Although it marked their second visit to the Alamo City this year, last Friday night’s Symbolic performance at Fitzgerald’s Bar provided a better chance for local concertgoers to focus on the natives of San Diego, California, than the previous one.
That’s because the intimate crowd saw the West Coast quintet in headline mode rather than being one of 20 bands playing the two-day Memorial Day Metalfest at The Rock Box (coverage here). While being educated on what was likely their first time witnessing Symbolic in action, fans also learned Symbolic was recently signed to EMP Label Group — otherwise known as Ellefson Music Productions.
Yes, that’s David Ellefson. The bassist of Megadeth . . . who just happens to be bringing his “Basstory” tour to Fitzgerald’s this Friday (tickets and VIP packages here).
As is customary for Fitzgerald’s shows, a closer band went on after the headliners, this time with local bluesy trio Jason Kane & The Jive doing the honors. Along with local veteran supporters Minister Fiend and cover openers Elysian, Symbolic found itself in good company while schooling the audience on their brand of California metal.
Playing a slew of tracks from their EMP debut 5ive such as “Alternate Breed,” “The King Has Fallen,” new single “Devil Be Me” and “Almost Human” (setlist in 53-photo slideshow below), Symbolic’s dual guitars from Steve Potts and newest member Louie Borja, plus the piercingly melodic vocals of Scott Bruce, brought a different sound to San Antonio. Watch ATM’s footage of closer “Chameleon” here.
Along with bassist Bobby Fernandez and drummer Steven Elias, Symbolic showed that Ellefson has a nose for finding talent and locking it up to his label. The group’s bantering with the audience, particularly Bruce shaking hands and Potts dishing out picks and fist bumps, also ensured Symbolic would make a few new friends in the process (watch ATM Facebook Live footage of “Absolute” here).
Jason Kane & The Jive, a fixture on the local scene, is gearing up for its CD release party of Hellacious Boogie on Friday, Oct. 26, at The Rock Box with local guests The Heroine, Deathdodger and X.I.L. (tickets here). “Courthouse Blues,” “Pussyfootin’ “ and other familiar faves dotted the group’s 12:30 a.m. set that capped a fun night of rock.
That fun began with Minister Fiend and a cover supergroup of sorts in Elysian.
Minister Fiend, led by vocalist Harley Thompson and lead guitarist David Draven, rocked the house with several loud, up-tempo tunes under three minutes long, although the lighting for their set was the darkest and least photographer friendly of the four bands. Watch ATM footage of “In Hell We Trust” below, plus Facebook Live bonus coverage of “Sympathetic Breakdown” and “Overdose” here.
Elysian, meanwhile, didn’t break out predictable covers. Featuring 16-year-old vocalist Caitlyn Thomas, who began on the local scene as the frontwoman for another cover band Violent Revenge, the group opened with Bullet For My Valentine’s “Your Betrayal” and included “Not Falling” by Mudvayne and System Of A Down’s “Toxicity,” eventually closing with Metallica’s “Battery.” Guitarists Anthony Carrillo and Joey Villalobos comprise local original band Even In Death, while bassist John Bernal used to be in that group.
Even In Death will be playing Bonds 007 Rock Bar on Saturday, Oct. 6, with Rivethead, Sojen and Seven. They’ll also be on stage supporting Heaven Below on Saturday, Nov. 17, at Alamo City Music Hall with Under No One, Thunder Horse, Pigweed and Terror Form. Tickets can be purchased at the “Concert Listings” page of AlamoTrueMetal.com.