By: Addie Hayes, Editor/Lead Writer, Regional Music Journal
New metal supergroup Bad Wolves made a recent stop at the Diamond Ballroom in Oklahoma City. The band has been on tour with From Ashes To New and Diamante. Record label Eleven Seven Music and their affiliate label Better Noise Records held a tight rein on media access to the show. Despite the limited access, Regional Music Journal was at the concert and covered all the bands who performed on Friday, June 29, 2018.
First up was the local opener from Oklahoma City, metal band Left To Die. The 4 piece band is comprised of brothers Jeremy Waller on vocals and bassist Jason Waller, along with Robert Chatham on guitar and Tony Bucher on drums. Left To Die formed in 2009 and they have a strong following in Oklahoma City; as evidenced by the number of people who showed up early for their set, along with those wearing Left To Die t-shirts. The band had a strong live performance and got the fans ready for the bands who followed.
Los Angeles based singer Diamante started her music career when she was still a teenager. She has been slowly gaining recognition, first with her 2015 EP Dirty Blonde, which yielded two popular singles, title track “Dirty Blonde” and “Bite Your Kiss”; a song that landed at number three on the Billboard Hot Singles chart in 2014. She was backed by Creighton Emick on bass, Harley DeWinter on drums, and guitarists Max Porush and Neil Swanson. The fans at the Diamond Ballroom loved Diamante’s set. She proved to be an amazing performer with a strong stage presence. While Diamante has released several singles and EPs, her first full length album, Coming In Hot, was released on June 15, 2018.
Next to take the stage was From Ashes To New. The band formed in 2013 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They have released two studio albums, Day One in 2016 and most recently The Future in 2018. Matt Brandyberry, vocalist/rapper, and Danny Case, vocalist, bring together two different vocals styles that complement one another and pay homage to old school rap rock such as Linkin Park. Fans loved the performance and Brandyberry and Case kept the energy high throughout their set.
When it was time for Bad Wolves, you could feel the anticipation and energy from the crowd. Before the band took the stage, the song “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf” played over the PA system. Once they were on stage, they immediately jumped into a hard and heavy set, working the crowd into a frenzy. Frontman Tommy Vext paced around the stage like a caged animal, raising the level of anticipation and heightening the energy in the room. Other members of Bad Wolves include, Doc Coyle on lead guitar, Chris Cain on rhythm guitar, bassist Kyle Konkiel and drummer John Boecklin; all are well known in the metal music scene due to their involvement in bands such as DevilDriver, God Forbid, In This Moment, Divine Heresy and Bury Your Dead to name a few. After forming in 2017, the band put together their debut album Disobey, which was released on May 11, 2018.
Before the band started performing “Run For Your Life”, Vext called for the Wall of Death; a moment where the mosh pit divides down the middle and the two sides face each other. The lead singer signals the crowd and they rush toward each other to create a massive and chaotic mosh pit. Fans love this and it is happening more and more often at metal shows. Throughout the set, Bad Wolves performed songs from their album Disobey, including “Run For Your Live”, “Truth Or Dare” and “Toast To The Ghost”. About halfway through the set, Vext called for Diamante to join the band on stage and sing “Hear Me Now”. Diamante recorded the song with the band for their debut album.
To wrap up the night, Bad Wolves performed their cover of The Cranberries hit song “Zombie” from their 1994 album No Need to Argue. The Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan was supposed to be featured on the song with Bad Wolves; however, her untimely death, just hours before she was scheduled to be in the studio to record her vocals for the cover, brought a sad end to plans for the collaboration. Bad Wolves moved forward with the cover of “Zombie” and it quickly climbed the charts following O’Riordan’s death. The band donates proceeds from the song to O’Riordan’s children. Vext spoke passionately about Bad Wolves’ cover of “Zombie” and told the crowd it was the first time a heavy metal song was number one on iTunes. The frontman asked the crowd to sing loud enough for O’Riordan to hear them in heaven. Fans sang as the lights were brought down, creating a haunting moment.
Bad Wolves (from left to right: Guitarists Doc Coyle and Chris Cain, Vocalist Tommy Vest and Bassist Kyle Konkiel) performing at the Diamond Ballroom in Oklahoma City 6/29/18 – Photo by Regional Music Journal Photographer
Disobey is an album well worth owning for any metal fan and Bad Wolves live show is one of the best in 2018. The band have shows scheduled through September, they will be touring with Five Finger Death Punch and Breaking Benjamin. Following their appearance at Aftershock festival on October 13, 2018, the band will join Three Days Grace for dates in late November through mid-December. Keep up with the band on social media and find tour dates on their website at https://badwolvesnation.com/ .
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