Silent Planet, Skyharbor, Strawberry Girls

Thu · March 29, 2018

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

$18 ADV $20 DOS

This event is all ages

Box Office is open Wednesday-Saturday 12-6pm and All Show Nights, 410-244-0057. Unless otherwise noted Maryland State's 10% Admissions and Amusement Tax is included in the ticket price

The Contortionist
The Contortionist
The Contortionist represents fearlessness in musical expression, designed to please artist as much as audience. This band makes progressive metal music, anchored in the heavy sounds that first drew the individual players to the stage, yet unmoored by convention or expectation.

On Clairvoyant, the band’s distinctive fingerprints remain, even as their atmospheric flourishes broaden to encompass ever-richer textures and mine the beauty of simplicity.

For the entirety of their career, The Contortionist has proven capable of being been equally at home on tour with Deftones, Periphery, or Between The Buried And Me, thanks to their dynamic combination of metal’s blunt precision with the adventurous spirit of prog-rock heroes like Rush and King Crimson. The Contortionist integrates seemingly disparate worlds to create their own sound, with a focus on tone, vibe, color, and atmosphere.

The band’s first two records, Exoplanet (2010) and Intrinsic (2012), are monstrously heavy,though no less ambitious than their newer and more expansive creative declarations. The character of The Contortionist’s sound expanded greatly with Language, the 2014 monolithic album that introduced the band’s current lineup of vocalist Michael Lessard, keyboardist Eric Guenther, and bassist Jordan Eberhardt alongside co-founding members Cameron Maynard (guitar) and brothers Robby Baca (guitar) and Joey Baca (drums). In it’s 5/5 review, Substream praised the album as being akin to “a journey through a dream state.” Prog Metal Zone was similarly kind, awarding the album 10/10 and remarking on its propulsive drum rhythms, ambient keyboards, fusion, and “astonishingly inventive flight(s) of musicality.”

Clairvoyant, which reunited the band with producer Jamie King (Between The Buried And Me, Through The Eyes Of The Dead), takes the best elements of The Contortionist’s past and reshapes them as the band follows their individual creative muses toward the future.

The Contortionist ultimately prove to have as much in common with the psychedelic experimentation of later Opeth or Tool and even the textured melodicism of Sigur Ros as they do technical heavy music, but they’ve never sacrificed urgent impact. Critics and fans admire their intelligent approach to the crushing riffs of tech-metal, which becomes more vibrant with elements of ambitious post rock and jazzy / fusion-infused virtuosity. Even when angular riffs, odd time signatures, and devastating breakdowns give way to hypnotic,ethereal, and trancelike musical meditations, The Contortionist are never lacking in total power.

In whatever The Contortionist endeavors to do, there will always be a great amount of thought, attention to detail, and shared love of musicality. They have committed to never surrender to the path of least resistance, always challenging themselves and their audience.

This is art for art’s sake. The Contortionist ease through the doors of perception with grace where possible and smash through the boundaries with absolute force when necessary.
Silent Planet
Silent Planet
Humanity has always had a therapeutic relationship with music. Its ability to shatter man-made walls, create a platform for expression, and illuminate perspectives, has helped ground some and liberate others. We build national anthems out of songs, we immortalize first dances with songs, we cry because of songs. Music—when breathed into with intention, intellect, and purpose—can restore and unify. If you need an example, listen to Silent Planet’s newest album, Everything Was Sound.

Silent Planet—comprised of Alex Camarena, Thomas Freckleton, Garrett Russell and Mitchell Stark—writes with purpose. The LA-based band’s first album, The Night God Slept, gave voice to characters victimized by systemic oppression. The album used historical settings and the characters within it to magnify their marginalized perspectives, resulting in a musical accomplishment outfitted with quality instrumentals, rich storytelling, and a mouthpiece for the silenced. Their second full-length project bears consistent fruit with their first.

Everything Was Sound, the sophomore release on Solid State Records, is unrelenting in its endeavor to marry its sophisticated metalcore sound with the quiet voice of the alienated. The band’s vocalist, Garret Russell, walks us out of their first album’s story and straight into this one: a metaphorical prison housing society’s misunderstood. The panopticon (both a psychological concept and a physical space) is a many roomed, doorless prison equipped with one, concealed guard. Without the ability to see where the guard is looking, the construct effectively controls each inmates behavior. Russell uses this theory (designed by philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham) to represent the societal imprisonment culture places on the mentally wounded. He walks us through nine rooms, with nine varying prisoners, and tells their stories.

“So many people feel completely alone. This album was inspired by the people I’ve interacted with who feel like nobody can or wants to understand them. It’s very evil to leave people isolated like that,” explains Russell. “Our goal is to make people’s stories visible, to give words and to give music to things that aren't often talked about.” Take the track “Panic Room” for example. “God gave me a vision, in a very mystical way, of my friend who suffers with PTSD. I wanted to tell his story in a way that honored him.” Lyrics like, “this is war: A child stumbles from the wreckage holding his salvation - the trigger to cessation - to end us all. I took a life that takes mine, every quiet moment we collapse,” paint a panicked and painful perspective, but one that gave healing to the friend who inspired it. From the song “Understanding Love Is Lost,” about the wreckage of suicide, to “Nervosa,” about the destruction of eating disorders, Silent Planet intentionally introduces us to the struggling souls surrounding us.

And that isn’t all they’re intentional about. The instrumentals, the lyrics, and the artwork are unanimously designed to, in Russell’s words, “challenge intentions, stir the subconscious, and offend assumptions.” Whether it be the enneagram of personality that marks the cover art, the inkblots within the liner notes tethered to each archetype, or the cited sources laced within each song, you’ll feel what Russell says is a “dance between wholeness and oblivion.” The theme weaves itself—through color, word, sound, and design—into all aspects of the project.

Silent Planet’s pursuit is perhaps best stated by the two instrumental tracks within the album—“Tout comprendre” and “C’est tout pardoner”—whose combined titles mean “to understand all is the forgive all.” In the final song, the prisoners escape bondage and unite, planting a new tree of life in the center of the panopticon. “People have been inhabiting inside of their wounds,” explains Russell, “and I believe they can come together to be healed. Step out, see each other, and find freedom in being seen.”
From a file on a computer sitting in New Delhi, to a full-fledged touring band with members from around the world formed over the internet – Skyharbor have defied convention every step of the way. The debut album 'Blinding White Noise' was released worldwide in 2012 to critical acclaim, and earned the band a dedicated fan following across the globe. Since then, Skyharbor have been performing regularly around the world and making waves with their distinctive brand of sweeping, ethereal prog-rock, fronted by Daniel Tompkins' powerful and emotional storytelling vocal style. Having played at some of the biggest festival stages in the world barely 20 shows into their career, Skyharbor continue to grow rapidly as a group and musical entity.
Strawberry Girls
Strawberry Girls
Venue Information:
Baltimore Soundstage
124 Market Place
Baltimore, Maryland, 21202