Thrive, Second Sun, Smokering, Sweet Dilemma
Major Metal Weekend — I coined that myself — continued at Birdy’s with a four-band set Saturday night. After an opening from local rockers Sweet Dilemma — a set I missed but a band I’ll return to before long — Fort Wayne’s Second Sun delivered a heavy set of pop-core hard rock, the kind of stuff that blasts away with heavy riffs but never loses a melodic and rhythmic touch.
Thrive, an alt-metal rock band that has already made their mark locally, delivered the thundering blitzkrieg that has become their trademark. They’re as comfortable as can be on the Birdy’s stage, having reached the finals of the Battle of Birdy’s late last year.
Thrive’s stuff is energetic and full-bodied, with influences ranging from Zeppelin to the Chili Peppers, Stone Temple Pilots and Pearl Jam. You can hear the Zep/Chili Peppers stuff in the grand slabs of sound that make up each riff from guitarist J-Dub and bassist Dan Tabeling, and STP/Pearl Jam in the sharp, compelling vocals by William Wagstaff.
Indy’s country-fried, Southern-rock band Smokering closed out the night, returning after a long hiatus. They combine the tight rhythms of Skynyrd with the swampy, almost leisurely guitar licks Vaughan made famous, making for a jovial, agreeable bar sound if ever there was one.