Concert Review: The No Name Gang/Hed PE/Powerman 5000

Taken by Juan Barragan

Taken by Juan Barragan

Juan Barragan

The No Name Gang / Hed PE / Powerman 5000

Brick By Brick

January 17, 2015


A few blocks down from campus lies a music venue by the name of Brick By Brick. The venue itself has gone through multiple ownership changes, and most recently after the venue lost its liquor license, the place was sold to the members from As I Lay Dying, specifically the ones that are not in prison. After many delays, the venue finally reopened for business in the middle of last year. The shows coming through here since then have been pretty amazing. On the menu for the night was metal, and the show kicked off early around 7:30PM to a small crowd. On the bill first was The No Name Gang.

The No Name Gang is a metal and rock band from San Diego that was added to the bill as support for Powerman 5000. The band members came out to start the show and somehow convinced everyone to come closer to the stage. What happened next was a brutal display of heavy music that caused everyone in attendance to get in the mood to cheer and put the devil horns high up in the air. The singer then introduced the band member’s new guitarist and together, they unleashed into a song that featured heavy guitar shredding. The guitarist’s skill was beyond spectacular, and now there was no question as to why he was in the band. During one particular break in the band’s set, the audience was asked if they had ever seen the band before, and the results turned out to be quite positive. The split was 50/50, and the band was extremely excited for that. The highlight of their set was a melodic song that featured a guitar solo that accompanied a cleaner guitar riff. Together, they provided a verse and the song would eventually evolve into a full blown out power metal frenzy that caused people to start dancing around. The night turned out to be really special for the band, because their debut EP was just released and they had it for sale in the back. The vocals for this band alternate between harmonic melodies and screaming and growling that is often present in metal. Although the band didn’t play for long, they decided to give their fans a treat by playing the last song from the new EP live, titled, Authority N/A. If you’re a fan of moshing and heavy music, you should definitely check out this band the next time they play a show nearby. For the fans in attendance, the goal of getting the crowd pumped up for the night was definitely accomplished.

Later in the evening, a band hailing from Huntington Beach, California, took the stage. They go by the name of Hed PE, and they are a combination of Rock, Punk, Rasta, and Soul. At first they could remind a seasoned listener of the local band Payable On Death, but after hearing a few songs, one could tell that their style of music was a little different. The band came out and you could tell from the start that they meant business. By the time they played, “First Song,” the mosh pit was already alive and well. At a metal show, anything goes, especially in the pit. A group of around ten guys made up the pit and anyone who didn’t work out five days a week, at least, would have had a very tough time surviving in the mosh pit that night. That’s the type of energy that Hed PE brought to the table. The crowd absolutely lost it when the band delved into the verse for, “Raise Hell,” the band’s signature and most famous song. The crowd was full on chanting the chorus that’s comprised of too many indecent words that would be censored in this article. While the band played some of their older material, they also gave the fans a reggae song, titled, “Hold On,” from their newest album, Evolution. Jared Gomes, the vocalist for the band, gave the crowd some growls that went surprisingly well the reggae the band was playing. Near the end of the song a harmonica was introduced to the mix, and shortly thereafter the band went into a full blown out cover of Bob Marley’s infamous, “One Love,” which was followed by, “No Woman, No Cry.” The band ended with a thrash metal song that left the crowd wanting more. They would get more, but the delivery would be done by the headlining act.

Powerman 5000 took the stage and everybody knew what was about to happen. The very first song was, “Invade. Destroy. Repeat.” At that point, everyone in the venue launched forward to try and be as close as possible to the stage. The mosh pit took hold of a good portion of the venue and the energy being given to the band was extreme. Spider One, the vocalist, admitted that the goal was to make the crowd leave happy and tired. The band then proceeded to teach the crowd, “How To Be A Human.” For those who have never seen this band live, they really do put their heart and soul into their theatrics. Each band member was dressed up as an extraterrestrial being with suits that had lights engraved in them. The band’s set was a bit on the shorter end, but after an encore that the crowd demanded, the band came out and played some more. They ended the set with, “When Worlds Collide,” which was definitely a crowd favorite as it had everyone singing and dancing along to the tune.

In the end, the bands on the bill for that night were successful in both making the crowd have fun and getting them tired for the night. The mission was accomplished.