Sunday, August 09, 2015

Symbol Six at the Dive Bar Saturday August 8, 2015

I've known guitarist Tony Fate for over a couple of decades now, and have always been a fan of his playing (check out the Black Widows and the Bell Rays for some superior guitar playing and songwriting) so when I heard he was coming to town, I made it a point to get out.

I luckily just happened to get to the Dive Bar just before this current project, Symbol Six, was to perform. Tony has been playing with these cats for a while now - at least a year or two - but this was the first time I was able to check them out.

Symbol Six originated in the LA area in the early 80's, though I was not aware of them at the time, so I can't say who all are original members, but the current line up is Eric Leach on vocals, Tony on guitar, Evan Shanks on bass and Phil George on drums.

This evening they had a good crowd to the Dive Bar, who cheered them on and initiated small bits of moshing here and there. Although they call themselves American Hardcore Rock'n'Roll, I felt they were a bit more cool, hi-energy punk'n'roll, as I am not normally a big fan of hardcore. But, everyone is a solid player - George definitely stood out, and, as I said, I am a fan of Fate's - and there were multiple influences showing, including - to my ears anyway - some soul with their rock'n'roll.

They looks good, dressed all in black, and the arrangements were original sounding and included neat breakdowns, sing-alongs, dynamics, cool grooves, time changes, open chords and even some slide guitar on a number or two! One tune opened with some slow gospel blues before moving into punk edginess and one almost reminded me of "My Generation" with its starts'n'stops. They even pulled out their early 80's number that the band was named after.

Always a blast watching Tony rip it up in his unique way, and this combo is a fine, hi-energy unit that gives him some room to explore some of his various songwriting influences (the whole band contributes and Eric writers the lyrics, but I can hear lots of Tony within the tunes) and his stellar playing. Go see 'em - good times!