The Hippo


May 31, 2020








Sygnal to Noise. Courtesy photo.

Local Music Earth 4

When: Saturday, Sept. 16, 4 p.m.
Where: Crow’s Nest Pub & Grill, 181 Plaistow Road, Plaistow 
Tickets: $8 /$10 door at
Performing: A Simple Complex, Lone Wolf James, ShadowLynx, Sygnal To Noise, 13 High, Devil’s Nite Out, Deathcode, Modern Day Outlaw, Threatpoint and Shadowplay

State by state
Rock showcase stops in New Hampshire

By Michael Witthaus

 Local Music Earth gathers bands from seven states for back-to-back all-day shows in two states. The first happens Sept. 15 in Portland, Maine, the second at the Crow’s Nest in Plaistow on Sept. 16. It’s the fourth year for the festival, but its first foray into New Hampshire.

Among the acts appearing at Crow’s Nest are Maine-based Sygnal to Noise and Manchester’s A Simple Complex. Respectively, the two won the New England Music Award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Band in 2015 and 2016. Also representing the Granite State are gritty rockers Lone Wolf James, while power metal band ShadowLynx hails from Massachusetts. Maine bands 13 High and Devil’s Nite Out also perform.
According to show creator and radio host Justin Sane, the concert bill showcases a diverse mix of styles. 
“It’s not metal earth or rock earth,” he said in a recent phone interview. “It’s local music — we’re trying to expand everyone’s horizon, to see something new. It’s blending it all together, and bringing the scene together too.”
This means the bullhorn vocals and machine gun riffs of Pennsylvania metal band Threatpoint will coexist with the New Jersey’s Shadowplay, a politically charged blend of Rage Against the Machine and Jimi Hendrix Experience. Connecticut grunge thrashers Deathcode smolder moodily, a world apart from the Skynyrd meets Alice In Chains intensity of Florida’s Modern Day Outlaw.
What the acts share in common is showmanship. 
“We try to get the ones that are performers,” Sane said. “Like A Simple Complex —Mark Ingoldsby flies through the air, runs through the crowd, stands on the bar, it’s crazy. Even if you’re not into that kind of music, you’ll like the show. With Sygnal to Noise, you look at them and think they’re a Slipknot cover band, then they start playing and you go, ‘Whoa, this is a melodic rock band.’”
The effort grew out of Sane’s independent Granite Coast Entertainment radio show. He’ll be broadcasting during the shows as will hosts from Boston Rock Radio and Digital Revolution Radio. Shawn Jeffrey of Rock Rage Radio will emcee the event.
Even though his livelihood comes from playing records, Sane recognizes that the money’s in live music. 
He decided to do a New Hampshire version of his event after watching the growing practice of show swapping: “Hey, your band can play in my town, and we’ll play yours. ... It actually supports the scene a lot more,” he said. “In the digital age, the live show is where it’s at. ... Live Nation is the big dog now; it’s not record companies anymore.” 
The move to the Granite State also reflects an awareness of a growing scene, helped by his involvement with NEMA. 
“It’s opened my eyes to a lot of different music,” he said of the awards show, now six years old. “Also, it’s become a big networking party — you have venue owners, booking agents, promoters, print editors, radio editors, everything.”
The connections came in handy when the original Local Music Earth venue canceled barely a month before the show. 
“I was talking to one of the local bands and they said, there’s this place,” Sane said. “I was actually thinking we were going to have to cut out the whole second day [because] all the venues are booking for November and December.”
He connected with Crow’s Nest owners Crow and Cochise Kasabian-Judd, and learned that they not only knew about his event, they had planned to attend. 
“The whole thing of them noticing everything that we do and believing in it, being a presenter at NEMA and broadcasting from there, the other Local Music Earth events that we’d done — it all came together,” Sane said. “As I was planning to cancel the whole thing, it actually grew.”
With everything lined up, all that’s left is finding a sequence for the show’s acts. 
“That’s my biggest challenge, because six of the bands are headliners,” Sane said. “I have talked with them and said, ‘’Look, I’m not saying you have an ego, but everybody is going to put that aside.’ So figuring out the order is the toughest part, but everyone is pretty compliant and satisfied with whatever we came up with. Because everyone is in it for the exact same thing.”

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