Another Banner Evening in OUR FAVORITE VENUE....THE VALARIUM. We showed up to cover APOCALYPTICA and got a VERY BIG surprise. The Opening band (warm up) ARC, from Knoxville, Tn. took the stage before a very stale crowd. When you are the local "opener", for a billing such as DOWN FROM UP (a tenured touring act) and APOCALYPTICA ( a band with world wide following) sufficed to say, a VERY limited number of people in the crowd came to see YOU.
In many cases, these bands are ignored or "suffered through" by Fans that traveled to see "Their Band". Like I said....in many cases....but not this night. Surprisingly the crowd gathered, in large part, in front of the stage and watched. The first few songs went by and at the end of each piece....crickets. The music was VERY good, but it's very hard to "turn" a crowd that didn't know you existed before they came through the door. As ARC progressed through their set, I noticed a slight up take in the crowds energy.
The band plays in an usual niche in Metal....INSTRUMENTAL...so there's no true "Front Man" out there to play specifically to the crowd. Still by the 4th or 5th song, there was some slight cheering taking place. After I left the photo pit, I stood, watched and listened, with great enjoyment, to the works this band were putting out. Then came the "Moment of truth". I could hear the band rolling into the BIG ENDING for their set and I was wondering anxiously, "What did this crowd really think of ARC?" I got my answer right away. As soon as they struck their last lick, the crowd actually "WENT OFF" in a stand of lasting applause and cheering. ARC had done it's job !
It is nearly impossible for an opening act to "warm up" a crowd that is cooled and waiting for something else, but ARC achieved this lofty goal, with a lesser sound system, no lead singer and standing up against a MONSTER bill. If you get the chance, you REALLY NEED to keep a date open to see these guys. We are looking forward to tracking their progress, because we feel there will CERTAINLY be a future for these Fellas :o)