The Face Of Loki, Kill Closet, And Bleed The Stone Launch Metal Attack On The Plaid Pig

Stone Entertainment Group lobbed a full frontal audio assault on The Plaid Pig Live Music Lounge in Tacoma on 2 March 2019.

Bleed The Stone

Michael Stone Beck and his team brought in The Face Of Loki, Kill Closet, and Bleed The Stone to the Pig, coating the walls with the hard fuzz and throat-splitting growls that only come from Local Metal.  The scene here is filled with intense and powerful examples of the genre.  While Western Washington is better known for the Grunge era of the 1990s, Metal (in so many forms) conquered a foothold here many years before that – with bands like Culprit, Shadow, Metal Church, Heir Apparent, Forced Entry, TKO, RAIL, Myth, Queensryche, and Sanctuary.  Hell; I’ll even argue that Green River steered the way not only for Grunge but also for Metal because of their cross-pollination and punk thrash.  Bottom line is this: That influence holds court today in several new types of Metal – and with top-notch bands that make the effort to bring their message to every stage they can.  It’s a work of passion and intensity.

And these big local players don’t mess around!

2019-03-02 Plaid Pig 50D (4)-2

The fans at a Metal show often feel like a family, which is counter-intuitive because of the music’s intensity.  You’d think that the growling, the loud amps, and extreme lyrics would bait a troublesome crowd. But in the years I’ve been shooting these shows I have only rarely had a problem with anyone at a Metal concert.  I’ve had people come racing out of mosh pits and hug me instead of body slamming, because I’m holding cameras and they don’t want to damage them! An experience like that makes me smile just writing about it.

For me, this show was a bit of a homecoming; there were people in attendance that I’ve known since the first concert I ever shot in November 2013.  I was surrounded by longtime friends and even met some new ones. This was also my first time at the venue – a long slender place with a well-packed bar and a wide variety of art on the walls.  The stage was maybe a foot off the floor, which puts the performers right in the face of the audience. Everything is flat back – the walls, the ceiling, all of it except the art. It reminded me of now-closed Studio Seven, where the walls were also flat black.  

2019-03-02 Plaid Pig 50D (1)

And I would be reminded again later when I tried to photograph in the subdued stage lighting – another trait that the venue shared with S7.

It took some effort to capture the energy and a few more “flash” shots than I usually do.  Still, it’s the music that is most important and The Plaid Pig books the true talent; these three bands brought the arsenal and laid down a heavy barrage a soul-quartering Metal that has yet to be duplicated in South Tacoma.  Because of the raw energy and emotion that went into creating this event and music, I felt that the only way I could capture a show like this was to shoot in Black & White.

It lets the subject do the talking instead of the color!

The Face Of Loki

The Face Of Loki opened the show and introduced their new singer to the crowd – Ricy Bjorklund.  Ricy also plays bass in Jesus Wears Armani, and his mic work with TFOL is a new endeavor. Also in the band are Eric Weber on Bass, Timmy Berry on Guitar, Zac Berry on Guitar, and Arron Humphrey on Drums.

The Face Of Loki

Ricy’s first foray at the mic made him nervous, which he mentioned to me before the show.  But once that mic was in his hand, with the band locked and loaded, his growling vocals came on strong.  Confidence came through, bounced off the walls, and testified his message to the metal zealots in the crowd.

The Face Of Loki

Their set list for the night was:

  • Death Trap
  • Necro Sluts
  • Phoenix
  • Wolf
  • Catacombs
  • We Left Hours…
  • SIC

The Face Of Loki

Zac and Timmy played off each other and stood tall as Metal bookends to the whirlwind stage antics of Eric on the bass. Never satisfied with one side of the stage like John Entwistle (aka The Ox), Eric used the entire plateau as his musical battlefield.

The Face Of Loki

TFOL transcended the term Warm Up Band, then left the crowd in a red-hot smoking pile – ready for more!

The Face Of Loki

Kill Closet from Marysville followed up and fanned the flames!

Kill Closet

The band consists of Donnie Giles on Vocals, Shalyn Taylor on Vocals, Charles Cooper on Guitar, Chuck Macaw on Guitar, Matt Youngblood on Bass, Bryan Sopher on Drums, and Neil Burns on Percussion, Samples & Keyboard.

Kill Closet

This Northend contingent brought their signature sound to the stage – with the combo Percussion AND drums of Neil and Bryan, plus two singers in Shay and Donnie.

Kill Closet

 

Kill Closet

Donnie and Shay switched off and teamed up to overpower the fans with their growling duets – a tactic only seen in a few other bands.

Kill Closet

Kill Closet

Matt Youngblood is a veteran musician with an acumen for heavy bass riffs and dominating stage presence. I’ve known Matt for years and through several bands.  When a group needs a big sound, Bloody is the guy they call!

Kill Closet

Chuck is a pro-grade shredder with a penchant for fierce stage movement and Olympic-level headbanging.

Kill Closet

It’s no wonder he was dripping sweat by the end of the show!

Kill Closet

Veteran axe man Charles Cooper held the rhythm in check while communing stage front with the crowd.  His hard fuzz, wicked finger work, and enthusiastic scowls were exactly what the band needed to allow their metal flag to wave.  Admittedly, most of my photos of Charles didn’t pass muster because they were too blurry from his headbanging!

Kill Closet

This band always puts on a fantastic metal show!

Bleed The Stone finally hit the stage and gave the crowd a taste of Metal that was a bit different from the other two bands.

Bleed The Stone

The group is Michael Stone Beck on vocals, Justin Hodge on lead guitar, Timmy Berry on rhythm guitar and vocals – Andrew Foster on drums, and Brandon Carnahan on bass.

Bleed The Stone blends metal with a little more groove and rock mixed in.  Their stagecraft is augmented by facial makeup chosen by each band member.  Timmy Berry was on double duty that night, starting the show with TFOL.  His guitar work never lost fire throughout the show.

Bleed The Stone

Justin Hodge took his rightful place on stage and dominated the corner with his signature Metal solos.  His style makes staccato look effortless and always on point.  Didn’t hurt that he also looked like a Zombie!

Bleed The Stone

Michael’s vocals were deeper than Ricy, Shay, and Donnie – with more Rock overtones.  But the hard Metal message was the same, maybe even playful. The band has a desire to make the genre fun.  When was the last time you heard a Metal rendition of the Johnny Cash song “Folsom Prison Blues?”  Bleed The Stone is that band!

Bleed The Stone

Brandon laid down the heavy lava and made his bass a low-end weapon of audio assault.

Bleed The Stone

He was animated and intense.  Along with Andrew’s hard-driving drum work, Brandon held the beat and gave the songs a distinctive invisible wall of sound. Together they could move mountains!

2019-03-02 Plaid Pid 5D (456).jpg

The venue and bands were evenly matched that night for ambiance, vibes, and power.  The crowd, as I mentioned before, was like a large family; it’s something I really appreciate about the music scene here around the Puget Sound.  For me, Death Metal is a genre that I enjoy watching live more than anything – because the show itself is a true partner in the genre.  Experiencing one first hand – the stage antics, the amps turned to 11, the face paint, machine-gun solos, and screaming vocals – really makes the music seem more relevant than just listening to it in a stream.  The full meal deal makes it better.

I appreciate the work these musicians put into their craft, and their desire to bring this love for Metal music to the fans.  It’s the best kind of audio assault I can think of!

Check out some of my other shots from the show below!

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