All Access Magazine Articles

April 17, 2008

200+ at DistortedFate’s First Headlining Gig

Live Review

By Clio

DistortedFateThe Antelope Valley is well known for its devoted metal fans, and they descended on Schooners in Lancaster for DistortedFate’s headlining gig at the newly renovated club’s first Mesquite After Dark night March 29th. With over 200 people — verified — through the door, the band, club, and promoter couldn’t be happier.

Though the band is not yet a year old, DistortedFate’s self-described “pure metal” is getting heads banging and fists pumping throughout the L.A. area. In case you somehow managed to miss the hype, the band, their marketing agency Inner Circle International, and Cliff at Rincon Productions plunged headfirst into promoting the gig with pro flyers (thanks to Dan Lovell), mailers, t-shirts, a street team, a banner… and a TV commercial. Yes, a genuine professionally edited 30-second commercial with 2-camera footage shot at one of the band’s earlier shows. The commercial (produced and edited by Tom Koykka and John Weinberg, with help from DistortedFate) aired on Time Warner Cable in the Antelope Valley the week of the show on select stations including MTV and VH1. Schooners ran a radio ad for good measure, and brought in exceptional metal soundmen Alan and Travis—and extra security.

DistortedFateBut the litmus test was not the huge draw, it was the fans’ reactions to the set. Did they like it? Did they like it enough to download the band’s MP3s and come to another show? First, opening act Blind Deception brought a sizable crowd of their own, and those fans stuck around for DistortedFate. Second, given the number of DistortedFate t-shirts in the crowd, the band already has a solid following. And third, there were all those skeptical first-timers who started off in the back with arms folded across their chests… and quickly moved up to join fans right in front of the stage.

After a short intro song, the band launched into heavy “Rage” and then right into “Out of Time.” Frontman Mike Weinberg started working the crowd from minute 1, got them on board during the first song, and by the set’s closer “Justified Anger” had the audience shouting “HEY! HEY! HEY!” with their fists in the air. There’s no question Weinberg’s a natural frontman, and he has an incredible vocal range from (dare I say it) soft and smooth to downright evil-sounding.

The show was the stage debut of drummer Brian Banner’s new custom kit by Mayer Bros. Drums (, and shop owner Jack Mayer himself was in the house to admire the kit’s crisp sound and Banner’s masterful chops.

Bassist Aaron Cross (who also drums for death metal’s Epicedium) and guitarist Bob Spears were both wireless and rarely stood still. Cross holds the bass line with perfection and bangs his head like a metronome. Spears particularly excelled in his solos—especially in “Haunting” and “Vanished.” In the band’s only 2 cover songs of the night, Iron Maiden’s “Ides of March” and “Wrathchild,” Spears handled both Dave Murray and Adrian Smith’s parts and solos so well, you almost forgot the original songs had 2 guitarists.

DistortedFate is one of those rare bands with no weak link: All 4 band members are exceptionally talented musicians and songwriters. The whole band is so tight, their many dead-on breaks and changes caused nods of amazement from even the most jaded metalheads.

Rumor has it an Indie label was in the wings and liked what they heard. Could there be a full-length album in the band’s near future? If you like your metal as heavy as it gets, keep an eye out for many more DistortedFate gigs at Schooners and throughout the L.A. area by checking in at the band’s web sites: and Metal RULES!

Story by Clio
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