered it. This was not a funeral by the looks of it and instead a celebration of their life as a unit working towards the same means. The always energetic Ms. JennCity explodes on the stage and I have never seen her act in any other fashion and the same applied to singer Karl Bernholtz who was very lively this evening. AJ Marchetta, the bands sole guitarist continually ran back and forth across the stage while playing in the hope of inciting more energy out of the very responsive crowd while drummer Dan Lamagna keep the beat in check and even offered up a quick solo. There was a trapeze set up for the Cirque du Rock performers but that didn’t stop Bernholtz from grabbing it and singing a couple of verses while swinging upside down. For this last show the band would perform a healthy dose of material from their debut EP “Not My Year” and also their The End Records CD “Frenzy”. I was glad to see them include The Cure cover of “Burn” which many might remember from the movie “The Crow”. This has long been a favorite of mine from that band and I love hearing what Suicide City did to it. After their set the band hit the merchandise stand and met with all of the fans that wanted to talk to them in this combination one final time. We wish them the best of success in all of their future endeavors and if you think this is the last time that we have seen them working together in this fashion one should remember how many times the bands we love have called it a day and yet are still active in the scene. One thing I was hoping for was a surprise visit from founding member Billy Graziadei, who while no longer a member of the lineup was a part of its original success. I felt this would have closed up the chapter with an additional powerhouse punch as the fans would have eaten it up.
Pui: Tonight I would finally get to see what Pui was all about and I was very intrigued by what was going on up there on the stage. The five member band is fronted by NC Shuva who played lead guitar and also handles the vocals while bass comes care of Brian, Tunc does Percussion and Ory Baum on the drums. There is another vocalist in Leo and this evening they had a guest appearance by Maven who did some pre-requisite Metal screaming. A few months ago the band released their EP “You Will Clap” and I managed to get my hands on a copy of this release tonight to better absorb it. To define their sound was not too easy but it did work for the most part. There are some tribal rhythms and funky grooves to the harder edged riffs and while they employ some hip-hop sense I was not at all put off by it this evening. Perhaps this is the one band that I can tolerate that kind of vibe in outside of Linkin Park even though the two have nothing in common whatsoever. “For The Gods” was a terrific track and as the opener it just brought you into the head that the band was trying to get you to be in. They would also do a System Of A Down cover with “Aerials” and have a few dozen people joining them on the stage for their closing number “Dance In The Fire”. I couldn’t say that they reminded me of anything or anyone else and that’s a good thing since it remains unique. I would see them again if I found them opening up another show of interest and I can safely say if you are a more open minded Metal and Rock fan that you should give it a shot because there was some cool musical ideas going on with their stuff. Now the hour was growing late and it was past the witching hour and Seventh Void had not yet gone onstage. That would soon be rectified of course.
Seventh Void: If you are still wondering about what the hell Seventh Void is, well you should know that this is the band that features both Johnny Kelly and Kenny Hickey from Type-O-Negative and also features Hank Hell and Matt Brown. Hell is also a member of Inhuman while Matt has Uranium 25. The band is fronted by Hickey and together they deliver a classic Metal meets Doom vibe and as result would be a very different group from the others that were playing tonight. The bands sole release to date is entitled “Heaven Is Gone” and it comes care of Vinny Paul’s Big Vin Records. It’s a solid release that has been gathering much praise and is on my list of albums to get for my collection still even though I have heard it in full since it was released. Their set was an excellent one and would cover a really sizable chunk of the album and even though Kenny spoke to the crowd saying how “we aren’t a Punk band but we sure love S&M as well – spaghetti and meatballs”, the amusing anecdotes fell on empty space based on the now almost barren club. It had nothing to do with their performance of course, but the lateness of the night is what I amounted this to since the band had not even gone on until just about 12:30pm. Yes we are the city that never sleeps but we were still the city that was just hit by a blizzard and trekking home was a chore and many folks just wanted to get back out of the mess. The band did sound super heavy and it’s great to find these guys so busy during the off time that Type-O-Negative appears to be in. Seventh Void actually opened up for Type-O back in October when the band last did a tour that came to our region. I recommend checking them out if you see their name listed as either an opener or doing a headlining gig going forward. Sadly I would miss a couple of numbers myself as the hour was incredibly late and I too had to make a journey across the frozen tundra that our city streets had become.
