There is good and ugly that can be seen almost every day. I have been doing this writing thing for about 3 months now for this wonderful magazine. Let me just say it has been a wonderful experience working with UnRated Magazine and I am truly happy with all of the opportunities I have been already given. However, on the night of Wednesday, January 20th, 2016, this particular event was filled with twists and turns. And I came out of it a better person.
Now, I do not want to take anything away from the two amazing bands I saw that night. It just truly gets to me how one moment in time can change everything. So, now that I have that off my chest let me start off by saying that I became a fan of Sharman's Harvest when I saw them open for Theory of a Deadman at Route 20 Outhouse in Racine, WI back in the summer of 2014.
That was the summer where I truly had my heart broken. I was in a very loving relationship with a guy and we broke it off after 2 ½ years of dating. And to sound like everyone else out there, Theory of a Deadman's music helped me through that tough time. I heard of Sharman's Harvest being played on 95.1 WIIL Rock and their song "Dangerous" was simply just astounding. I was happy to be able to see them open for TOAD.
So, let's continue with the recent concert I went to. I have been to HOME Bar in Arlington Heights, IL a few times. They have a good craft beer selection along with a passable alright house gin. (Yes, I love myself a good gin and tonic every once in a while. It has to have a lime with it.) The actual concert area is pretty wide and the stage is about average The first band to grace the stage was someone I thought I never heard of: Within Reason. When Chris Doww first grabbed the microphone and started to sing, I felt like I was looking at a cute boy next door with killer arms. His voice was soft and almost heavenly. Yet, he could still bust out some hard core rap with a good helping of a manly growl.
The song Within Reason is best known for is "Here Comes the Light." Now, I have heard this song several times before. I never knew the actual band that played it. It is such a wonderful and meaningful song. Literally, while it was playing, I felt like I was in a trance. The accompanying music had a great melody and I was just swaying back and forth. I am glad Within Reason got some airtime on 95.1 WIIL Rock.
After their set, I was able to meet up with Within Reason and get my drumstick signed. (Yes, I was that chick that threw herself on the floor of HOME Bar to get a badly beaten drumstick...) I love that I am able to meet with bands after each show and just express my love for them and their music. Chris Doww was such a sweetheart and very humble. Each band member was very appreciative of old and new fans coming up to buy their EP.
It felt within a few minutes, Shaman's Harvest was on stage and just rocking out with their incredible set. I have a lot of respect for the lead singer of Shaman's Harvest. Nathan "Drake" Hunt battled throat cancer while recording the album Smokin' Hearts and Broken Guns. He has this voice that sounds so hard and bluesy at the same time. Shaman's Harvest comes from the heartland of Missouri. Each band member to me has this good ol' boy feel and look which of course I am so used to. To me, the Midwest has their own way of living and having a band like Shaman's Harvest out there on the rock scene representing what I grew up with makes me so proud.
Seeing Nathan on stage at HOME Bar can only be described in one word: Hypnotic. He has this powerful presence that makes people take notice. Between his curly hair, his beard and solid body with a voice that is so unique, I felt lost in the music watching the entire band interact with one another. Of course, Shaman's Harvest has gone through several band members that had left, yet, Nathan seems like the real foundation for the band.
I love several of Shaman's Harvest songs especially their first hit, "Dragonfly." "Dangerous" is the one that got me hooked and then "Dirty Diana" is what cemented Shaman's Harvest as a band I would like to see over and over. The smooth, rocking sounds of the drums along with the energizing guitar kept the audience at HOME Bar on their toes. The one thing that really stands out for me about Shaman's Harvest is they seem to tour constantly to get their name out there to the world. Like I stated before, this was my 2nd time seeing them in concert and I would not mind seeing them again.
What I took away from Wednesday's night performance at HOME Bar is that one could truly enjoy themselves being out and witnessing great music. However, there are a select few out there that can be highly jealous and almost overbearing when it comes to being fans. I am a person that can appreciate that. Yet, I can still hold my own and respect both the fan base and the musicians. I am not going to get into great detail. But, I know I am not going to let some little statement ruin my good time at other events. Believe me on this because this tough Irish chick loves to attend concerts with the best of them.
For both Within Reason and Shaman's Harvest, I have gained a greater respect for what these bands do on a daily basis. I want to wish all the best on the remaining parts of the tour. Make sure you follow each of them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. (I know I do...) #Cheers
Story by Coren E. McLeod, January 2016.