For this week’s music Monday, we are going to venture back to PAX-East 2012. As I eluded to in my previous post, 8 tips for first timers post, there are a number of musical acts who were present and performed for the PAX crowd during the course of the weekend. Of the various eight musical acts that I saw over the course of that weekend, I’d thought it would be fun to focus on some of the standout bands who pay tribute to our favorite blue mechanical assassin, Megaman.
I caught this Buffalo, NY based band in the PAX Jamspace at the same time the Saturday night main stage’s acts took place. After about one song I couldn’t figure out why these guys weren’t on the main stage billing. These guys have a very progressive/power metal/hard rock sound about them. Their set consisted of various video game music and theme songs to movies, shows, and wrestlers. But more so than having a fantastic sound, they have very entertaining banter between their songs as well. They just come off as a group of guys who just have fun up there on stage. These guys have a slew of Mega Man cover songs such as Boomer Kuwanger’s stage from Mega Man X, Crash Man’s stage and Dr. Wily’s castle from Mega Man 2. They tend to tour around the convention scene so be sure to check gaming and anime conventions in your area.
I had never heard of the Protomen before PAX east. Didn’t even know they were headlining the Friday night acts on the main stage. But Hole – Lee – Shit, I apparently was missing out on something because people really stormed the stage waiting for them to begin. After a brief introductory speech from K.I.L.R.O.Y (center) and even shorter thrashing of a heckler (which was fuckin hilarious), the Protomen took to the stage and began. I definitely felt left out because almost all of the crowd knew the words and were singing along the whole time. Their music is definitely has strong rock n’ roll vibe to them. Some of their songs almost have a Johnny Cash feel, which would make sense considering their Nashville origins. The first thing that I noticed is that they don’t actually play music from Mega Man, which actually kind of turned me off somewhat. Just seemed a little too progressive rock for my taste. They started to grow on me more after PAX when I listened to the albums in the car more intently and could actually hear the words. If you listen to the lyrics of their albums, it actually tells their own version of the Mega Man origins tale from the creation of the robots, Wily’s rise to power, the fall of Protoman, and the eventual rise of Mega Man. If you read the lyrics on various websites as well as the official Protomen forum, they contain a good deal of liner notes that fill in a lot of the details of the story. They are a very interesting act with a very noir bent on the story and worth a listen if you are a die hard Mega Man fan.
If you will allow me a moment to gush: if these guys rocked any harder, I’d have to change my underwear after each song. These guys are full blown Speed Metal at is finest. Three albums of video game music and cartoon themes, these guys have been touring the country for various metal acts like Dragonforce, Hammerfall, and Symphony X. They have a very high energy stage show about them which is fitting considering the high energy and intensity of the music they play. But all in all their show, despite being a very mosh pit likely ordeal, has an overall fun loving and light hearted tone about them. They know how to play to a crowd and they have fun with it, throwing inflatable swords or Starburst candies into the pit. PowerGlove is currently working on a new album and is in the midst of a small mid-western tour with the aforementioned Protomen. They also have had a few songs paying tribute to Mega Man as well such as Mega Man X3’s “Blasting the Hornet” or their own rendition of Dr. Wily’s theme from Mega Man 2, but probably the fan favorite and maybe the song that has become kind of an anthem for the band is from Mega Man X in the form of Storm Eagle. They have played it at every show I have been to and the crowd starts chanting “Fuck that Bird!” well before they even start the song. They can’t even get their shtick out to set up the crowd chanting it. These guys are high energy and great time, every track they lay down is gold and you owe it to yourself to see them live. They are friggen awesome and quickly becoming one of my most favorite bands ever.