On April 16, Jeff Loomis and headliner Protest the Hero played at the Masquerade in Atlanta. Being two completely different styles of metal, I was a little skeptical on how solo artist Jeff Loomis would go over with an avant-garde headlining band and a much younger crowd. After racing home from a weekend outing, I was excited to see both of these bands in action.
Jeff Loomis put on a stellar performance at the Masquerade. After his breakup with long time band Nevermore, Loomis continued his passion for metal music by releasing his brand new solo record, Plains of Oblivion. When I first heard Jeff Loomis was touring with Protest the Hero, I admit I was a little confused. Being a progressive metal player with an instrumental album, how well would Jeff Loomis relate to fans of avant-garde metal band Protest the Hero? It didn’t make much sense to me at first, but avant-garde metal bands are known for their unique guitar work and Jeff Loomis, is one the of the best shredders in the business. That being said, the lineup made a little more sense. Jeff Loomis’s performance was one of the finest that night. He certainly lived up to his reputation of being one of the greatest metal guitar players. Captivating the audience with his seven string Schecter guitar, Loomis absolutely destroyed the stage while playing songs from his new album. Also, to my surprise the crowd didn’t go downstairs while Jeff Loomis performed. Being such a young crowd, I thought maybe kids wouldn’t be into Jeff’s style of playing. However, this proved not to be the case. The crowd had their eyes glued to Jeff as he played, and they loved every second of it!. Sadly, I can’t say much about the other musicians in Loomis’s band. Although they played their instruments well, they didn’t do much in the way of performing to the crowd. Jeff did most of the head-banging and hair whipping during the set. In the end, I really enjoyed Jeff Loomis’s performance. I look forward to seeing what he has in store for the future!
The headlining band for the evening was Protest the Hero. I missed seeing them play last year, and was looking forward to their performance that night. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed. Protest the Hero’s videos are always full of energy, but their stage performance was lackluster. Most of the band stood perfectly still as if they were Grecian statues, especially the bass player. I swear he must have been high, because he stood over near his cabinet like a sculpture with a really goofy smile on his face. Rody, the lead singer, made it quite clear that he had consumed a bottle of spiced rum before the show, and that modern rock stars are “too serious these days”. He continued his stump speech by declaring that “bands need to go back to the old days and party and do drugs”. Perhaps if he were able to see how his pre-show actions affected his on stage performance, he wouldn’t have the same opinion. I left the show early that night shaking my head in dismay.
photos © 2012 Ann Bodan