If you missed Seether's tiny club show at the El Mocambo, you probably missed your only chance to see the melodic metalheads playing in a room decorated with artsy lanterns, Chinese paper umbrellas, and a disco ball.
Not that the thrashers scattered throughout the front row seemed to mind the out-of-place d»cor. As people were lured away from the bar to crowd the stage area, it became obvious that this wouldn't just be "an intimate evening with Seether" - this was going to be a full rock assault. And with the El Mo packed full with punks, goths, jocks and their curious girlfriends, the room was more than ready to take it head on.
Once Seether took to the stage, my photographer informed me with a smirk, "I'm warning you, there are going to be a lot of hair shots." And she wasn't joking - frontman Shaun Morgan's long hair was draped Cousin Itt-style over his face for the entirety of the show, making him look like a slightly less threatening Rob Zombie. There were also dreadlocks and beards aplenty, with most of which getting whipped about as the rockers headbanged their way across the stage.
Aesthetics aside, Seether was touring to promote their upcoming new album, Karma And Effect, and so the fearsome foursome gave the audience a taste of the disc's offerings, including bombastic current single "The Remedy" and rock ballad-esque "The Gift." They also dipped into their vault of old favourites with songs such as "Driven Under" and "Fine Again", the latter of which Morgan dedicated to two fallen comrades, Dave Williams of Drowning Pool and Dimebag Darrell of Pantera. A particularly touching gesture, especially given that the performance of "Fine Again" was by far the best of the night. The audience members knew every word and were more than happy to join in on the harmonies.
The sound was surprisingly good for such a small room, and the band was locked in so tightly that there was no room for mistakes. At times, Morgan's voice resembled Kurt Cobain at his most desperate, a comparison that many kids in the audience noted amongst themselves. Seether's melodies actually aren't all that far removed from Nirvana's, so it's no surprise that their music appeals to the same audience. Fortunately, Seether tend to do it a little better than their nu-grunge companions, since Morgan is both a decent singer and songwriter.
The encore finale had Morgan singing a poignant, stripped-down version of their huge radio hit "Broken" which, though minus the Amy Lee vocals, still had the lighters waving throughout the crowd. It was a low-key ending to a rather short show, but with all the night's proceeds going to the Daily Bread Food Bank, everybody had more than one reason to be satisfied as they left the club.
Writer: Caitlin Hotchkiss