The recently formed band Newsted played The Middle East Downstairs in Cambridge, Mass on May 22nd. For those who don’t know, Ex Metallica Bassist Jason Newsted started his new band “Newsted” for himself and his fans to show his love of rock. Its members include Mr. Newsted himself on bass and lead vocals, Drummer Jesus Mendez Jr., and Mike Mushok (from Staind) and Jessie Farnsworth on guitar. The band’s current goal is to bring Metal back from the underground to the world (sort of like what I try to do when I interview rock bands, haha).
Before the show, I caught a glimpse of Jason Newsted taking a photo with some fans (below), then managed to yell out to that he was my Idol. Newsted responded by saying “You’re my Idol too, man!” I then yelled that I’d be posting an online review of his Concert at The Middle East Downstairs, to which he threw me a peace sign. As a bass player and aspiring Entertainment Journalist (plus as someone who faced a lot of hazing in my childhood like Newsted did in Metallica), half the reason I took this career path was to meet with famous musicians whom I deeply respect.
The first band was a very Avant-Garde Metal-Core group named Acaro. They held a respectable crowd reaction; had a strong sound loyal to their genre, but managed to mix in some interesting riffs melodically. The lead guitarist, drummer, rhythm guitarist, and bass player were amazing. Notable songs include “For Ever” about lost loved ones, and a song where the bass player had this gorgeous bass intro on their last song. They have a strong future and tight sound.
The second band, a group named “Wilson” from Detroit was more classic/hard rock influenced (think Dead Kennedys, Rush, Motorhead, and ACDC). They had a strong set list. The front man was very personable via jumping out into the crowd, and allowing people to sing into the microphone. During one song, the lead singer brought out a few beer bottles and starting playing them like a percussion instrument, and one by one the four band members took the beers away to drink.
In Wilson’s last song the lead singer brought out a marching drum that said “Fuckery” on it to everyone’s amusement. Towards the end of the night Wilson did a kick-ass cover of “Back in Black” where people from the crowd were able to sing along during the chorus. They’re definitely a great band that pairs well with Newsted.
When Newsted (the band) came on stage, the crowd went WILD!! In fact, some people were escorted off stage (one fan allegedly tried to push Newsted off of the stage recently as well). Newsted (band) opened up with a free jam, then Played Solider Head. He also played Metallica songs like Creeping Death, and Whiplash along his songs off the Metal EP like “King of the Underdogs” and songs from his upcoming album. During the end of one song, Mr. Newsted referenced the Boston Strong motto and thanked the fans for their positive energy and enthusiasm.
In each song, Newsted presented himself very optimistically as a front man using very emotion filled vocals, and expressing very animated body language and facial expressions while playing to set the mood of the song (along with the music). Newsted explained the entire American tour was to be used as a launch pad before the band goes global, and the release of their first album in August of this year.
Towards the end of the show Newsted took out his bass, sat on the edge of the stage alone and played the opening to My Friend of Misery to everyone’s astonishment. MFOM was so awesome; I could have died a happy man at that very moment from hearing my favorite bass riff ever played live finally!
This was by far the best concert of my life so far, since I got a fist bump from Jason and my friend Brad caught Mushok’s guitar pic. My only two complaints are that the vocal mics could have been a tiny bit louder, and that I didn’t get to be a good fan-girl and get the autographs of the band members. The band Newsted closed with two more songs that rocked the crowd and got everybody in a great mood! As the show started to end, fans left feeling very happy about the music that was played in an effort to bring Metal back to the music world, and with that night as any indication; it will come back with a vengeance!!
*All photos and videos credited to me, names were not used.