May 18th, 2018 marks a day of intense hair flinging. The Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan hosted The Kings and Queens tour featuring co-headliners Nonpoint and Butcher Babies along with special guest Islander and Sumo Cyco.
Sumo Cyco kicked off the event with undeniable energetic enthusiasm. Lead singer Skye Sweetnam was all over the venue getting the crowd and staff involved. From running to the bar to have a shot poured into her mouth to getting out in the crowd and having everyone get low to the floor so everyone could spring up on command to getting on lead guitarist Matt Drake’s shoulder as he plays guitar. With drummer Matt Trozzi and Oscar on bass guitar, Sumo Cyco got the crowd in the mood for a great time.
Islander kept the rock going in full force. With a sound in the vein of Deftones, P.O.D. and other nu metal bands that grew to prominence during the mid to late 90’s. Islander brings some new old school sound with Mikey Carvajal on lead vocals. Mikey has a new lineup of band members since I saw them open for Korn in 2015. On guitar was Eric Pedersen, Chris Carvajal on keyboards and Andrew Fleming on drums. It was nice to see Mikey is still emotionally attached to the songs he sings. Mikey made use of the rafters at The Machine Shop as he hung the microphone stand upside down and sung into the mic. During the last song, Mikey crowd surfed and then was held up as he stood up and partially hung from the rafters and ended the show with the microphone stuck wrapped up in the rafters.
The crowd was pumped as the lights went out and Butcher Babies made their way on stage. The fans cheered as the fierce long haired singing duet of Carla Harvey and Heidi Shepherd roared vocally with piercing eyes looking out into the crowd. These ladies are like an assault force, if they aren’t blasting eardrums out with intense vocals, they’re fanning the air whipping their long hair around, making the metal gods proud. Henry Flury on guitar, Jason Klein on bass and Chase Brickenden on drums, this band had the crowd rockin’. I have to give Heidi props for having some big balls as she went out into the crowd and started a circle pit. That was bad ass. It’s been a couple years since I’ve seen Butcher Babies and they have shown no sign of slowing down. Like a fully steamed locomotive, Butcher Babies are ready to rock and roll you over.
Nonpoint is a group many people have told me is a great live band. This was my first time I finally got to see Nonpoint and right from the get go, Nonpoint showed why they are a great live band. Busting out the gate playing their hit “Bullet With A Name” grabbed the crowd by their throats and garnered immediate attention and full-fledged riff rocking. Elias Soriano on lead vocals is a dynamo as he led the crowd through a great set of songs, including the easy to sing along “Fucked Up World”, “What A Day” and a great rendition of Phil Collin’s “In The Air Tonight”. Surrounded with the talent of Robb Rivera on drums, Rasheed Thomas on rhythm guitar, Adam Woloszyn on bass and B.C. Kochmit on lead guitar. Nonpoint was on point and everyone at this show had a great time.
This lineup of bands leaves no doubt as to why it was a sold-out show. If the Kings and Queens tour is anywhere near you, make sure you get out to catch it. With great music and lots of hair flying around, you’ll have a cool time.
– Words and photographs by Mike Shaler