The Cirque du Rock: This evening’s “Hypothermia” event played out a lot like that last time around where we caught Suicide City and Hate In The Box at this very same venue but in some sense they kicked it up a notch in terms of the entertainment provided by adding a number of different acts for the audience to enjoy that we might not have had last time. We saw a dominatrix show for a couple of minutes and judging by some of the people in the crowd this was not their cup of tea as they turned either away from it or started talking to friends. We saw a girl perform on a trapeze and another from a hanging hula hoop and they were to be given props for their balance and skills. Of course the lateness of the show’s start and considering that it was still going on when we left meant that we would miss a couple of the other performers. One that we would have enjoyed seeing again was the girl who did a hula hoop routine in fire.
One of the site believers told me that after Seventh Void had finished, these other acts came out and then were followed by yet another band that I was not even aware was on the bill. Their name was The Bambi Killers and they did some kind of Punk Rock with a very theatrical show. I would have liked to catch them but there was no chance of that happening it seemed. This brings my main critique with the whole shebang and that is when you open up the doors at 7pm, you get the party started at 7:30pm and not after 8pm. You also lessen the set times just enough to make sure that all get to play for a reasonably packed house. I admired their zeal in the setup and definitely felt that there was a lot to enjoy, but in the end perhaps too much was going on and that makes it arduous. Perhaps this should have been a 6pm doors and a 7pm start considering it was an all-ages event. We have seen shows like Summer Slaughter and since there is a lot to enjoy at this type of gig the event kicks into gear super early. The bands that had the largest support from the crowd tonight ended up being Acey Slade and Suicide City while Pui lost some folks and Seventh Void played to an interested but far too minimal crowd for a band of their type. I will see another Cirque Du Rock gig since it brings a lot to the table but I also hope that they realize that “more” is not always a good thing and learned a slight lesson in how this particular event played out.
The day after this show I learned how Guns ‘N Roses did a surprise private gig at the John Varvatos store around the same time that Seventh Void was finishing up their set. The space is a high-priced clothing outlet that lives in the space formerly occupied by legendary Punk Club C.B.G.B.’s. I guess this was related to Fashion Week in some sense but it sure would have been cooler had the band decided to do a surprise gig at the Highline or even B.B. King’s. Sadly no one tipped us off about the event so we don’t know too much about it.
Suicide City Set List:
2. The Best Way To Die
3. Sex and Dying
4. Fuck Your Dreams
5. Chemical Fight
6. Painted Horses
10. Give Me Your Pity
Seventh Void Set List:
1. Killing You Slow
2. Heaven Is Gone
3. End Of All Time
4. Shadow On Me
5. Closing In
6. Fools and Dogs
7. Drown Inside
8. Slow Descent
9. Broken Sky
The evening’s emcee was the very colorful lead singer and guitarist of Pui – NC Shuva. He seemed to be having a blast tonight and appeared to be quite the character on top of this. We would find him running around the venue making sure that all was in order and of course introducing every band that was performing.
Here is NC Shuva and promoter Samuel Valentine. Readers might recall that we covered one of Valentine’s events a few months ago over at Santo’s Party House. That amazing roster of bands was documented in full and can be enjoyed HERE, but now back to the task at hand.
Mr. Shuva would occasionally do his announcer guy thing next to this gigantic steel skeleton structure which I learned was called “The Agony Of Man” and was created by artist Steel Neal. Dig it.
We have some additional photos of the skeletal colossus which we will share as this narrative progresses but for now how about learning about the piece and the artist by clicking HERE. This was one amazing piece of artwork.
Two imposing gentlemen that’s for sure as we find NC Shuva and Hank Hell posing for a shot.
A quick visit to the backstage area found us catching a glimpse of Miss Jenncity and Acey Slade who kindly posed for us just before his set began. Look in his hand, he is holding the song rundown that he was only moments away from delivering. Cool beans.
