The Panthers, with Coliseum, Mono, and High on Fire; October 24, 2007 at Richards on Richards      

written by Erin Hanson, October 2007    
The opening slots in a night of guaranteed heavy, quality rock cannot be an easy spot to fill, especially when the crowd is clearly there for someone else, and you know you’re only going to be followed by a group as enigmatic as the atmospheric yet heavy psychedelic Japanese rock act Mono. But the Panthers pulled through and delivered an energetic set which guaranteed some newly converted fans.

Coliseum got things going first off in the night, which could not have been an easy spot to fill for an audience who was clearly wanting to be impressed. The band played songs from their new album “No Salvation” to a largely empty dance floor, but kept the volume loud and the tempo up to set the pace for the night.

The Panthers hit the stage next, to a once again clear floor. Their set started off solidly with their not-so-unique brand of catchy 70’s-esque metal. Yet as they entered seamlessly into their second song, the floor was crowding up again with those intrigued by what they were hearing. The music was heavy on the guitar riffs and predictable yet enjoyable bass lines to keep their tunes speeding forward. Drummer Jeff Salane’s high energy and mini solos would steal the spotlight occasionally and keep their sound interesting.

At one point, singer Jayson Green surveyed the timid audience largely hanging out in the back and happily commented: “I think it’s full… Vancouver, you got it together! That’s good!” The Panthers, hailing from Brooklyn, were clearly excited that they were getting a relatively warm reception, showing that they really do come by their music honestly. It was when they launched into Goblin City, their first single off their new album “The Trick” which truly won the crowd over; something which the band was very thankful for after a two-day drive from Minneapolis.

The Panthers’ live show has the full sound and energy which their recordings lack. And although the band will no doubt be constantly cursed by comparisons to Black Sabbath and Woflmother– during “Panther Moderns” I half-expected him to break out into Wolfmother’s “Woman”– the Panthers’ high energy and familiar yet addictive riffs give the audience a quality rock show, plain and simple. It may not be the most original thing you’ll hear or see, but the band members are clearly giving it their all, and their passion is contagious.

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