Heavy metal band, MindMaze performed a rare acoustic show on 04/20/13. The place was Compact Disc Center in Bethlehem, Pa. It was also national Record Store Day.t.
Three shows / 3 different venues
MindMaze was one of the many bands on my list. The first time I saw them was at the Damsels of Darkness tour in March 2013. The place: Gin Mill / Northampton, Pa.
MindMaze is one of the few bands I became I fan of after the first show. The next show I caught the band was the Funhouse in Bethlehem, Pa. Gin Mill and Funhouse are two, completely, different venues. Gin Mill is a larger venue, Funhouse is a small bar with little to no dance floor.
Taking to their latest show: Compact Disc Center.
Hard Rock / Metal in acoustic?
Yes, you heard me right. The first 2 shows were flat out hard rock / heavy metal. When I saw MindMaze doing the acoustic, no way I was going to miss it. I had to see if they could pull it off.
Not every song / genre can translate into another. Try listening to most songs by Ozzy or even AC/DC and then try picturing them in a stripped down, acoustic version. Get my point?
MindMaze announced this would be a rare show. I agreed for two reasons: acoustic and a local record store. Yes, they still do exist!
Oh, I forgot to mention: On the date: 04/20/13 it was also national Record Store Day.
How good did MindMaze do? If the video did not convince you, the next sections will.
A more low key setting
The Compact Disc Center was a perfect setting for this show. It was low key and (for lack of a better word), intimate. You could get close to the band. The music level was lower than a bar / club. You could have a conversation without screaming. The band was relaxed and really showed what they are capable of. The music flowed smoothly.
Like I said: Main Question: How did their music translate? Answer: read on!
In a few areas of my criteria
Due to only MindMaze doing one set. I can not do a full review. I require at least 2 sets. Here is a quick, overall, review.
Crowd Interaction: Here is one area where the band excelled. In between songs, Sarah talked to the crowd. She joked about sitting down and trying to figure out what to do while performing vs. a metal show. The band made jokes with each other. Jeff, dedicating Remember to Boston took it beyond my scale.
Crowd Response: The crowd picked up on the jokes. In between songs, applauded and a few cheers were heard. Everyone watching was focused on the band. Other than people asking questions about records / Cd's, there was little conversation.
Music: In answer the question: Yes, they did a great job on it. I know, they had time to practice and it was their music. What should a person expect? Some music just does not translate well into other forms, no matter what a band does. Main highlight: watch the video. My favorite song off their album: Mask of Lies.
Overall: Doing the acoustic show, Mindmaze proved one thing above all. They are a very real band. They do not need the electronic sounds / equalizers / synthesizers to sound good. The acoustic side carries as much power and passion vs. their metal side.
Strange decision I made
A few years ago, I switched over to mp3. After the show, I did a rare thing: picked up their Cd, Mask of Lies. After 3 shows, I was that impressed with the band!
Add MindMaze to your list of great bands in the Lehigh Valley, Pa area. Place them very close to the top, especially if you are a hard rock / metal fan. On my list, they rank up with Psych (personal favorite).
Remember, just because you do not live in the area, you can check out most bands online. If you can check out one of their shows, do it! Metal or acoustic, MindMaze will leave you wanting more, easily.
More about MindMaze and the Compact Disc Center:
This was Easton School of Rock's first show in 2013. I attended the one at Pitcher's Sports Bar in Allentown, Pa. Like every show I have by these young musicians, I did not regret it. I will not do a full review. Due to the exceptional performance, I want to hit a few points.
The main words I can use to describe are: phenomenal and unreal at points. Like the Modern Rock show (Allentown SOR 1/5/13), this was refreshing and different. The students are proving they have a full understanding of music and performing. The stage show was very good. In between songs, someone interacted with crowd and joked with other band members. During songs, the students had very good interaction with movement. At points, I could they felt the music by their actions.
The music was modern in decade and genre. Most shows I have seen by School of Rock were classic rock. This one: mainly alternative.
There were several music and stage show highlights for me. The two main ones: Rapture by Blondie and No Sleep Til Brooklyn by the Beastie Boys. The performance's greatest part and highest point was the finale.
When all of the students and staff was on stage, Albie Monterrosa (instructor) announced he was leaving School of Rock. The way he thanked the students, staff and parents for support was from the heart and not scripted in the slightest. The students returned the gratitude, again, from the heart and unscripted. Last year, I had a chance to meet Albie and see the way he teaches. His interaction with students is something any teacher could take lessons from. I could not think of any better way to end this or most performances.
Here are the two, main, music highlights. (Sorry for the low-quality, I was down to the camera on my phone.) More photos and video.
More info on School of Rock:
Main website for your location