Sound: This was my first Thirty 30 attendance, and to be honest, I was a bit skeptical. I was a fan of their first EP, "Inventing Ghosts", and loved their most recent EP, "Dawn", but with the change in sound, I was only left with curiosity. Out of all the bands on the bill, Thirty 30 put on a great show. The music was executed well, guitar solos and double bass drums everywhere! Danielle shared the spotlight with guitarists, Daen Olson and Anthony Esparza, both of whom had several vocal spots. The band sounded precise together. Daen Olson's guitar effects played a definitive role in diversifying Thirty 30's sound during the set. Anthony also played piano several times during the show, and although there was another band on the bill (Metatonic) who had keyboards as well, Thirty 30 was more worried about the song rather than the musicianship. Drummer Joel Flores sounded better than the "Dawn" EP. He had a rich feel to his style and you could tell that Thirty 30 and Joel are beginning to gel together now. Bassist Alberto Lafarga sounded great too but it was in his performance were he succeeded best. Thirty 30 sounded absolutely fantastic and the only complaints myself and many others had about the show was the terrible sound mix. Sounds like the sound guy wasn't doing his job in keeping the band leveled during the show. GOOD JOB EPICENTER!!! // 8
Perfomance: Over the Thirty 30's San Diego run this summer, they have played all new songs, and even though they have a back catalog, Thirty 30 has chosen to perform these new songs that show their fan base (which has grown impressively) the new sound. So here's a play by play of their set.
01. "Degenerate" - Thirty 30 opened the show with a bang, starting with a faster song. The riffs are great and Thirty 30's performance as a whole was very entertaining. Vocalist/Guitarist Anthony Esparza had just finished his 30 minute set with his other band, Burdens Arise, and though he was tired, he was a trooper and performed great. "Degenerate" was a great song to begin with, also because Vocalist Danielle Cullins, Vocalist/Guitarist Daen Olson, and Anthony shared almost equal vocal duties, giving the song each of their characteristics. This was the only time during the show that this was shown.
02. "a Passive Tide" - Following "Degenerate", Danielle announced "a Passive Tide" was the next song to be played, and the crowd cheered loudly, so I already knew this was a crowd favorite. Danielle led The Epicenter audience into a chant (HEY! HEY!) and the song kicked off from there. It sounded identical to the "Dawn" EP version. Fun song and was well received by the crowd. The highlight of the performance on this song was bassist Alberto Lafarga and Anthony coming together in a bass/guitar duel.
03. "The Bat And The Moon" - This was a very touching moment in the set (and show) as Danielle explained the story into how Thirty 30 put this specific song into their set. Anthony's girlfriend (who is 8 months pregnant) had asked if the band could perform this song, as it was written for Anthony's soon to be born son. This was the last show she will be able to attend for several months so you could see it meant a lot not only to his girlfriend d but also Anthony himself. Thirty 30 performed this song flawlessly and at the end of the song, you could see a few teary eyed girls in the audience, including myself. The sweetest moment happened when Anthony called his girlfriend to the front of the stage and gave her a big smooch. It was a heartwarming moment.
04. "Electric Chapel" (Lady Gaga cover) - When Danielle announced that the song was a Lady Gaga cover, you could see metal heads in attendance shaking their heads, but somehow Thirty 30 turned the dance/pop song into an 80's hair metal rock and roller. Daen's smooth effects, Anthony's old school like guitar solo dueling with Danielle's vocal solo, and Joel and Alberto's rhythm section were all on point. I almost forgot this was a Lady Gaga song. It sounded like a Thirty 30 original. I enjoyed the head banging very much as well.
05. "My Darkest Hour" - Usually by this time in a bands set, the entertainers usually lose the audience, but everyone seemed to be enjoying Thirty 30's mix of Rock and Metal. "My Darkest Hour" is one of the best songs in Thirty 30's catalog, and it brought the band into heavier territory with Daniele and Anthony's vocal switch offs. Watching Anthony jump on Joel's drum rise and Daen and Alberto rocking with Anthony during their guitar harmonies was a very interesting site. And yes... Another song Danielle took over.
06. "In The Fallout" - This was an all new Thirty 30 song and the heaviest of the night. Danielle easily brought down the house with this song, but Anthony sounded the best on this song than the entire set. Obviously it was a very intricate song but a great selection to close their set. Joel was also the highlight of this song as well, with progressive drumming added for flavor. This song will also appear on the bands final EP of 2012 in just a few months. // 10
Overall Impression: Thirty 30 performed a great set, and in my opinion, was the best band at the show. All I could say is I wish they were given more time to play more songs. I would have also liked to See Thirty 30 perform "Friend". I haven't been able to hear the song properly due to its bad audio on Thirty 30's YouTube page and was looking forward to watching the band perform it as both guest vocalists (Kylan Pownell, Burdens Arise, & Alex Utrilla, Draind) performed this evening with their bands. It was still a great shown nonetheless. Now about the lineup of the show. I will definitely be attending more shows in the future. // 9