Texas Hippie Coalition, Flaw, A Killer’s Confession and BathHouseBetty heat up Frankie’s Inner City!!

Last Thursday night national recording artists Texas Hippie Coalition, Flaw and A Killer’s Confession along with local rockers, BathHouseBetty were supposed to play at Boonie’s Bar in Northwood. Unfortunately thunderstorms were in the forecast and the show was moved to Frankie’s Inner City in Toledo.

I’m not saying Frankie’s is a bad place to be, just the contrary. I’ve always had a great time every time I’ve been there. It’s just on this occasion I was looking forward to seeing the new digs and what Boonie’s had to offer. Although disappointed, I’m sure there will be plenty of other opportunities in the future to check it out.

Besides that I can’t be too upset, I still got to see two of my favorite bands live for the second time within a week as well as finally getting to see A Killer’s Confession live. Four days earlier THC put on an outstanding performance at the 2017 Ink in the Clink while Flaw tore it up the main stage on Friday evening.

Hometown boys BathHouseBetty opening for THC, Flaw and A Killer's Confession at Frankie's on 7-20-17. All photos taken by Larry Ritter/The Rust Belt Chronicles.

Another first for me was listening to hometown favorites, BathHouseBetty, a band who has been around for nearly two decades. After seeing them live, I had to ask myself, what the hell took so long?

This foursome can absolutely melt your face off with their aggressive style speed rock. I must admit that I couldn’t always understand the lyrics however I do believe there was a verse in their referring to diarrhea. Now while the subject matter isn’t one that I would generally relate to rock-n-roll music, I give kudos to the guys for doing their own thing. That’s what artists are supposed to do.

Rob Hawk was a great front man while Alex Clawson delivered some heavy riffs. Dakota Brenneman (drums) and Jeremy Skadeland (bass) combined for a thunderous rhythm tandem who delivered heavy blows throughout the set. BHB is definitely worth your time to check out.

AKC, who features former Mushroomhead vocalist, Waylon Reavis, was up next. I’ve long been a fan of Reavis and was pretty pumped about the fact they and Flaw were added to the original lineup. My excitement was elevated as the band’s set played out.

A Killer's Confession at Frankie's in Toledo, Ohio on 7-20-17. All photos taken by Larry Ritter/The Rust Belt Chronicles.

Reavis was at the top of his game from a showman’s aspect. He interacted with the fans while unloading his undeniable sound. He addressed his pleasure of sharing the stage with Big Dad Ritch of Texas Hippie Coalition, who he got to know during the 2014 Mayhem Fest run, referring to him as family, which is what THC is all about.

From a musical presentation point-of-view, things were better than anticipated. The five-piece ensemble delivered an exceptional set that, for me, was highlighted by their songs “1080p” and “Unbroken”.

 Matt Trumpy and Paul Elliott complimented each other with their six-string attack while J.P. Cross’ jackhammer like sound on the bass was the perfect match to Jon Dale’s stick work.

A Killer’s Confession not only had my stamp of approval but they also had the entire Frankie’s crowd which included my 14-year old grandson, Travis, who was attending his first concert ever. His exact words were ‘those guys were great paw-paw, my ears are still ringing’! That sounds like a solid review to me.

If there was a negative to the night’s festivities, perhaps it was the fact that Flaw was forced to perform without a bass player, a fact that visibly did not set well with lead vocalist Chris Volz. Tommy Gibbons was in the position at Ink in the Clink but he was let go afterwards and I’ll just leave it at.

I do know that despite having three working members on stage, Flaw gave it their best effort. Jason Daunt (guitar), Dan Johnson (drums) and Volz sounded good even with the void.

FLAW at Frankie's in Toledo, Ohio on 7-20-17. All photos taken by Larry Ritter/The Rust Belt Chronicles.

Volz is one doesn’t pull any punches when addressing things and this situation was no different. The band shut things down early with Volz giving the fans a choice of the trio trying to finish the set or securing a bass player and coming back to do another show. I’m looking forward to Flaw’s return and give the Volz, Daunt and Johnson big props for adhering to the old adage that the show must go on.

With Flaw’s exit meant it was time for THC to unleash their red dirt metal style upon the now smoldering crowd. One thing I can say about Frankie’s is that it’s a great place to get your sweat on. In all my travels to the glass city I can honestly say that I’ve never left the building feeling as though I dropped a few pounds. In fact I was in attendance for a Nonpoint show a couple of years ago in which lead singer Elias Soriano, who hails from Florida, stated that the show that night may have been the hottest performance (temperature wise) that he has ever done. It was so hot that drummer Robb Rivera was wringing out his t-shirt of at least a gallon of fluids.

Not only was the temps up so too was the electricity that the boys from Denison, Texas was delivering.

Timmy Braun (drums) and John Exall (bass) can hold their own against any rhythm section on the scene today. They deliver raw unadulterated power that can move foundations.

Young guns Cord Pool and Nevada Romo (newest member) are exceptional guitarists who can tickle the twine with a professionalism that is well beyond their years. In time their names could stand among the greatest of all time. I’m also a little envious of those long flowing locks of theirs.

Meanwhile the man in the middle, Big Dad Ritch, was at the top of his game, both vocally and with his wit. He acknowledged the heat factor like Soriano had previously, stating that Ohio didn’t need to roll out the Texas heat just for the self-proclaimed ‘King of Texas’.

Texas Hippie Coalition at Frankie's in Toledo, Ohio on 7-20-17. All photos taken by Larry Ritter/The Rust Belt Chronicles.

With the heat being a factor it was only fitting that THC kept things “Rollin” through hits like “El Diablo Rojo” and “Back From Hell” as well as others such as “Cocked and Loaded”, “Turn It Up” and “Hit it Again”. Of course they concluded with their usual closer “Pissed Off and Mad About It”.

Texas Hippie Coalition was the reason Travis was with me. Since he was a toddler he has been constantly rocking (literally) and THC is his favorite band. He left that night an extremely happy camper having heard his band and gotten four of the five members autograph on his ticket as a keepsake. The only one he didn’t get was Big Dad himself who I’m sure was in the band’s trailer recouping from the heat. That was okay with him he just said ‘I’ll get Big Dad’s the next time’!

Cord Pool of THC shaking my grandson’s hand.

I like my grandson had a great time. Although there were the few hiccups along the way the entire lineup delivered with THC providing a big exclamation point. I’ve been raving about these guys for years now and people are finally starting to listen. Do yourself a big favor and head out to a live show if you see their name on the marquee in the future. I know they’ll be at Piere’s in Ft. Wayne, Indiana on August 24th before appearing at the historic Agora Ballroom one night later.

Don’t be surprised if you see me there along with Travis. If you do, come over and say hello. Until then this is Big L saying ‘keep those horns up and rock on’!! \m/ \m/  

 

 

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Larry Ritter About Larry Ritter

Hello my name is Larry Ritter, or “Big L” to most of my friends. I’m a production supervisor for a major manufacturer of auto parts here in northwest Ohio. I received an Associate’s degree from Owen’s Community College where I graduated cum laude honors. I have a true passion for music, sports, photography and riding motorcycles. My love for these things are surpassed by just one thing, family, which includes two sons, a daughter and eight grandchildren.

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