(HED) pe and Dope Show Review – October 5, 2017 – Portland, Oregon
Local favorites Toxic Zombie opened the show, however I unfortunately missed it due to a client
call. I walked in as rap/rock locals DS8 started their first song. With some needed lineup
changes, the actual band of DS8 was more of a focal point than they had been in the past.
Previously, the two front men were DS8 with a backing band; now I can see that they are headed
towards DS8 being an entire band. Pulling double duty, DS8 front man Brandon Edwards
immediately took the stage a second time to front his other band, Apophis Theory. There were
some great moments, and some not so great moments, as this very ambitious and dynamic band
played in the third spot of the night.
Front man Edwards never tired or reduced intensity; I don’t think he even broke a sweat.
Unfortunately, a loving gesture turned a bit awkward when a young mosher was brought on stage
to share in the spotlight, and instead of relishing in the coolness that the band just offered her,
she got shy and just stood there. You couldn’t do anything but feel sorry for her (and the band).
It was probably all of about two minutes, but it felt like a lifetime. Technical difficulties plagued
one of the guitar players, and although he tried, unluckily, he could not get it working. While he
likely could have pretended to play, and most in the crowd wouldn’t have known the difference,
he exited the stage mid-song, and didn’t return.
(HED) pe took the stage 15 minutes late, likely due to the same issue as the previous band
experienced. Crew and sound personnel were frantically checking chords and cables, and finally
seemed to have it dialed in. Apparently, it has been a long time since I’d seen (HED) pe, and
somehow missed the moment they went full reggae. With Jared’s tiny, toy-looking hand-held
keyboard clutched in one hand, he blew on the little tube to make sound, and started off the
show. The small keyboard in the hands of fit and feisty Jared worked sometimes, and when it
didn’t work, his displeasure was visible.
I heard a rumor that his guitar player quit recently, and the replacement was found just days prior
to our show. Knowing this information made me rethink my opinion of the harsh critique I was
ready to give. I actually applaud them for showing up. Major Trauma is a delight to watch on
drums, and Kidd Bass, with his jovial antics and tongue, made the show entertaining. With a
heavy emphasis on reggae, to me it was an odd fit for Dope.
At times it seemed as if Jared didn’t really want to be there, but again, if a member just quit, I
guess I’d be stressed and irritated too. While he didn’t hide his irritation regarding the crew or
band mishaps (and from the audience we could clearly see it) he also wasn’t apologetic about it.
His cool swagger and hip-hop movements were appropriate for the show, and he was pleasant to
A fight broke out during one of the Bob Marley songs that they covered, to which Jared opined,
“Really? You are going to fight during Marley?”; and he laughed, and shook his head with
confusion. They cut the set early, and the 30-minute set change for Dope made us all yawn.
Enter Dope. Always professional. Always entertaining. Always a pleasure. There isn’t much to
say about Dope that you can&’t read in every reviewer’s words. While some members may
change, the backing force of Dope in Edsel will always remain. He keeps his band running
smoothly, and gives off the impression that he is happy to do it. The digital display was
appropriate, the smoke and lights were dramatic, and Edsel lead his band though a great set of
hits. They started the show off with Violence, followed by:
Bring it On
No Way Out
Now or Never/What About
Die MF Die