Time to change speeds up, we were now presented with Howsten, an act that a co-worker has been wanting me to see for awhile. They were actually quite impressive. They were the first act of the night to really inhabit the stage and make it theirs. They actually were quite active moving around and interacting with the crowd, it looks as if they have been together for awhile. They were tight, but none of the players really stood out. That may not be a great sign, but despite the lack of the standout musician, they all formed a unit ripping through some decent radio-friendly type rock. As much as I enjoyed the performance, their wasn't a lot to differentiate them from a lot of the other acts currently on the radio. But that can come with time, the more you play the more you will develop your own voice, hopefully. They seem to have what it takes to be successful, it will be interesting to see if and how they develop.
Next up was the co-headliner, Dropp'd. This band was noticeably older than the other acts on the bill, and I mean that in the best possible way as I've seen their name pop up on the bills from time to time, but until now have never seen them. They actually very good, although at times I kept hoping for some songs with more energy. They sort of reminded me of Collective Soul. They were a very accomplished stage presence which played well, the music was good, but it lacked a certain something, I can't quite put my finger on it.
Shortly before midnight, the act that we have all been waiting for took to the stage. The headliner, Metadox. I have seen these guys a couple of times in the past, and each time they put on a good show, playing an old school style of metal, heavily influenced by the likes of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. Tonight's show was betrayed by a poor sound mix, it was very heavy on the kick drum, plus the guitars were buried down in it. It was a shame too, because what I heard sounded good. The twin guitar attack is what carries their sound, from the riffs tot he lead harmonies. These kids have some very good material and have a bright future. They played for about 45 minutes playing primarily original material, plus an uncanny cover of Iron Maiden's "The Trooper." As much as I like their sound, the mix kept me from completely getting into it, I kept hoping the the mixed would notice it and correct it, but no such luck. I did get the chance to meet bass player Jon Loria and guitarist Frank Tosi, a good couple of guys who know their way around the stage. I hope to see them develop more into the future. (Coming Soon: A look at Metadox' EP recording)