LIVE: The Phoenix & The Raven and Last Pharaoh at Putnam Place, 5/14/2021
On May 14th, 2021, downtown Saratoga saw some normalcy. Saratoga was booming that night for multiple reasons with the ease of covid restrictions and the fact that live music was coming back again. Not any live music though, it was the return of Metal. Some venues shy away from Metal shows and as a fellow metalhead, I am not sure why, but Putnam Place isn’t one of them. We are thankful that Putnam Place gives promotors such as The Chaos Collective a quality venue to have their shows.
The night began with a local band from Albany called “Reprise”. This young group of guys really know how to get a metal show started. Their loud and vicious sound is something you need to see in person. They also do a bunch of covers from “Killswitch Engage” to “Gojira”, and best of all “Metallica”. (Have to pay tribute to the almighty). Sometimes the opener gets lost in the shuffle of other bands, especially when there are four other bands. But you know for sure people left that night wanting to know more about “Reprise”.
The night continued with a band from Long Island called “Indus Valley Kings”. These guys were awesome. The lead singer and also lead guitar player Billy Fridrich won the crowd that night with his impressive guitar solos. My favorite song of the night was “Cactus People”. You can’t help but bang your head to that song.
“Deveria” started their set with their single off their latest album called “Suicide Forest”. The lead singer Charles Woodard brings an operatic flair to the band. I asked their hard-hitting drummer John Suski what some of their influences are and he said “Metallica, Metal Church, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Queensryche, Fates Warning, and Nevermore”. Those are some really great bands and it shows in their music. These guys know what sounds good and what people want to hear. They have a sound that is similar to other bands but is entirely unique. Pick up their new album or check them out on Spotify you won’t be disappointed.
The headliners of the night were “The Phoenix & The Raven” and “Last Pharaoh”.
“The Phoenix & The Raven” is a hard rock band from New York. Their influences are “Pantera, Avenged Sevenfold, Slipknot, and Metallica”. A lot of their fans showed up that night all wearing their band shirts. They even played a cover of Tom Sawyer by “Rush”.
Last Pharaoh made their way to the stage. Their set started and right from the start you could tell how comfortable these guys were on stage. You could feel their stage presence was strong and their sound was even stronger. Vocalist Tommy Santangelo’s high-pitched and piercing style of singing is something to witness. Putnam Place definitely witnessed it, and there’s no doubt downtown Saratoga heard it. Friday was something special.