WOW Tales: The Night Alive, Burn the Stage, Metalföl, and Pretty Suspect

Friday, Jun 14, 2024

The Night Alive, Burn the Stage, Metalföl, and Pretty Suspect


This show was a showcase of local and regional acts, with the sounds leaning heavily into punk, emo and a heavy rocktronica vibe. It was a smaller crowd, but the staff was enthused to see families show up, including a few little kids that couldn’t have been more than 4 or 5 that, with headphones to reduce noise, were enthusiastically dancing around the floor freely without obstruction for much of the night. Four bands were on the bill, all either from Eugene or Portland. Whether the groups previously knew each other or not, there seemed to be great camaraderie, as many of the bands were front row center when others were on stage. It’s always great when bands make sure to show strong support for each other at our shows — it doesn’t go unnoticed by the staff.

First up was The Night Alive, a four-piece that leaned heavy melodic emo and punk but with some metal influences. At. times drum kicks and thrash metal riffs were abundant, other times they were busting out bro punk chants, and they set the tone for the night well. The lead guitarist in this band in particular with his kooky antics on stage, constantly making silly faces or over-the-top gestures and silly jumps that were intended either to get the crowd to laugh, or perhaps trying to get his bandmates to crack up…perhaps it was a little bit of both, was like a hyper kid with a sugar rush. It brought a light-hearded feel to an otherwise heavy sound that people seemed to really enjoy, and the rest of the band seemed more in on the joke mugging for the audience than annoyed by the over-the-top antics. Their songs were catchy and showed their range in influences in melding various genres together, not quite metal but audible, not quite punk but noticeable.

Next up was Burn the Stage, a four-piece punk band from Portland. These guys fit really well into the 90s/2000s skater punk sound popularized by labels like Fat Wreck Chords. Comparatively I would say their music was closest to groups like No Use For A Name or Pennywise, while aesthetically leaning more Rancid. They had some damn catchy hooks and were a lot of fun and good energy — this is a band to remember that I could easily see get picked up by an indie punk label.

Our headliners didn’t actually close the night, but certainly brought the most people as their set consistently had the largest crowd.  Metalföl are a Eugene quartet that lean more towards a heavier mainstream rock sound, but blend in electronica beats. Add in one member who not only provides the electronic beats and backing vocals, but also controls the band’s own impressive lighting setup while bouncing around like a hype man ala Bez of Happy Mondays or Flava Flav of Public Enemy, and it brings an extra dynamic to their stage show. Not a lot of performers bring their own lights to our venue, but it provided a slight rave feel to their show, like the late 80s/early 90s Madchester scene where groups like EMF, Stone Roses, 808State, Inspiral Carpets and so on were blending dance beats with rock to develop what became modern rave music…if you don’t know the legacy of all of it, just go watch the film 24 Hour Party People.

Not that Metalföl’s sound is harkening of that 90s British era, their sound falls more along early 2000s modern rock. I would compare it to groups like Trust Company, Adema, Chevelle, Saliva, etc. — heavy and with a slight electronic influence but still very melodic in nature. They played the longest set of the evening, mesmerizing the crowd with their light show as much as their energy, which included a hologram on the DJ rig setup that played select clips from films such as the famous “this goes to 11” scene from This is Spinal Tap.

Closing out our evening was Pretty Suspect, a local Eugene act that will be returning soon to our stage on July 27 for an album release show. Their sound incorporates heavy guitars and a pop sensibility wrapped up in screamo vocals and some complex song structures more akin to the early 2000s emo scene. They compare themselves to bands from that era such as Underoath and My Chemical Romance, but with the synth/keys element in their sound and switch between aggro scream vocals and well-done emo harmonics I heard more Get Up Kids and Armor For Sleep in their music than the artists they reference as being similar. One of their highlights was a cover of Vanessa Carlton’s hit “A Thousand Miles” — which playfully bounced from the immediately recognizable bright shiny piano hook that the band matched with heavy pounding bass and guitar riffs and some occasional screamo lines. It made for an interesting dichotomy to a massively popular pop song.

The show kicked off a three-straight night’s run for us at the WOW Hall, with a hip hop show Saturday (310babii) and a tribute act Sunday when Rainee Blake performs the music of Joni Mitchell. We hope to see you there.

As always, thank you to all who came out to the WOW Hall tonight and enjoyed these fantastic Oregon bands. We at the WOW Hall look forward to hosting them again soon.



WOW Hall Marketing Director


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