Devilstrip, soon to be massive everywhere, but currently huge in Akron, play a hometown, Halloween Hootenanny – and MVM had someone there to cover it 

The room dimmed and the crowd quieted. The music overhead suddenly changed and the movement of shadowy figures drew everyone’s attention to the stage. And then, like an electrical transformer being hit by lightning, Devilstrip began their hour long, ear-splitting, chest-pounding set.

I had been hearing about the band Devilstrip for some time now and recently downloaded their debut album Rise from iTunes. Fortunately for me, a trip to Ohio put me in proximity of their Halloween show at Musica in Akron, Ohio. Let me just start by saying, a Devilstrip show is much, much more than that. A Devilstrip show is an experience….

My devilish experience began with the adrenaline fueled ‘Not What You Need’ which pounded right into ‘Ugly’. For the patrons within the venue, outside on the patio, or engaged in conversation elsewhere, well let’s just say that they were no longer interested in anything other than what was happening on stage. Devilstrip just demands your attention!

Following a brief welcome and Happy Halloween greetings to the near sell-out crowd, the guys launched into ‘Including Me’, ‘Kill The Headlights’ (my personal favorite and the subject of their recently released lyric video) and one of the few covers they do with a Devilstrip twist, ‘G’s On Parade’ – which is a mashup of Snoop Dogg’s ‘Nothing but a G Thang’ and Rage Against the Machines ‘Bulls on Parade’. Trust me, it’s just rocks!

Now let me take a moment and remind you of something; Devilstrip is “new” band. It has been in existence for just a little over a year. However, the musicians are extremely experienced with 30+ years of playing. For this band to still be in its infancy and to have this much power is just not typical. Not only do they have the locals singing along to EVERY song they play and anticipating their next shows, they are also making a HUGE splash in the UK and Europe. So much so that a summer tour in 2015 is already in the works.

‘Light Up The Room’ and ‘Love, Hate, Die’ were the next two songs that kept me transfixed on the stage. I felt like I was watching a tennis match at times as I found myself watching bassist Graig Lindgren, drummer Jimmy Gray and guitarist/lead vocalist Marc Wasmund up on the stage. Their energy as they interact with crowd and with each other is fun to watch – they have fun playing together and it’s infectious! Throw in the power and punch that this three-piece demonstrates on stage and it is awe inspiring.

The band slowed it down a bit, ever so slightly, with a new and unreleased song ‘Skin’ which lead straight into a crowd favorite ‘She Said’. And as I mentioned above, the crowd sang along. A sense of pride and humbleness could be seen on each band members face. Then they brought the pace back into high gear with the heavy-grooving ‘To The Enemy’.

At this time, the band reminded the crowd that they were putting together their next video for their song ‘Go’ and asked the crowd to take video of them performing the last song so they could create a live clip. And as soon as the first few guitar licks of the track were played, the cameras and phones went up. I’m sure they are all hoping that their video will be included in the final, released ‘Go’ video. But they also know that they had just got recorded proof of that Halloween night in Akron, Ohio when they witnessed the rock & roll experience known as Devilstrip.