The Dollheads Headined Soulbelly BBQ in Las Vegas with White Noise and Shatter The Moon on Jan. 22, 2023
LAS VEGAS, NV – The Las Vegas teenage punk band, The Dollheads, headlined a show at Soulbelly BBQ last night that saw them play for a good crowd full of friends, family, and, since they are still in school, even teachers and coaches were there to cheer them on.
The show was originally planned for a recording session at another venue, but had to switch to Soulbelly about two weeks ago due to permit issues.
To say that it was an even better experience might be an understatement as they brought two other Vegas bands that they really enjoy with Shatter The Moon and White Noise playing in support.
The evening started with Shatter The Moon putting on a really good set that was full of back and forth with the crowd. Of course, the hurdle of having very little standing room at a venue that is a restaurant can sometimes make rocking out a little awkward as most attendees are sitting down. That didn’t really stop Shatter The Moon from giving 100% on stage.
The band has a bit of a hard and heavy sound mixed with some anthemic choruses that seem to take inspiration from a wide range of bands including bands like Tool and Papa Roach and everything in between…really taking the full spectrum of hard rock into their influences.
Whether they were asking the crowd to throw up devil horns or just jump in with some backing vocals, lead singer Zack Ransom (a.k.a. “Jaxx” in the band bio) constantly brings crowd participation into the set.
The band is a sci-fi themed rock band complete with an origin story and all. Though, what the full story might be, I am not entirely sure other than in the sci-fi realm of the band, the “Entit3” seems to exist in a post-humanity world where the “Archons” have turned upon their creator, an unnamed female in an “unmarked timeline in an undocumented universe,” and imprisoned her.
I am not filled in enough to know if the songs are all concept songs set around this universe, but I suspect that they are which would mean that not just a few songs or an album would be based on a single concept, but the entire band revolves around it. Being a Coheed and Cambria fan myself, I am well aware of how cool concept bands can be, and I now have to learn more.
The band did pull a bit of a surprise in their set as, after teasing a cover of The Dollheads song “Still Alive,” they invited Angela Avery to sing while they played their cover version of the song which was a pretty cool moment, and if anyone had seen the Facebook video of Shatter The Moon playing their cover (a one-take video), then you would have seen Ransom forget a few lines of lyrics which MAY be the reason they just asked the expert (a.k.a. Avery) to come up and sing the song.
Next up was the mid-20’s grunge/alt-rock band White Noise who set to release their debut full-length album Neapolitan on February 3rd at their album release show at The Space with a bunch of really good Vegas bands helping them out, including The Dollheads.
White Noise is a blend of a classic rock sound mixed with 90’s Seattle grunge that produces a very retro-based sound with a modern perspective. In fact their first single that they released in 2020 called “The Way It Is” starts out with a beat and riff that for some reason remind me of the song, “Same Old Song and Dance” by Aerosmith even though the two songs don’t really sound that similar.
I am not sure if the band is even familiar with the song, but that’s what I instantly think about every time I hear it. Either way, if you can imagine a band like Aerosmith mixed with Soundgarden, then I think you will have a good idea of what White Noise sounds like.
The band’s latest single, “Gimmie Out” is a no B.S. song in the sense that it takes on everything from religion, the government, online trolls, the media and any other entity trying to cause a rift in the unity of mankind.
They rocked out for their set…maybe even too hard?
Singer/guitarist Kaesen Samson not only broke a string that caused him to switch guitars at one point during the set, the band actually ended their set before playing their last song as Samson also had an issue with his guitar amp that totally cut sound from his guitar. So, instead of spending time trying to figure it out, bassist Nicholas Lacy and drummer Austin Mansfield just finished the set with a grand finale by the rhythm section.
It sucked to see it happen, but it also made for a cool experience to see them just say, “To hell with it,” and make the best of the situation.
The band also invited their friend and fellow musician Michael Richter to join them on stage to cover the Cage The Elephant song, "In One Ear" which was definitely a highlight of the set as well.
The Dollheads took the stage, and rattled off about 10 or so songs with a few covers that they have become known for pulling off well including “99 Red Balloons”, “Roots Radical” and “Aliens Exist.”
However, the band’s original songs are their real measure of talent as they pulled out about 5 or 6 songs from their debut album What Teenage Angst? as well as debuting two brand new songs that they will be releasing in the future.
For those who don’t know, the band is an all-teen band made up of siblings Angela Avery (guitar/vocals), Samantha Avery (bass/backing vocals), and Austin Avery (drums).
Potentially one of the funnest activities you can do while watching The Dollheads is to watch Austin Avery make about 200 different faces per song. He simultaneously looks like he is having a lot of fun, he is angry, he is bored, and he is posing for a photo. I think it is a sign that he is just a goofy kid having the time of his life while he smashes on his drums.
The young band has the talent of bands twice their age, and the lyrics of the songs are definitely wise beyond their years. I have written more about that in other articles about The Dollheads on the site as well.
The band finished their set, and as they were putting their instruments down, the entire crowd kept chanting, “One more song.”
You know, that whole “encore” thing that major bands pretend they are getting, but really they have it all planned out?
Well, I can say this encore did not seem planned out at all as the band was fully intending to walk off the stage, but sort of all looked at each other and just shrugged and nodded and grabbed their instruments again and played one more song.
It is one of those moments in a band’s career that only comes once. A true encore for their first headlined show.
It was definitely a special moment for the band, and with so many friends and with their parents in attendance, it is a milestone that anyone who was there will remember.
The band reached out via direct message after the show to say, “That was our favorite show!! The ambiance, the people and the bands!!! Everyone just came to support the scene and have fun!!!”