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Buy Insolence's 2001 CD 'Revolution.'


San Jose reggae-rock band Insolence debuted brand-new material at the Edge.

High on Life

With a big turnout at the Edge, an EP on the way and a new alliance with Gary Avila, it's all good for Insolence

By Sarah Quelland

A HUGE CROWD turned out to catch Insolence Friday (March 7) at the Edge, proving once again that, as far as San Jose rock fans are concerned, Insolence is still king. Close brothers to the I.N.S. crew, Reaction 31, Kung Fu Vampire and Lica Sto opened the show, before Insolence stormed the stage for a vigorous set split among songs from Revolution (Maverick Records) and brand-new material that's yet to be released. Whether because of or in spite of the last-minute cancellation of its Seedless-sponsored minitour of Japan, the band came out swinging hard. Camera crews filming live and broadcasting on the TVs inside the concert hall made the show seem larger than life.

With a new confidence and an obvious love of performing, Insolence demonstrated tremendous energy. Since Revolution (and since newer songs like "So Long" and "Downfall," which heavily emphasize the rasta over the rock), the band has evolved, really fusing the reggae and the rock into one cohesive sound. One new tune titled "Behind" came across as a blend of New Wave, reggae and rock.

At one point, co-vocalist Billy "Mech 1" Rosenthal piqued the crowd's interest, swearing, "No one in this room has heard this song." With an explosion of water droplets showering the stage and the crowd, the band debuted "Shine From Above," a hard, fast and chunky number with an old-school Insolence vibe. During "Girl," girls from the audience swarmed the stage to dance with the band, making it look like auditions for a Mötley Crüe video or tryouts for Stripperella. It was a big party.

In addition to favorites from Revolution like "Head 2 Head," "Natural High," "1-2, 1-2," "Revolution," "Death Threat," "Lifted" and "Breakdown," the band also played newer songs "Downfall" and "Hater" plus really new tunes "Revolt," "Love" and the cry for peace on the streets "Put Down Yo Gun."

By the end of the night, everyone was having such a great time that Rosenthal said, "This is supposed to be our last song, but I don't want it to be," before the band broke into "Poison Well." Still, it was the last song, and sticks and picks were tossed into the crowd as the band exited the stage.

Insolence is doing well, and there's some very exciting news in the works. The band is just days away from making an alliance with Gary Avila official. Avila was part of the management team that led Papa Roach to Dreamworks Records and triple-platinum success. He says he wants to work with Insolence based on the strength of its new material and its new lineup. "I like the drive they have," he says. "I'm excited to be working with them."

Insolence is planning a South Bay CD-release show for its new five-song EP, which includes "No Longer Theirs," "So Long" and "Girl" (all produced by Mudrock) and "Revolt" and "Hater" (both produced by Logan Mader). But although the band announced a date and venue at Friday's show, by Monday those details had become tentative. Stay tuned or visit www.insolence1.com for updates.

FILL IN THE BLANK: Despite word to the contrary, the Blank Club did open last weekend and held its very first show on Saturday (March 8). The next show at the new rock club at the former home of Plant 51 and Fuel takes place Thursday (March 13) with the Epoxies, the Phenomenauts and the Eddie Haskells. Visit www.theblankclub.com for more info.

HOT TOPIC: The Living Legends show scheduled for March 14 at the Gallery has been relocated to the Basement at Santa Clara University. See our Public Eye column for more information. ... TUB (featuring former members of Ten in the Swear Jar and IBOPA) and the Slow Poisoners play a free all-ages show Friday (March 14) at 7:30pm at the Stop Art Gallery on Santana Row in San Jose. ... Dub Congress, Dub FX, Dub Wize and DJs Gumshoe + Jahie play the Catalyst in Santa Cruz Friday (March 14).

PLAN AHEAD: emaneht, March 14 at Murphy's Law in Sunnyvale; the Streets, March 14 at Bimbo's in San Francisco; Super Diamond, March 14 at spy; Audioslave, March 19-20 at the Warfield in San Francisco; Ministry, March 21 at the Fillmore in San Francisco.

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From the March 13-19, 2003 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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