Saturday, January 22nd, 2011
Full Devil Jacket, DeadSun, Halo Stereo, The Bald Ones
12th and Porter, Nashville, TN
See all the photos from this show here
I'm a Saliva fan. Like, a BIG Saliva fan. And one of the things I have loved the most about Saliva is the intense, energetic live shows that they do. So needless to say that I was more than a little surprised this past fall when Saliva announced the swift and apparently involuntary departure of rhythm guitarist Jonathan Montoya. No doubt, he added a very unique and energetic element to the Saliva live shows with his colorful facial expressions, constant interaction with the audience and the endless plumes of water, beer and even Jagermeister that he would spray into the air. It just sort of left their entire fan base quietly saying "Huh?"
So shortly after that, I heard through the grapevine that Jonathan was reuniting with his former band mates in Full Devil Jacket to give it another go. While I was very happy to hear that the only hometown boy in Saliva was back to work, I'd honestly never heard of Full Devil Jacket (lets face it, their one and only full album was ten years ago, and ten years ago, I wasn't even close to paying attention to the local music scene). But I figured that if a musician went from one of my favorite bands directly to another band, it was probably going to be a band I would like.
At the beginning of the year, I spotted Full Devil Jacket on the 12th and Porter calendar for January 22nd, and decided that I had to go and check out Jonathan's new (old) project. And to make it even better, Halo Stereo was opening for them, who I absolutely loved when I saw them open for Saliva a couple of years ago.
When I arrived on the day, I was outfitted with two wristbands (one showing that I had paid, and one showing that I was over 21) and found my way into the venue. It was considerably smaller than I was anticipating, coming in at roughly only the same size as the Muse, though it was much wider and not as deep. I arrived when The Bald Ones were playing.
Beautiful bald eye candy
Anyone who knows me knows that I quite enjoy a gentleman with a bald head, so I didn't mind watching them at all :-)
Halo Stereo was up next, and their performance was great once again. Their lead singer is very expressive and engaging, and their bass player has great energy as well.
The lead singer again, looking intense as he sings and plays the keyboard
After Halo Stereo came DeadSun, who I had also never heard of. I was apparently the only person in the room who hadn't heard of them though, since almost everyone was singing along with their songs and getting VERY into their performance. They were great though, and I'll absolutely try to catch them again.
I also might as well add that this was the point where my camera battery decided to die unexpectedly, so I had to switch to using the camera on my phone. It's an ok camera, but not nearly as good as a regular camera, so bear with me here...
After some intermittent technical difficulties, it was finally time for Full Devil Jacket...
As soon as they took the stage, the crowd was VERY happy to see them! They all kept spotting people in the audience and giving them daps or handshakes, and everyone seemed to be so excited to see them performing together again!
Jonathan Montoya, back on stage in grand style
Jonathan, getting the audience involved
Probably my favorite pic of the night...I can only imagine how good it would have looked if my camera hadn't died!!
Johnny, rocking it hard from the floor
At the end of the show, the lead singer took a moment to sing a few songs with an acoustic guitar. By that point it was about 1:00am, and the show had been going on for almost five hours! I made it through the entire acoustic set, but I was beat by the time he was done. I ran into Jonathan on the way out and gave him my best wishes before heading out.
This show ended up being excellent, and you would never know that Full Devil Jacket had only rehearsed "three times in ten years" like the lead singer said. It was really great to see that Jonathan hadn't lost any of his onstage energy (though apparently he did lose the guyliner, at least for now!). Based on what I saw, I have no doubt that the entire band will rise to the occasion and create some great, powerful music, and will definitely be a band that I keep an eye on. Now the question becomes...what will my first Saliva show without Jonathan be like? It will be interesting to see just what they do to compensate for his absence.