All Access Magazine Articles

December 18, 2008

Hauk at The Steel Pit

Live Review

By Clio

HaukSo Tujunga’s Steel Pit has live bands, you ask? Yes, it’s a Pittsburgh Steelers bar and grill in a Los Angeles suburb, complete with “Terrible Towels” and Steelers memorabilia, and it’s said to be packed with Steelers fans on game days. Why? Not only does L.A. not have a football team of its own, but anyone who knows a Steelers fan understands the origin of the word “fanatic.” On non-Steelers game days, the grill serves up tasty food while they show other football games, and live bands play some weekends – showing off the bar’s surprisingly good acoustics.

Saturday November 15th (after the college football games, of course), was a band night, and there was a decent-sized crowd despite the nearby Sylmar and Corona wildfires that resulted in general chaos, displacement, and multiple freeway closures. It’s cliché, but the show really must go on.

Hauk, a self-described Heathen metal band from L.A., took the stage and launched right into the solid groove of “Raven Wings.” Lyrically dense and melodically rich, the band’s sound is a sort of Celtic metal (if that’s not a genre, it should be), although their songs ranged widely, with some points having an almost black metal feel.

HaukThe songs were luxuriously long without dragging on. “To Hear the Trumpets Call” has martial drums and ominous but unhurried pacing. “Drinking Song” is, well, an honest-to-Odin drinking song. It’s nothing short of a catchy Irish bar sing-along, as evidenced by a cadre of loyal Hauk fans who swayed back and forth in front of the stage, arm-in-arm, singing every word as they repeatedly toasted the song and the band. Set closer “Lamentation” built from lines like “Bring us to the promised time / Let mead flow in golden hue” to a catchy chorus ending in “I’ll see my son arise someday.”

The band seemed to be really enjoying themselves, and the crowd responded in kind. Vocalist and bassist Hauk (who also played guitar at points) kept the set moving and poured emotion into the already well-crafted lyrics. Guitarist Boyd Ervin had a melodic sound and several nice long solos. Drummer Chris Dooly held down a variety of good solid beats, and keyboardist Duke Dubeau gave the band a European metal sound which rounded out the compositions well without going overboard with sound effects as some keyboardists tend to do.

Check out Hauk’s new 4-song EP “To Hear the Trumpets Call” and catch up with them by visiting their web sites, www.haukmusic.com and www.myspace.com/hauk.

Review by Clio
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