First up was Scale the Summit. This four-piece (two guitars trading leads, plus bass and drums) trades in the modern instro-metal-prog genre. A really young lot (not Hanson “Mm-bop” young, not “Michael Jackson when he was human” young, but young nonetheless) turned out a bruising set. For me, the songs ran together and didn’t offer much in the way of variety or distinctiveness. This wasn’t helped by the horrible room mix: while the audience could clearly see two fleet-fingered guitarists turning out 64th-notes, all we could hear was the loudest, most indistinct bass imaginable. Try as I might, I couldn’t pick out any actual bass notes; it was all a dull subsonic roar.
All I could think was that the onstage monitor mix must have been better, because the guys in the band didn’t act as if anything was wrong. That, or maybe the bass player’s dad is the band manager or sound engineer. Anyway, I’ll cut ‘em a break because they were obviously trying pretty hard, and as I said, they’re way-young. Still, their music is more of the see-what-we-each-can-do variety than the we’re-a-band-that-plays-together variety. But there’s a market for what they do, and they got a standing O. Best of luck to ’em; this tour is, I should think, a pretty big break for the band.
Gratuitous parting shot: For those who like this style, this group runs circles (ha!) around Scale the Summit.