Red Papaya is a large Thai restaurant – and bless their hearts, they also host metal shows! It was my first time there, and I must say, it’s a pretty cool venue with ample space for bands and fans. The restaurant has a few tiered levels of seating, and that makes for some unique vantage points for seeing a show.
Between working the doors, catching up and making connections with other local metal heads, I was able to take in enough of the show to let you know that if you weren’t there … you missed a good time! This was a high energy show and a good size crowd came out to see some excellent Ontario metal.
Stoney Creek’s Jetpacks to Jupiter kicked off the night with their rock/pop/alternative sound. Surprisingly, this was only the band’s second show, and I can’t think of a better way to say this – man, do these guys really have their sh*t together! They sounded great – very polished (in a good way) – and have obviously spent some time crafting their image, with a slick logo and a set of backdrops for their live show.
Hometown melodic metal band Unbowed took to the stage next and delivered a powerful set consisting mostly of songs from their upcoming album, and WOW does the new stuff sound good! Last time I talked to the guys they said the new album was being recorded this summer, so keep an eye – er, ear – out for that. Unbowed drew the largest crowd of the night to the front of the stage, and were even successful in getting a little circle pit going. That’s right Guelph, there was a circle pit at Red Papaya. I think we need to give some credit to the boyz in Noiz A Noiz for that too.
London’s Anu Beginning kept the energy rolling and prepped the stage for the main act.
Niagara-area metal heads American Hell finished off the night and delivered some seriously satisfying headbangs. The current lineup has been together since 2010 and American Hell has been working the festival circuit and sharing the stage with some big names. Their experience shows – riffs were tight and frontman Craig Laro really knows how to get the crowd worked up. A full-length album is expected from American Hell sometime this year.