It was another ridiculously hot night in Portland, but that didn’t keep the power metal, video game loving fans away. “Go Go Metal Heads!! In the tune of Go Go Power Rangers.”
Up first was Portland’s Sabateur. I’m always stuck with the fact that their confidence is that which is rarely seen even in the most seasoned bands. On this night, their enthusiasm and stage moves made it seem as if they would be comfortable in the headlining slot, with Judas Priest opening up for them at the Moda Center. With some refinement, they are positioned to go far.
Another local staple, Chainbound, was up next. This was the first moment when the crowd started to mosh. Tyler Heppner is a great front man and guitarist, and is quite pleasant to look at. Beauty aside, the men in Chainbound have a brand of metal that is enjoyable even if you aren’t intimately familiar with their music. They’ve definitely found the key and built a foundation for making exciting and enjoyable metal.
Hometown band Silver Talon was up next. I heard snickers in the audience when they walked out looking like they were straight out of the 80s…much like Mark Wahlberg’s band in Rockstar prior to getting the Steel Dragon gig. However, snickers were quickly quashed when the began to perform, especially when the vocalist opened his mouth and the amazing vocal quality came rushing out. They are incredibly good, entertaining, and refined. By the end of their set they definitely had won over the crowd.
Powerglove took the stage 20+ minutes late due to a few technical issues. And, unfortunately, when Ben Cohen (guitarist) came out he said, “We’ve had a bit of bad news. Gabriel our keyboardist is currently in the hospital getting his appendix out. We talked about cancelling the show, but we decided we would try to give you the best show we could.” I know Portland holds a special part in Powerglove’s history; it was 2008 when they were asked to open up for DragonForce at the Roseland Theater, and after that show, they were added to the tour officially with DragonForce. Ben is a spectacular guitarist and performer. Even with one member down, he commanded the stage and gave an amazing performance. If you’ve never seen them, you should make it a point to.
Their version of classic video game theme songs, and 90s cartoon jingles is mind-blowing. They started off their set with the theme to Tetris, and if you played video games in the 80s you know this theme well. Powerglove had a big screen behind them with images of the inspirations for the songs they were playing, which gave even more nostalgic visual to the already memory-packed show.
They took us through the ages with renditions of the theme melodies to Megaman , Sonic the Hedgehog, and Super Mario Brothers. They even threw in the them songs to Power Rangers, Pokemon, and “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid. It was a wonderful evening that would make any 80s kid happy.
From all of us at MIRP, we wish Gabriel a speedy recovery. We look forward to your healthy return.