Archer Nation, at Vamp’d, Las Vegas Nevda
May 18, 2017 was the worst possible day imaginable. I woke to the news that Chris Cornell had died, and I had to work all day trying not to break down. My headspace was foggy, my eyes were watery, and my legs were numb. All I could think about was getting to Vamp’d and fill that headspace with something other than the sadness that was overtaking me.
On my way home, a wind storm was sweeping through the valley of Las Vegas. I hate driving in those conditions and I just prayed, “Lord, please stop this wind,“ and you know what? He answered my prayer. It was around 8:30pm when the storm had passed, so I got changed, hopped in the car and drove off. On the way, Badmotorfinger was turned up to full volume as I headed down the near empty motorway. Upon my arrival, I headed to the dark corner of the club so no one could see my pain. There I posted on Facebook that I was at Vamp’d. I continued by saying, “Archer Nation is gonna’ heal this broken heart.”
Archer’s set was filled with new songs that they have been writing for the coming record, due out not soon enough. Let me tell you, the songs from the first record, Culling the Weak, are pretty heavy, but the new songs like “Not My Own” and “Shackled” are going to rattle heads! Archer gets tighter as a band every time they roll through. With new tunes on the rise, the sound has gotten more aggressive, more powerful, and more mosh worthy. They make me wish I was 21 again, ‘cause in those days I could head bang till the cows came home. These days, if I turn around to fast, I’m laid up for days!
What I really enjoy about Archer is that every song, groove, beat, and solo is different. Dylan nails a few trademark pinched harmonics here and there, but it’s rad when he hits them. I have seen guitar players that riff the same solo progression in the same neck position, hitting the same two top strings, using the same bends, and it gets old in a hurry like that last sentence. Not in the Nation, my friend! Musically, they sound like Motörhead, Megadeth, and Anthrax got in a fight and started playing hockey! As musicians, they are learned, as songwriters they are genius, and as people, they are humble. With that attitude, they will have longevity and a growing fan base with ne’er a complaint.
They closed the show with my favorite tune from Culling titled, “The Day that Never Came”. I said more during that song, mainly because I was singing along, than I did the whole night, aside from small conversations with the band afterwards.
As I said, my heart was in need of healing, and that’s exactly what they did that night. Music is a healer, and when Archer Nation is the doctor, you’re in good hands.