Wisconsin in general is home. Being a musician as well, I have traveled and played in a lot of venues, both in and out of state. I have played the Crucible once a few years back. I am pleased with their improvements, and their drive forward. Oh, and their raspberry nitro beers are awesome!
This is my first time seeing Morningstar. Amber (vocalist) is a sweetheart! I cannot stress that enough. She has a very approachable personality. Morningstar is a heavy symphonic melodic rock band. To compare Morningstar to any other band would be doing them a disservice. However, some fans have said that Morningstar reminds them of Kamelot, In This Moment, September Mourning, Avatar, and Amaranth. The opening song for the night was “Bittersweet Lullaby”. There is a music video for “Bittersweet Lullaby” that everyone should check out! Amber had about three wardrobe changes that fit the theme of the songs performed. Notable was the wardrobe change into a master of ceremonies for “The Circus”.
Rounding out the roles is Brandon on amazing guitar, Ricky on bass, and Zach on drums. Morningstar is a beautiful visual and audio experience to behold! The band is looking forward to playing upcoming festivals including Northwoods Rock Rally on Thursday August 17th in Glen Flora WI, and Rock-2-Stop Veterans’ Fundraiser on Friday August 18th in Brodhead WI.
Silvertung is composed of two vegans and two Italians. The band was essentially rebuilt after the effects of Covid in 2020. The band demonstrates their positivity and resilience in their performance. Their lyrics are uniquely aggressively powerful, comforting, and encouraging. Silvertung has this positive energy that just inspires people no matter what state of mind they are in. Silvertung brings explosive tones that pierce straight to your bones. Silvertung reminds me of Korn, Disturbed and Nonpoint.
As a drummer, I have seen stick flips many times, but how about pick flips? Speed (lead vocals and guitar) commands the stage with his vocals, and picks flips. Jimy (bass and backing vocals) and Marc (lead guitar and backing vocals) can be seen performing with the same energy and precision playing. Andy (drums) is an energetic power hitter. I mistook him for Mario Duplantier. Both in his looks and playing. I love the variety of songs and skills displayed in this performance. “Crutch”, “Integrity”, “Wise Up”, “Dodging Bullets” and “Justify” were all played at this show. This is my first time seeing and hearing them, and these songs just stick with you. If you are down, listen to them, and remember, “You’re Fine”.
Touring can be exhausting. There is a lot of physical labor, being in a band, loading up, and performing. Before a show, you can be in a bit of a haze. When I first talked with Cody (lead guitarist), he gave me the impression of this laid back cool kid. He was taking in the zen this Monday evening. Cody talked about touring, and the antics that keep the experience lively. Michael (rhythm guitarist) joined in on the conversation and told me how the bandmates prank each other while on tour. The two talked about how unspeakable acts happen in the drummer’s quarters, whether he’s there or not. At this point Stephen (drummer), joined in on the conversation and confirmed this. All bandmates are like brothers. They help each other, lift each other’s spirits, and support each other. Scottie (vocalist) confirmed this as well. I unfortunately didn’t meet and talk with Anthony (bass). Before the show kicked off with Morningstar, I asked the band, “What do you like more? Recording or Touring?”.
They unanimously responded touring. Cody goes on to explain; “Recording is like making a pizza. It is carefully measured, and timed out. It can be tedious. But touring and performing live, is like being able to share that pizza, that creation with everyone”.
When Artifas took the stage to close out the night, there was no sign of fatigue, no sign of chill. They were there to dominate as a headliner. I was absolutely blown away. Right at one of the first songs, the crowd rushed forward to the front. Artifas was animated, constantly moving, passionately performing every song. I mentioned pick flips when talking about Silvertung, but how about stepping it up to mic flips and stick flips?
Artifas did not disappoint. Scottie sang and performed with so much energy, he accidentally injured himself on one of the metal risers. It was very minor, and he continued to perform. I watched as Stephen’s china cymbal inched away with every hit. He still didn’t miss a beat as it would seem to be inching out of his reach. Cody, Michael, and Anthony played with so much intensity and movement, I was surprised that none of them broke a string. Artifas is definitely made of premium musicians. I was not able to catch up with Artifas after the show. Their fans swarmed them and got to them first. I look forward to seeing these guys in the future.
This was the show you need to see on a Monday to help you through the week, and forget whatever negative thing happened on that Monday. It was great to reunite with old friends, and make new ones. This event shouldn’t be called, ‘just a show’ or ‘just a concert’; but rather, an experience.
Photos: Bill “Furious” Groen