By: Michael M. Humel
Backstage Bar and Billiards hosted a night of rock music that displayed many different influences within the talented acts. A two piece with vocals and guitar with a little percussion mixed in Rob and Pure Joy and Jesse Pino a hard and soft rock front man with a talented back up band opened for Love Vendetta on December 7th of last year.
The strong voice Pure Joy in the duo of Rob and Pure Joy is what first drew me into their set. She is a strong female vocalist. The slow, soothing “Mantis” was the sets most enjoyable moment. The chanting vocals on “Mess” accompanied by Rob playing percussion showed a darker side of the groups performance. Pure Joys most soulful and powerful vocal came on “Stories”. Her vocals reminded me of Alanis Morissette. Jesse Pino took the stage next with his hard and pop rock set influenced by Green Day and the 50’s. The 1950’s rockabilly song “I’m falling” had a slow under stated energy. Moments of his vocals reminded me of Tom Petty. By midway through the song it sounded like it came from late 90’s radio. A hard pounding drum beat drove the song “Spark” and reminded me of the lighter side of the band Foo Fighters. An amplified ballad of longing “Father Come Home” was his best song of the night. “Lady in Black” had quick riffs and country influences. My first thoughts were Johnny Cash meets Billie Joe Armstrong.
The originality and confidence of vocalist Charles Earland drew me to Love Vendetta. His stage presence is strong and unmistakable. An electronic, rock, emo influenced band Love Vendetta oozes The Cure. When listening to certain bands you can’t help but be waiting to hear the background vocals that help carry the song. Vocalist Mary Kryah is a powerful and important voice within the machine of Love Vendetta. Between her vocals and the programming by Nathan Geving, “Moths” is one of my favorite songs by the band. The two of them together are also the highlight of “Wire.” The strongest vocal by Earland came on “Prepare.” His words were like a melodic speech to his followers to ready themselves for battle and it seemed to give them energy that carried into their next song “Big Boys don’t cry.” The band has a video for their last song “Dream Machine” which is one of their most up lifting and energetic songs.