by Andrew Crisp
Before the spittle could fly from frontman Morgan Mechling's lips—and fluids were common projectiles at the show—a group of local bands specializing in screaming and black-as-you-please rock took the stage for a proper goodbye.
Opening act Boise band Maladroids is a bass-and-guitar duo known for its goofy stage presence and pounding technical skills. That thrashing comes in the form of Christian Mckenna's frenetic fingers, while Jake Little's work on bass drum and cymbals sends waves crashing over the audience.
That evening the duo suffered from more than a few technical gaffes, taking its first song from the top half a minute in. But the audience seemed content to let the pair make up for it with a stage dive and the popular track, "Camelot."
Following Maladroids was a set by Reverie, a quartet that hasn't yet incorporated screaming into its tracks. Though the band members were technically skilled on their instruments, more kicking and flailing would have been welcome as they remained mostly rigid throughout.
The next act, Downsided, presented itself in stripped-down fashion, dispensing with stage banter in favor of short, explosive bursts of progressive, chunky rock chords and beats swirling from the the drummer's pumping legs.
However, fans were most excited for Bone Dance, which found Mechling dangling from the rafters of the Red Room stage, the entire group lit from behind by bright white stage lights.
The music pouring from the band was peppered with feedback, the thrashing sounds of the guitar like gnashing bits of metal filled out by throaty cries from Mechling.
Mechling waded through the crowd to stand on tables, knock beers into the air and scream into audience member's faces. He was rewarded with flailing arms and bodies, as the audience worked itself into a frenzy, bouncing off all corners between stage and bar. The mic cord wrapped around crowd members as Mechling snaked his way back to the stage between songs.
However, the intensity of the show's first songs couldn't be maintained, perhaps because of the sheepish response from the Red Room crowd. After a few encounters with Mechling, they steered clear of standing too close.
Bone Dance will head to Idaho Falls on Monday, June 11, for the next performance on its tour.