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Powerman 5000, SOiL - Montage Music Hall, Rochester, NY - July 7, 2015

Review/photos by Scott Brown

Rochester, NY - Rochester promoters bring yet another phenomenal rock show to the area in the form of hard and grungy SOiL, and industrial metal gurus, Powerman 5000, on a very comfortable July night.  To the credit of these hard efforts, an odd scenario ensued this night in the form of low attendance.  How could there possibly be low attendance for the bands that brought us iconic tunes such as, “Halo,” and the ever and instantly recognizable, “When Worlds Collide?”  Well, freak natures of the industry happen, and this one was taken advantage of by not only the fans, but the bands, as well.  Fans were treated to a very intimate, and what was categorized as a “private show,” by fellow concert attendees.  No one in sight frowned.  As a matter of fact, all attendees I encountered were nothing but smiles, and felt as if they really mattered, thanks to the enthusiasm and arena style of play in a club show for those who mattered, the fans.

Promptly at 7:30, doors opened, and SOiL shirt after SOiL shirt poured through the doors.  One would have thought SOiL was the headlining act, when in fact, they were one of the openers.  It didn’t stop SOiL from playing like a headliner before an arena crowd, with most fans singing back up to singer, Ryan McCombs, for every word of every song.  Particular enthusiasm and reaction came from the songs, “Breaking Me Down,” and “Halo,” from 2001’s breakthrough album, ‘Scars.’  “Loaded Gun” opened the eight song set, and “Hate Song,” from SOiL’s sixth studio album, ‘Whole,’ were received just as well.

After the set, and during the break, I spoke with several fans that stated this was there first time seeing original singer Ryan McCombs live.  He was described as the sound of SOiL, and the reason they came.  Another fan stated they hope that Ryan will re-record past albums that were produced in his absence from the band, due to personal and professional reasons.

My second time seeing the band live was a time warp, as I witnessed their energy when ‘Scars,’ was first released.  It’s over ten years later, but the set was crisper between the band, and heavier for the crowd.  Catch this band, as they are truly a talent of unique sound and identifiable vocals that cannot be replicated.

To close out the night is the self-described Hi-Fi, Sci-Fi Electro Metal Robot Rockers.  There is no better analogy, as Spider One led his band on stage as though they just left the battle grid of the Disney classic, “Tron.”   Sporting futuristic faux armor brandishing a light up insignia of the band in the chest plate, wrist lasers, guitar lasers, and smoke, PM5K was ready to do music battle for their hardcore fans that ventured out this Tuesday night.  The smaller numbers seemed to spur the band to play even harder for these lovers of techno terror.  Each member sweated profusely, playing their instruments as though it was their last show in front of a live audience.

Supporting their seventh studio release, ‘Builders of the Future,’ PM5K, in stride with giving fans something new to sink their teeth into, played five cuts in the likes of, “Invade, Destroy, Repeat,” “How to Be Human,” “You’re Gonna Love It, If You Like It or Not,” “I Can’t Fucking Hear You,” and “We Want It All.”  Fans who have not been privy to this new slice of PM5K were very pleased with the result, pumping their fists high, and forming their own mosh pit of high fidelity.  Tracks that are religious to the PM5K concert go-er, “Nobody’s Real,” and, “Supernova Goes Pop,” were greeted by even louder screams of joy from fans in this rare treat of a club show.  Inciting the crowd and slightly teasing, Spider One, after 10 songs, stated they were done for the night, and thanked the crowd for their support.  Met with boos and chants, “One more song,” Spider One smiled and obliged with the obligatory, “WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE.”  Now, and only now, could fans go home with the true Power Man 5000 experience.

After the show, both bands made themselves available to fans for pictures and autographs, hanging out until it was absolutely time to close the venue for the night.  For those collectors of rare merch, each band offered up guitar pics at the merch stands, and even signed drum heads.  So, if you’re a fan of great music, or even just unique music memorabilia, this is definitely a great tour to catch.

For more on SOiL, please visit

Special thanks to Shauna O'Donnell for providing RMS with the press credentials.