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Concert Review - February 2011

Murder FM / Cage 9 / Betawolf / Rockett Queen
Date: February 10, 2011

Venues: TREES
City: Dallas, TX

Review by Michael Insuaste
Photos by Trey Campbell

Murder FM Cage 9 Betawolf Rockett Queen - February 10, 2011  TREES Dallas, TX Review by Michael Insuaste Photos by Trey CampbellAnother heavy bill as Murder FM, Cage 9, Betawolf and Rockett Queen pillage through Trees in Deep Ellum on February 10th, 2011 for what was a hot show on a very cold night in Dallas Texas.

Tyler Texas rock band, Rockett Queen, opened the show with their high energy performance setting the evening off on a positive pace. This young zestful four piece band proved once again they came to play and play hard. Led by guitarist and vocalist Walter Lee, Kenny Valentine on lead guitar, Stephen Doll bass and Seven on drums, Rockett Queen delivered the goods.

Next up was Betawolf. I was not familiar with this group at all, nor could I easily find info about them on the web or on Facebook, but I will say this about the band, on this night they Rocked! Their songs did have a similar sound from one to another and their stage presence was not so flashed up, instead, they produced a smooth hard driving set that kept the crowd awake. Nice set for an unknown band.

Cage 9... wow! An awesome band with an even better sound. Their set kicked off with a bang as their explosive style hit like an atom bomb. These guys were refined, nicely polished and a bit intimidating at the same time. From the start, I was amazed by their stage lighting. Brilliantly posed, the lights cast shadows across the stage for a very cool effect. Highly strung Cage 9 didn't sit still for one complete song as guitars were swung in a timely fashion that kept me paying attention throughout their set. Adding to the fun was the wild high jumps by bassist Murv Douglas. Murv former Lords of Acid bassist was on fire! His stage antics made for a crazy and visually entertaining performance that was fun to watch and photograph.

I was told by several fans in the audience they were a Panamanian based rock band. However, after speaking with guitarist Jesse Beltz, he stated that the band consider themselves to be from Los Angeles, CA. The singer, Evan Rodaniche is from Panama, so the media seemed to run with that. No matter, Cage 9 is a strong unit with striking stage appearance and vivid sound. They rocked the house and left me wanting to hear more.

The headliners of the evening were Dallas rock band, Murder FM. A strapping four piece group with the intensity of a runaway train. After a powerful performance by Cage 9, they knew they had to bring their show up a notch or two. As I watch their set, I couldn't help but feel that I was being pulled into their transcendent void, like I was hypnotized by the whaling screams of front man Norman Matthew. I felt as if my head was going to exploded at any minute, and worse, I was letting it happen!

Murder FM Cage 9 Betawolf Rockett Queen - February 10, 2011  TREES Dallas, TX Review by Michael Insuaste Photos by Trey Campbell Murder FM Cage 9 Betawolf Rockett Queen - February 10, 2011  TREES Dallas, TX Review by Michael Insuaste Photos by Trey Campbell Murder FM Cage 9 Betawolf Rockett Queen - February 10, 2011  TREES Dallas, TX Review by Michael Insuaste Photos by Trey Campbell

As their show continued, there seem to be a guitar malfunction at the beginning of the third or forth song. In a flash, Rockett Queen guitarist Kenny Valentine stepped up, made the right adjustments, and the band didn't even miss a lick. Guitarist and vocalist Matt X3r0 proceeded with the song as if nothing was wrong. The show must go on and MFM kept it going.

Throughout their set the crowd grew less engaged. I'd have to say though that the blame was not in the bands performance, but rather a lame ass Thursday night crowd. As Murder FM pounded song after song I kept expecting the audience to ignite, but instead, it fizzled! I liked Murder FM. Impressive band with a touch of violent tendencies but in a good way. My first time to catch them live, but not my last.

Influenced by groups like; Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Motley Crue, Guns N Roses and shock metal rockers Marilyn Manson, Murder FM is setting an indomitable path in which neither their fans, or quite possibly themselves cannot stop.

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