Three @ Mercury Lounge (8/6/2007)

The band Three or “3” were in NYC promoting their new album with an appearance at The Mercury Lounge. These guys really intrigue me so I could not resist the chance to be there. To read more about it and to see a lot of photos from the gig just scroll past the logo below to see it.

Logo - Three

Artist: 3
Venue: Mercury Lounge (New York, NY)
Opener: n/a
Date: 8/6/2007
Label: Metal Blade Records

For most of the world, Monday is very simply the first workday of the week and nothing all that eventful is happening for you after you leave the office. You finish your office tasks and then you go home, map out your appointments for the coming days and generally plan for your weekend in the hopes that it holds something fun or at least interesting for you to do. Those who live in NYC know that this is never the case for its residents and that there is ALWAYS something brewing – especially if you are a fan of music. Tonight would be the perfect example of this statement as Metal Blade Records artists Three would be stopping by The Mercury Lounge to perform a set of music that would feature material from their forthcoming release “The End Is Begun”. The group would also throw in about a handful of numbers from their Blade debut “Wake Pig”. If you have never visited the Mercury Lounge before let me give you a quick description of the place. Located in Downtown Manhattan on Houston St., the club features a sizable bar in the front and when the patrons go towards the rear they find a roomy area and raised stage that can accommodate a band with several members and their equipment.

It’s not tiny by any stretch of the imagination like some of the bars that offer a band only a small section in the rear. If you are a band that plans on visiting the NYC area and think you can bring about 100 fans then you should definitely look into this place. It’s perfect for showcases and media events as well in my opinion, so the idea of catching Three in such a space was great. I had just caught the band a few months ago when they performed as the opener for Progressive Rock giants Porcupine Tree. The music that Three delivers is a great blend of Hard Rock with a twist of Metal along with some interesting Progressive elements that one would often find in a band like Coheed & Cambria. Comprised of Joey Eppard (vocals, guitars), Billy Riker (guitars), Daniel Grimsland (bass), Chris Gartmann (drums), Joe Stote (percussion, keyboards), the guys show serious levels of creativity and talent and lucky for the audience present – there are levels of energy delivered that make it very difficult to remain in one place while they perform.

The day itself was a draining one for New York City and among the muggiest that we had found this summer, but inside the lounge it was far hotter based on the groove coming off the stage. The guys drew a nice crowd and everyone around me was a diehard fan – a fact that I loved to see given this was an early and Monday evening set. They explained that they just wanted to do this to celebrate some of the new album before they headed out on tour again. The hail from Woodstock but there is nothing hippy to be associated with their sound as on more than one occasion they crush you with riffs. Eppard handles all of the vocals and sometimes even presents some flamenco guitar styles into the tunes, which definitely changes up the way their songs come across. The new album “The End Is Begun” was actually coming out the following day, so anyone in the room only had some background if they had been music reviewers or been following the bands official site and MySpace.com resources. Having limited exposure to the album myself made this quite an interesting adventure because all of the music was completely new to me, yet I was finding myself captured by it. Perhaps it was also based on how lively they were performing. As musicians they are tight players, and the rhythm section doesn’t just hold it all together but possess a life of their own under the guitar work. In the two times I have caught them I am finding myself impressed all the more when it comes to the percussion vs. drum solo that Stote and Gartmann do. Stote never stops moving and seems quite agile as he attacks his diverse percussion set and only slows a minute to utilize the keyboards that are back there with him. On drums, Gartmann shows to be a lad with tremendous potential and promise. He is solid and technical, but shows the power to be as heavy as needed or as subtle as the tune requires. Watch out for him. Eppard’s voice is rather interesting as well and changes several times across their music. He is complimented by the lead guitar work of Billy Riker who stands over a continually blowing fan. It makes his hair fly like he was at the filming of a Rock video and whether or not this is something that he always does – it makes him come off as very dramatic and emotional. Riker’s playing is really good as well, and his technique works against the rhythms and melodies of everyone else perfectly. Essentially when you watch Three you find that the group is in synch and to the audience this is always a good thing to witness. The new album sounds great based on the music they did and I can only say that if you enjoyed “Wake Pig” that the guys had kicked it up a notch on the follow up. I am hard-pressed to think that you will be disappointed by it so check it out when you can.

The set was only ten songs this evening but when it was over the guys made sure to stick around for a little while to meet their friends and the fans in attendance. Their back catalog was available at the merchandise booth along with several other cool things that the ardent fan must possess. I sense a lot of good things coming for this band and think its great for a band like theirs to be on a label like Metal Blade Records, since it shows that they are aware of what else is going on in music as well as being on top of that which is very, very Metal.

Set List:
1. The Word Is Born Of A Flame
2. The End Is Begun
3. Battle Cry
4. Alien Angel
5. All That Remains
6. My Divided Falling
7. These Iron Bones
8. Bramfatura
9. Monster
10. Amaze Disgrace

Official Website: www.theband3.com

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