Monday, November 21, 2016

Saturday night, Sacramento: two shows, and guess who is, and who is not, welcome back to town?

Craig Mabbitt, vocals, Escape The Fate
Craig Mabbitt, Escape The Fate, at the Boardwalk
Saturday evening, the week before Thanksgiving, and there's a huge show planned at Sacramento's new Golden One Center: Kanye West is in town. People have spent a fortune on tickets; more than $100 for a lower-level seat, and if you have several family members together, that's a lot of hard-earned money. It's a really big event for the new downtown arena: a big-name star, appearing right in the heart of the rejuvenation of downtown! No doubt the show was impeccably staged, well produced, and beautifully lit--exactly what you'd expect from a major tour. However.

Elias Soriano, vocals, Nonpoint
Elias Soriano, Nonpoint, The Boardwalk
Across town, at a vintage, homely roadhouse, Orangevale's Boardwalk, an equally-excited crowd packs the venue. Whether they're waiting for teen-emo-metal-idols Escape The Fate, or mature, hardworking, dreadlocked rockers Nonpoint, they are all thrilled to be at the show. They are packing the venue to the doors, from 6 pm on, and guess what? They paid around $20 for the opportunity to see five bands, all of whom played their hearts out. The stage is tiny, the lighting almost non-existant, but the music was good and very entertaining, and lasted all evening long, beginning well before 7 pm and stretching towards midnight, with barely enough time to move equipment between each set.

Nonpoint, The Boardwalk, Orangevale
Nonpoint, The Boardwalk
It's the fourth time I've photographed Escape The Fate in as many years. On Saturday, they seemed really happy, enjoying the time on stage, and really having fun with the fans. (They are being helped out by drummer Trixx--Robert Ortiz is back home looking after family, new twins I think I heard!)

Escape The Fate
Escape The Fate, The Boardwalk
For sure, you all know what happened by now in downtown Sacramento. Kanye played two, or was it three, songs, had a long, meandering rant, and then walked offstage... after only about 30 minutes before his Sacramento-area fans. (Happily, tickets are being refunded. Sadly, he's cancelled the rest of the tour. No news on why. Maybe his fans, if any remain after this, deserve to understand why. Breaking news reports say the Kanye has been hospitalized. I hope he is getting the help he needs.)

BC Kochmit, guitars, Nonpoint
BC Kochmit, Nonpoint
The crowd who went to The Boardwalk, instead? They'll be happy to see Escape the Fate and Nonpoint back in town, any time they care to visit. Let's make it soon!!! (The moral of this story... it's not always the expensive shows that are the most enjoyable... and you don't have to spend a fortune to have a good night out, with excellent live music.)

The show was really tricky to photograph. Not quite as impossible as Echo and the Bunnymen, but close. Escape The Fate's set was bathed in pale, red light (hence most of the photos in the gallery being rendered in black-and-white). Nonpoint's set was lit by... just take a look at the gallery. It was not easy to capture in the camera, not at all, but hopefully the atmosphere comes across.

Nonpoint, The Boardwalk, Orangevale
Nonpoint, The Boardwalk
The Hate Poison tour continues: see here or here for dates around the USA. And check out Escape The Fate's new album, Hate Me, and Nonpoint's latest album, The Poison Red... yep, that's why this is the Hate Poison tour!!! (And note that Nonpoint will be joining Alter Bridge on tour in January... looks like a date in San Francisco in February... these guys never stop!)

Photo galleries:

- Nonpoint at the Boardwalk, Orangevale
- Escape The Fate at the Boardwalk, Orangevale
- other bands to be added here so come back!

P.S. The Boardwalk will be closing for a while in the New Year for renovation work. It will reopen as an 18+ venue.

Trixx, on drums with Escape The Fate
Trixx, on drums with Escape The Fate this week

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