Indiana’s progressive metal veterans The Contortionist are hitting their tour stride moving west to east across the United States. On Saturday night March 10, the band made a headlining stop at the Summit Music Hall in Denver, Colorado. The support bands for The Clairvoyant Tour are Skyharbor, Strawberry Girls, and Silent Planet. Unfortunately Skyharbor has yet to join the tour as they have not been able to secure work permits and are still stuck in their homeland of India.
California’s Strawberry Girls warmed up the crowd playing a emotionally charged blend of progressive and art rock. Even though the trio only plays instrumentals, band members Zach Garren (lead guitar), Ben Rosett (drums), and Ian Jennings (bass) gained a lot of new fans as they flooded their merchandise booth after to snag CD’s and vinyl.
Silent Planet followed Strawberry Girls with a highly energetic metalcore set. The band performed a solid set with vocalist Garrett Russell being a standout often stage jumping into the crowd and passionately introducing the songs that often cover deep thinking social topics.
After a rousing cheer from the crowd and stepping onto the stage, The Contortionist delivered a highly technical gripping set pleasing longtime fans. It was no surprise that the set would feature songs from their latest album The Clairvoyant released last fall. As you would expect Robby Baca (guitars), Cameron Maynard (guitar), Jordan Eberhardt (bass), and Eric Guenther (keyboards) performed these new songs plus a couple from 2014’s Language flawlessly hitting on all of the musical subtleties and explosions. Unfortunately longtime drummer Joey Baca could not be a part of this tour but friend of the band Johnny Concannon stepped in and never missed a step. Even though lead vocalist Mike Lessard is not as engaging as other frontmen, his vocal delivery is a highlight of their live show often contrasting the subtle harmonies with hard screams.
The one thing that is refreshing about a progressive rock/metal show is that fans usually tuck their cell phones in their pockets. I applaud the fans on this night as instead of burring their heads in their phones they immersed themselves in the musical journey of The Contortionist.
Review and photos by Jason Bullinger