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How big are your balls? featuring Zero State, 7thSunn, Swil,and Separated


Four Seasons Bowl

  Hillsboro, OR  
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How big are your balls?

Some people prefer big ones, some prefer small. And the show at the Four Seasons Bowl in Hillsboro had balls enough to entertain young and old with bowling & live local music. It is a great thing that Shawn & Four Seasons Bowl does for us by providing an all-ages venue that has incredible entertainment value in its combination package. Where else can you do this? Why arenít more bowling centers doing this?

The Four Seasons had a variety of menu items and refreshments available, as well as access to a full-service bar next door. Cass was able to procure for me a very delicious Bloody Mary, for which I was quite grateful. Shawn and his striking staff bowled me over with their professionalism and deserve more than the mention in this review. Please go to a show at the Four Seasons Bowl. and tell Shawn thanks for his contributions. Hey, you can even bring your kids!

As well as being entertaining, this event helped the local fire departmentís toy drive, with patrons bringing in 20 to 30 new unwrapped toys. Shawn reported the FD as being very appreciative of the contributions. Shawn also reported the head count for the night at around 50 people.

The sound system at the Four Seasons was more than sufficient, framing the stage with four ceiling-hung full-range speakers and a pair of B-52 subs in front of the stage. The mix was complimentary from the time I arrived until the time I departed. The volume on the lanes was much louder than the rest of the facility. Wearing earplugs made a huge and comfortable difference.

I regretted my late arrival as I had totally missed Separated. If you check out their audio on their website, you can find out for yourself what they have to offer. I will be at a future show to see what their live performance offers.

I also missed some of Swilís set, to my misfortune, as I have grown to enjoy the Swil-brand sounds. When I arrived, Jason & his crew had already scored points in the lanes with the stage-front gathering of supporters. Their heads, along with mine, followed the beat with the Swiled-up rhythms.

Swil has passion that is clearly expressed in their show. They love their music and, given the chance, will make you love it too. They combine melodic elements with the necessary crunch that is so much a part of some of todayís most interesting music. This is rock Ė ala SWIL. Swilís performance depended little on theatrics and presentation this night, as their solid familiarity of material along with a strong connection with the audience made for a set that was worth waiting to bowl. Thank you Swil!

Ninjas donít often bowl, but they do have big balls Ė and they love 7thSunn. Their performance hacked at me with a serious passion for head-banging, hardcore scream-metal. This show packed an audio death-punch that meant serious business. And I saw many ninjas in the crowd this night. I can see why they love 7thSunn.

The music of 7thSunn has elements of scream-rock, metal, rap, and all out THRASH YOUR HEAD fury. I really enjoyed their show. I admit that I had prepped myself by listening to some 7thSunn music the day before. 7thSunn took the stage in an orderly fashion and threw down their first song. The energy for the opener wasnít instant, but, after Kevin thanked the other bands and supporters for being there, the crowd became responsive and eager for the next selection. Then began the serious bang.

I was drawn to the stage at that point and felt myself keeping time right along with the band. The intensity of 7thSunnís set grew with constant movement on the part of the Kevin, Luc, and Ryan, who seemed to be the driver of the head-banging bus. Vikís drumming was excellent and proficient, and made my body feel assaulted with beats as it should. The set ended strong with the two songs I was familiar with and I just had to jump along to them.

7thSunnís instrumentation was solid and communicative, with double-bass-driven shurikens that ripped into me with ease. The vocals included screaming as well as melodic parts and supported the music, but not to an over-the-top extent. Still, the band has a package that remained interesting and enjoyable in my opinion. These elements worked well in helping the 7thSunn grip the handle of the rock- katana in preparation for head-banging battle.

By this time I was ready to play with some big balls, a pink 14-pounder to be exact.

ZeroState went at it next with a set of music that could be best described as generic relative to the multitude of local musical offerings. They put forth a noble effort, but the product was less than original, and nothing really stood out. The material was hard, loud, and boring. There was no action on stage and I didnít notice any energy between ZeroState and the crowd. Their drummer was solid and the band stayed together, but the compositions lacked any amount of sophistication that may have attracted me to the stage.

ZeroStateís dynamic variables were narrow. Their vocals added to the effort but, like the material, were limited in ability to excite and draw in the crowd. The vocals suffered towards the end of each song and there was no noticeable communication between the members besides the music itself. I really couldnít tell if they were having fun or just playing, although it sounded the latter. The last song did have a catchier feel, which was a good note to end the set with. I would like to say that I will check back with ZeroState, but it seems that as of this writing they have parted ways. Something in their music foretold this dissolution. and I wish that I had something new to report as this critique was very similar to the one I gave them in my last review. Where will the former members of ZeroState surface next?

I want to thank all involved parties for a great night of music, bowling, and warm-friendly exchanges. My balls were slightly larger at departure than when I arrived. I was glad to be able to support and report. Please support local entertainment by going out and catching a show yourself.

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