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Ventura Theater; Ventura, CA; 05/30/03

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

You've seen it elsewhere on this site: "Support Local Rock!" It's easy enough. Put down that television remote or PS2 joystick long enough to get out to the venues in your area that support local bands. Watch the show, buy a couple of drinks, make new friends. It's that easy!

We did our part this past Friday night (after making the difficult decision between Evil Shred Fridays at the Roadhouse in Oxnard and the local rock show at the Ventura Theater) and - after our customary stop at the legendary Sans Souci (proudly advertised as "Ventura's Classic Dive Bar") - we hit the Ventura Theater where Anti-Love Song had just taken the stage.

Anti-Love Song's music was a great start to the evening, a punk / hardcore hybrid that warmed up the sadly small audience at that point (doesn't it suck to be first on stage?). Anti-Love Song didn't seem to care. The band ripped through their set as though the house was full. The crowd that was there was into them immediately. A great opening for a great evening of local rock.

System Blues was up next and the band's solid rock also won over the crowd, even though there was some confusion at first as the band seemed well into their first song before vocalist Josh Ortiz joined in. System Blues sounds a lot like Type O Negative meets The Doors and they rocked hard. The band (Dan Szany - guitar; Nick Downing - guitar,backup vocals; Logan Klain - bass; Matt Dawson - drums) was solid and Ortiz has a commanding, stylish voice.  One quick note for Ortiz: It's all right to move a little. Throughout the band's entire set, he seemed to be attached to his microphone stand and it was a little disconcerting. But that's a minor complain at worst; System Blues has the potential to record a great CD, if they haven't already. We're hoping to hear one soon.

Nylus was up next and no one knew what to expect from this band. They were the youngest to play so far this evening and, when lead guitarist Ronnie ripped into his opening salvo, the skull-splitting sound could have cut through solid granite. Despite the fact that the mix seemed a little off on Ronnie's leads, his immense talent was immediately apparent. This guy wails! (Later we spoke to Ronnie, who told us he's only been playing a year and half - watch out Kirk Hammett!). K.C., on rhythm guitar and vocals, was a terrific front man, interacting with the audience and - for the most part - giving Nylus their voice (Ronnie took over vocals on the band's final song, a dead-on cover of Metallica's "For Whom the Bell Tolls.") Bassist Nick seemed effortless as he kept right up with the band's fast-paced original tunes. We were later stunned to learn that Nick is only in 6th Grade! Finally, behind the drum kit, was Chrissy. Her hands a constant blur, Chrissy gave Nylus its powerful backbone and driving force. Chrissy's musicianship was intense throughout - as though everything else had ceased to exist except the music. Quite an impressive performance from a very promising young band. We hope to hear more from Nylus soon!


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Copyright 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:15 -0400.