By January 30, 2011 Read More →

The State of the Scene

First of all this article is dedicated to our friend Terri Sterner of the Nor-Cal Plastics who passed away last year and i just wanna thank Chris Murphy for asking me to once again join the staff of the mighty Modestoview magazine!

Now the hardrock & metal scene in Modesto has dramatically changed since i last wrote this article. First, many of our all-ages venues are few and far in-between and a lot of them are gone!! Modesto mainstays of the last few years, Modesto Virtual, Pizza Factory, Pizza & Beer & The Thunder Dome are all shut down. Now, due to the rules and regulations of the city of Modesto and its police department there are lots of great Modesto bands like Mneumonik, Kingdom Fall, & Spontanious Cumbustion among others that have no place to play because of their age and this guy thinks that is just wrong. There are a few alternatives but not many. The Queen Bean & Jax on H st. Shy away from metal & hard rock. The Carver Hall, Seasons, & The Clarion Hotel are expensive alternatives and The Workshop in Ceres remains the remaining home of all ages metal! This has to change and we need all ages places to rock.

There is some good news as the 21+ crowd somewhat booming and bands are entertaining crowds all over town, but once again the gold standard of downtown venues and the home of local metal/hard rock is the Fat Cat Music House & Lounge!! Now this year, two veteran Modesto bands are leading the surge. Dam/Levee is still the kings of downtown continuing their streak of opening massive shows at the Fat Cat for huge acts like Y&T and others. Nothing but losers has to be named as one of, if not the hottest metal band in town right now!! NBL has long been jokingly dubbed as “Modesto’s most hated band” but there isn’t a metal band in town that promotes more, plays more local shows to packed crowds, & has the most dedicated local followings I have ever seen!! Both of these bands have followings that have developed groups called the Famdamily & The Losers and I’ve found myself involved in both proudly!

Now the scene has a lot of other bands that I have to mention. The band I have to start off with is Better Left Unsaid who continues their touring ways and have played some epic local shows along side their friends the Athiarchists from Eugene, Oregon that have adopted Modesto as their second home. Other great local bands include 2010 Mama Award winning Through the Ashes, from the Atwater/Merced area there is Thistimes Brutal & Cursed!! Stockton brings us California Medication, and of course we have great Modesto bands like Asavd, Through the Threshold, & The Burden we bear have been making waves as of late.

Another great place to see local metal is the Spinnaker Lounge who hosts free local 21+ metal shows with bands like and all was lost, William Wallace & NBL have all crushed crowds at this mighty little bar!! If you don’t mind driving to Oakdale there is The Battered Beaver where bands like Crow & Wooden Jesus hang their hat. A few more bands that have to be mentioned before I go have to be … Warpath Assassins who features former members of Thr3efold, Disillude & Skin for Julia. There is also coma bloom which is basically a local super group.

That’s about all i have for now but will be back soon with more metal!! Until then keep one foot in the gutter and one fist in the gold!! And stay metal Modesto!!!

by Mike Vanek

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