OCTOBER 10, 2002

Camarosmith's Ben Devil and The Hangmen's Bryan Small in the Chain Reaction parking lot after their show.
Chain Reaction is a favorite of Highwire Daze. The sound system may not be that great but then you can always hang with the band out front in the parking lot after their set. Sure there's no beer (it's an all ages club) but then you save yourself six bucks right there. Besides, no one is stopping you from getting wasted before the show! Tonight we came to party with three bands that rocked harder than the usual emo/hardcore kids that inhabit the hall on a regular night.
Camarosmith are a heavy band featuring Seattle band Zeke's former rhythm section : Don E. Paycheck on the skins and Diamond Jeff Matz on the bass, looking like an Amish hippie. Lead throat Ben Devil is a big man, the kind you want at your side when at a rowdy dive bar. He bellowed over the thunder of guitars played by Pat Fuckin Brown and Big Chris Johnson. Camarosmith wisely let Ben take care of business as he stretched and scowled, shaking water out of his doused hair and leading an awesome band. Look for their Jack Endino-produced debut early next year. Seeing them play at a club is a life-affirming experience.

the Hangmen
Next up were The Hangmen, relying heavily on the tasty slide guitar of Jimmy James, whose instrument was the color of an orange creamsicle. Vocalist/guitarist Bryan Small modelled his truck stop t-shirt and sang his songs of living in Los Angeles with vigor. Their style of rootsy rock'n'roll is less confrontational than the other two bands on the bill yet they expertly conveyed their message without pounding it into our skulls.
Finishing off the show was Texas' own Speedealer who knocked us on our collective ass with their thrashing boogie and southern speed metal. While vocalist/guitarist Jeff Hirshberg scowled through his menacing lyrics, bassist Rich Mullins was all smiles, obviously enjoying himself as he stood legs wide apart, playing his bass like a lead guitar. Every few songs Hirshberg, Mullins and lead guitarist Eric Schmidt stood and played in tandem, poses, chords and all. If Speedealer, Metallica and Lynyrd Skynyrd got together and had a musical duel, they would kick each other's asses back and forth, then go buy some booze and party the rest of the night away. Speedealer should be working on a new CD sometime next year, their last one was in 2000. With a band this powerful, they shouldn't be taking their time, but when the CD comes out it will be worth the wait.