April 2, 2014

Wednesday night in Chicago, Tammy and I headed out to the Cobra Lounge to check out a band that she assists her boss in managing – Diamond Plate. We recently saw them play while we were in Arizona for Liquid Sol Fest, so we were excited for another great show, but we were not expecting the ferociously incredible performance they delivered.

Diamond Plate opened with Robert Johnson’s “Sweet Home Chicago,” sending the message that this was a hometown show and the night was about to get wild. They went right into “Dance With Reality,” and then Konrad Kupiec filled the room with his lighting-speed, insane shredding talent during “At The Mountains of Madness.” The entire show Tammy kept running around, taking photos at the front then hopping over to me to rock out, constantly going back and forth, not able to stand in one place for more than a minute, and I attribute it to the out-of-this-world energy Diamond Plate threw off the stage. You could feel every chord Konrad struck, every bitter word Matt Ares belted out, every cymbal Jim Nicademus smashed, and all of this together combined to fill the air with so much power and intensity it was almost suffocating. A handful of zealous fans rocked out front row, head-banging and adding to the energy that reverberated off the walls all night.

During “Price You Pay” the crowd fed off of Diamond Plate’s performance, competing with one another and fighting to see who could yell “stronger” the loudest back at the stage. Zeppelin’s “Good Times, Bad Times” came next, cooling down the room after the intense marathon thrash set they just rocked to. Once Matt began singing the frighteningly slow, ghostly intro to “Still Dreaming,” the room fell still for the first time that night, and everyone got lost in the hauntingly beautiful music. The song was a roller coaster, and everyone in the audience hopped on the ride, going from chanting “it’s all in your head” with fists in the air to slowing down and zoning into the eerie, slower verses, continuously rising and falling in sync with the band.

Diamond Plate played with nothing but pure passion, and it was refreshing to see a band from our own home town that legitimately loved what they were doing while, at the same time, being undoubtedly good at it. At one point, I glanced over and saw Matt and Jim look at each other and genuinely smile as they both fell into the perfect rhythm during one of Konrad’s solos, their grins proving how much fun they were having. Watching them all connect on stage, head-banging and jumping around like they were playing to a sold out room, and listening to the powerful sound that couldn’t possibly be coming from a three-piece, made for an unbelievable show.

The rest of the night included more songs off Pulse like “Running Dry,” “Bottom of the Glass,” and “Walking Backwards,” with each one being played just as fierce as the next. “Rainmaker” is one of our favorite nighttime, cruising-down-the-highway songs, so of course one of the most fun moments of the night came when Tammy and I rocked out to the live version. Feeling the thrill of all the memories we associated with the song, combined with the rush we got from hearing and seeing Diamond Play kill it live, left us teetering in pure musical bliss. After ending with the Nirvana’s “Territorial Pissings,” the crowd wouldn’t let Diamond Plate leave without playing one more song, so they capped off the show jamming out to Rush’s “Working Man.”

Konrad’s solos amazed the entire night, leaving everyone looking on with admiration at how quickly and fluidly he shifted his fingers across the guitar. Watching Matt sing was profound and captivating by itself, but glancing down to see his nimble hands swiftly flying across the bass left you feeling nothing but awe. Add in to this equation Jim’s crazed, almost violent look in his eyes while he skillfully beat his drums to death song after song, and you’ve got a show that draws people in like a moth to a flame and doesn’t let them go until the band takes their final steps off the stage.

Red and Kat’s mini video of the night: http://eb.tl/dekv0

Check out Tammy’s photos of the night here!

Kat Corbo is currently a student at UW-Madison studying Communication Arts and Business. She recently stopped writing for her school's newspaper and moved to the On Stage Review in order to keep her artistic freedom and to be able to freely write and review anything that she felt passionate about. 99% of the time you can catch Kat wherever Red is (don’t be fooled, they WILL drive 6+ hours for a good live show!). They’re a one of a kind duo that hopes to inspire young people their age to see that rock n’ roll is alive and well!