Pui had some interesting merchandise going on and we wandered over to it so we could give you the scoop on what you might expect to find available at their shows. Take a look at all this stuff.
As you can see you have the ever useful shirts and stickers along with rubber wrist bracelets. The bands EP “You Will Clap” was on hand for the interested to snap up. We will be reviewing this three song release soon in the future so watch for it. The Ipod belonged to the lady in gold so that was not for sale unless you had a really great offer for her and I had to say that I was curious why the band was selling masks. Here is a closer look at them.
I so don’t understand why the band is selling masks to their fans but hey whatever works to get your point across right. I did notice that NC Shuva put one of these on towards the end of their set so maybe this is a reference I just need to figure out. Below we find their sales team.
Behold “Team Pui” and their fearless leader NC Shuva. Sadly I cannot name everyone but I do know that the blond lass is Chloe V. who kindly invited this reporter to the soiree. I gave some credit to the girl with the golden face as she reminded me of something out of a James Bond movie. It also looked pretty damn cool in person.
Here we see an example of how these “Masks Of Pui” work in the field. Not bad and perhaps I should think about these for PiercingMetal.com – hmmmm, oh never mind it might be too weird for us to do this when I think about it. Of course it sure does seem to work out for Pui and that is all that matters since they already have them in place.
“The Merch Table’s Last Stand” or “Everything Must Go” seemed to be the battle cry as the full command of Suicide City took to their merchandise table and made sure that everyone had a little bit of something to remember them by. We found a couple of differently designed shirts, some stickers and of course the bands two releases “Not My Year” and “Frenzy”. They also had their live DVD on hand and this is a cool historical video archive as it features the band performing at the now shuttered Punk club of legend C.B.G.B.’s
We mentioned that there was a lot of cool artwork hanging around the venue and much of it was presented to the audience by being hung overhead from the venue’s second floor. We snapped a few shots of the pieces but not all of them based on being pre-occupied with the musical happenings of the night. Sadly we don’t know the names of the pieces or the creators – yet. When this information is given to us we shall edit accordingly. Take a look.
We placed the other photos of the paintings along with our “Agony Of Man” shots into a gallery of their own. You can see them all by clicking HERE. Here is one more that we rather liked and I guess it was by the same artist since there is such a similarity to the one above.
Our primary reason for being here this evening was of course for the rousing musical performances and while we present all of the bands in narrative and image galleries in the main article we wanted to present a single shot of each of the players to whet your appetite just a little bit more.
The Party Death was the first to play this evening and yes, the singer is the same dude from the “Daisy Of Love” show from VH1.
Acey Slade & The Dark Party were up next and it’s always a good time when he is in the room.
As mentioned, Suicide City would be playing their final gig this evening.
The emcee for the evening was NC Shuva, who did a double duty this evening and also performed with his band Pui.
Seventh Void delivered a smashing Doom Metal punch after the bell had tolled 12.
Another great shot of NC Shuva – you gotta love those arm gauntlets and everything else. I’m not sure he was sporting one of their own “Pui” insignia bracelets but he might very well have been.
Here’s the flyer for the show and I loved how this reminded me of those old style circus billboards. It also had some of the feel of the old Fillmore venues posters and made this something worth snaring at the show if you were lucky to see one hanging around and you could get it without getting into trouble. As you see listed is the Bambi Killers and Kayvon Zand. We missed the Bambi’s and don’t believe that Kayvon ended up performing but we could be wrong in that assumption.
This wouldn’t be a “Cirque” without some actually circus type activity and we see above the lovely trapeze performer. During her brief demonstration I heard a member of the audience saying how her feet were stronger than his entire body. I had to say that I felt the same way after watching her do her thing. Hypnotizing.
Goddess Shea came out next and while her little show was not for everyone I had to say that I got a kick out of it. Lucky for the audience members who didn’t enjoy her presentation that she didn’t hear their griping. She sure looks like she means business with that paddle and I don’t plan on making her upset. If you want to see more photos from this part of the show, we have created a gallery of the shots. Click HERE to see them.
Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/suicidecitynyc/
Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/SeventhVoid/
Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/puimusic/
Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/aceyslademusic/
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