Seattle screamers Vendetta Red outshine Juliana Theory at Webster

By on February 20, 2003

“What’s emo? Emo, what?” Juliana Theory front man Brett Detar sarcastically responds in reference to the bands former genre tag. “People are always trying to categorize music and it’s a waste of time.”

The Pennsylvania quintet The Juliana Theory is now knee deep in a co-headlining tour with Something Corporate and warm up acts Red West and fellow Epic label-mates Vendetta Red.

On Saturday Feb.15 at the Webster Theatre in Hartford, Conn. while Something Corporate and Red West played a college campus show, The Juliana Theory and Vendetta Red treated an exuberant audience to an extended set with pleasant surprises.

Juliana is touring in support of their long awaited, constantly pushed back third full-length album, “Love.”

Sporting new haircuts and a new sound different from their previous two albums, Juliana played mostly songs off “Love” and a few older fan favorites. The problem however, was that it looked like the button-wearing, slick black-rimmed glasses-adorned ’emo kids’ wanted the old Juliana Theory.

Detar pranced around the stage in theatrical Ricky Martin bon-bon shaking fashion and tried unsuccessfully to influence the audience to feel the music as much as he was appearing to.

The stage presence looked a little scripted at times but the performance had its moments and the kids got their $10 worth.

Surprisingly, the talk of the crowd belonged to Seattle screamers Vendetta Red. Written up in SPIN and Alternative Press magazines as the “next big thing” on the metal circuit, Vendetta Red sounds better than Finch, less emo-core than Taking Back Sunday, even less TRL than The Used, as crazy as the former At the Drive-In and as captivating as Thursday.

Singer Zach Davidson hurls the mic around in ways only Inspector Gadget would know, as the rest of the band twist, contort, dive, leap, split and fall all over the stage around him.

“We drink a lot of coffee and Red Bull,” says Davidson, “We played a show in Cleveland where bodies were just flying everywhere – everyone was so connected to the music.” As Davidson stage dives into a sea of arms, he screams his blood-curdling lyrics, literally, in the face of the crowd all to the dismay of the bulky “peacekeepers” trying to reel him back to stage.

With their major label extended play debut “Shatterday” dropping this summer, the quintet has only one thing to say about it; “It’s really loud. Louder than anything we’ve done before.” Listening to local Seattle bands Blood Brothers and the first Ours album “Distorted Lullabies” during the recording process, the album should spawn interest to see them live. Vendetta is set to be among the ranks at this summer’s Vans Warped Tour, but only for stretches in the Midwest and West Coast in June and July.

Guitarist/Keyboardist Erik Chapman boasts, “Being on the road and playing shows is better than being home. It’s the best thing in the world.” Vendetta Red’s committed connection to the audience is evident on stage as well as off making conscious efforts to speak and hang out with any and every fan that wants to talk after the show.

With enough showmanship and energy to spark interest in the tamest heart, it looks like the tour managers got this lineup backwards.


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