Lady Beast Destroys Sonoma’s: A Division of The Meister’s 2015 M3 Experiences
This year’s M3 Pre-Party was something of anticipated excitement for The Meister. Having attended last year’s event as a part of my inaugural M3 festivities, I knew that the evening would be filled with great bands and great people, but this year there was a band on the bill that I have been rabid to see live: Lady Beast. I discovered Lady Beast sometime ago when I acquired their debut album, sent to me from somewhere over the internet I expect, I really don’t remember. In any case, the tracks often made an appearance in The Meister‘s listening experiences, so when I got wind that they would be issuing a new sophomore album I immediately contacted vocalist Deb Levine and requested the tracks for an advance of release review (Lady Beast II Serves Up A Delicious NWOBHM Feast). In case you can’t tell from my review, Lady Beast II is right now the clear, hands down, way far out front almost untouchable #1 album of 2015 for me and I don’t see anything knocking it down in the near future. If you’re unfamiliar with Lady Beast I say you rectify that immediately!
The flight was on time arriving at BWI Airport and we immediately adjourned to the rental car facility, heading straight from there to Sonoma’s Bar & Grill. We were a little panicky about missing the opening band, Last Call Messiahs who were to be followed by Lady Beast, but we made it before the show started. We quickly ordered some dinner, grabbing the only table left vacant in the house, which was buried around the corner, something that wouldn’t matter once the bands started anyway. Spotting Deb across the room and picking out a couple of band members circulating the bar as well we descended upon the Lady Beast merch table still chewing on some morsels of dinner in our rushed excitement to spend our dough. Although the beautiful double gatefold vinyl editions of both the debut album, Lady Beast, and Lady Beast II were extremely attractive, the difficulties in getting them home and fact that I do not own a turntable however were not. After briefly chatting with the Lady Beast merch girl, Holly (I think her name was) and introducing myself, I instead walked away with a Lady Beast t-shirt and the debut CD (Lady Beast II was not available on CD). Jamming in the last bites of dinner as Last Call Messiahs performed a short sound check we abandoned our table in the corner for a position stage front. Along the way, I was approached by Lady Beast frontwoman Deb Levine. She had spotted my Lady Beast t-shirt while talking with Holly who had in turn informed her who I actually was. We chatted a few minutes and Deb seemed quite humble and personable, but also obviously very excited about the show (maybe even a little nervous as well?). Hopefully, our schedules will sync up enough for a quick interview in the near future. She also told us that bassist Greg Colaizzi would unfortunately not be playing with them this evening, but standing in would be the drummer Adam Ramage‘s brother Andy. After a great set from Last Call Messiahs (whose CD I secured later on in the evening), we nestled in a little closer for the event of the night (for me anyway). One thing that I noticed as Lady Beast worked to arrange their stage equipment was that they so very obviously live and breathe the heavy metal culture sporting patched jean jackets and retro concert shirts that you just know aren’t done because it’s the new trend these days…damn hipsters! During the wait, I met and chatted with new but old lead guitarist Stephen Lauck and also met rhythm guitarist Chris Tritschler, hell Deb was even more than kind enough to secure me my next frosty adult beverage, cheers girl!
The hour was now upon us and Lady Beast wasted no time in assaulting the crowd with a slew of riffs and NWOBHM influences as they opened with “Heavy Metal Destiny”, the first single from Lady Beast II. Sounding solid right at the get go they ripped into the band’s title track “Lady Beast”, what was to be the lone selection from the debut release. The band all sounded really tight, pretty amazing considering Stephen Lauck just rejoined and bassist Andy was a stand in! Pint-sized powerhouse Deb Levine was also in fine form, sporting a custom altered Saxon Heavy Metal Thunder tee and almost never standing still with her long, blue-streaked hair flying in a full range of motion as she delivered the vocals. “We Are The Witches” was served up next as the crowd around us thickened up a bit. I suspect that very few in attendance here knew who Lady Beast was before they took the stage, but they’re certainly on board now! A quick pause for some instrument tuning brought Deb to chat a bit to the thickening audience, some of whom clearly had that “what the fuck just happened?” look on their faces, obviously awestruck by Lady Beast. I was surprised to hear her give a shout out to Olivier and The Meister from Canada and a thank you for all of our support. I captured “Lose To Win” on video (watch for it coming soon to Decibel Geek’s YouTube Chanel) and that was followed by “Frost Giant’s Daughter”, about your Mom Deb said to no-one in particular! “Bind The Runes” also got my video treatment, something awfully hard to do wanting only to bang your head, but hopefully some live videos on DBGTV will help this great band get some more exposure and I’m all about supporting the bands! The excellent “Caged Fury” lyrically deals with inner anger issues or so I think, a message to those finding themselves in that situation, took us to the final song of the Lady Beast set, “Banshee”. So pumped I was to hear this one, my favorite track of their small but mighty catalog of music. Reeling in the aftermath of the show it was time for a few more frosty beverages and before long hanging out at the merchandise booth again. Yeah, we all knew damn well the minute I saw it that I’d be buying that friggin’ vinyl by the end of the night! Chris Tritschler was also kind enough to present me with another t-shirt as well for all my support!
Lady Beast may have had a myriad of trials and tribulations against them coming into this show, but fuck me did Lady Beast ever kick ass!! I wonder just where I can fit that Lady Beast logo in my full sleeve tattoo? There’s nothing like being right down in front as one of your favorite bands lays down a serious thrashing on you and the audience, a religious experience in many ways, but those that don’t like concerts will never understand that feeling and I feel sad for them as the high of rock and roll is one of the greatest things in the world!