It's been years since I've really made an effort to go to a metal show.
This is not the easiest thing to admit, considering that I've always liked hard rock, that I love punk rock, and that I don't have anything specific against metal. It's more intricate and harder to play than most of the music I listen to, and that's always been a point of respect. But metal just doesn't do anything for me.
It's probably good that last statement wasn't true for most of the crowd at Saturday's "Slednecks 11" video premier and rock show. With only one band on the bill that actually considers itself hardcore or metal, the night's lineup catered perfectly to its audience. Hard, fast music goes well with the extreme risk and skill involved in a "Slednecks" video, and Amputators, Noface and Red Stinger backed up the movie's soundtrack with their sets. (I missed the Amputators set, but based on hearing the band practice a couple of days before, I'm guessing it went well.)
All three bands promise elements from outside their genre, and they all deliver on that promise. Amputators amps up its basic rock format with bluesy harmonica and punk grit; Noface supplements its metal with loose grooves and Kiss-inspired face paint; and Red Stinger updates new-school punk with more of the same.
The Tap House might not be the most ideal venue for that kind of show - those columns in the middle of the dance floor can make moshing tricky - but it definitely gets the job done. On Saturday, broken glass and sloshed Budweiser kept things interesting for the couple dozen or so people who got into the music in a bar that's not really built for live shows but is good at hosting them.
The stage is a little small (a factor against convincing bands to play on it), and after a certain point, the tables, booths and chairs can get in the way. But by putting an impromptu bar in the back corner of the dining room, The Tap House has figured out how to manage larger, rowdier crowds to the best of its ability. It's the closest fit Steamboat has for a harder show, and it doesn't look like the town's hard rock fans mind its faults.
- Margaret Hair, 4 Points