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Vision Quest:
Fierceness drives local band Broken Vision

By Sarah Quelland

LOCALS Broken Vision performed at the Cactus Club last Saturday (Sept. 25) with Sik Lyfe, Method 5150, Down2None and 419. After listening to the good initial buzz and attending a few shows, I'm still very impressed by the high caliber of this young band's skill. Displaying a sense of humility both on and off the stage, Broken Vision deliberately opted to leave the bright stage lights off, letting only the overhead black lights penetrate the darkness, making it clear that for it, the focus is on the music alone. Dark, brooding and remarkably full of rage, Broken Vision's sound is relentlessly heavy without being overbearing. Onstage, the band unleashes a fury so fierce it could only come from the harsh struggles, trials and tribulations of youth.

The guitarists and bassist intently crunch down on their instruments, heads bobbing in unison, before the surge hits, and they hurl themselves into the air, limbs and dreads flailing, all without missing a beat. Demonstrating a maturity well beyond their years (all the members are around age 18), Broken Vision incorporates compelling musical interludes into its songs, which center around the guitar and drums. Slowing the pace and letting the tension and the sound swell before letting loose again, these segments only heighten the intensity of the performance. As is so often the case, it was difficult to hear the vocals, which in Broken Vision's case consist of weighty shouts and screams. But even so, the vocalist seems content to take a back seat to the music, often standing in the looming shadow of the drum kit while the guitarists and bassist keep closer to the front of the stage. With so many bands concerned more about image than music, it's refreshing to see a band that lets its music speak for itself.

Earthdance '99, the global dance party for planetary peace in aid of Tibet, will be held on Oct. 2 in at least 70 cities worldwide, including San Francisco. Medicine Drum, Champa 51, Mark Allen, Subal and Monotone will be included in the Bay Area festivities, held noon-6pm at the Bandshell in Golden Gate Park. Drumming and didgeridoo circles and Tibetan performances will also be featured, with the highlight of the day at 4pm when San Francisco links with dance floors across the world where DJs will simultaneously play a specially created track for world peace uniting all dancers. The local event will be streamed live by ITV.net and Pseudo.com with more coverage at www.earthdance.org. The 12-hour live webcast presents live interviews, live videostreams from five parties and live digital images from international locations.

A fundraising compilation, featuring tracks from Fat Boy Slim, Orbital, Gus Gus, Underworld, Meat Beat Manifesto, Eat Static, Omni Trio Überzone, Q-Burns Abstract Message, Banco De Gaia, Loop Guru, Art of Trance and Earthdance founder Chris Deckker's group Medicine Drum will be released by CyberOctave online Oct. 2 and in regular retail outlets by Nov. 2. Proceeds will be dispersed through the World Artists for Tibet Organization. ... After breaking both of his legs in a boating accident in Hawaii, Graham Nash will be out of commission for a while. In light of that news, Crosby, Stills and Nash will not be participating in the Bridge School Benefit held Oct. 30-31 at Shoreline Amphitheatre. It's still a go for Neil Young, Pearl Jam, Green Day, Billy Corgan with James Iha, Sheryl Crow, Lucinda Williams, the Who and Tom Waits (Oct. 30 only) with Emmylou Harris just added for Oct. 31. ... The New Generation of Metal showcase featuring SECURITY, True to Form and Krenshaw (with the possibility of a special last-minute addition) will be held tonight (Sept. 30) at the Usual. College students get in free with ID; everyone else is $3. Doors are at 8:30pm.

PLAN AHEAD: The Damned, Oct. 1 at the Fillmore; Papa Roach, Oct. 2 at Gaslighter's Music Hall in Gilroy; Insane Clown Posse, Oct. 3 at the Edge; Christian Death and Mortiis, Oct. 3 at Maritime Hall; 311, Oct. 4 at the Catalyst; Spike 1000 and Empty, Oct. 7 at the Usual; Monkey, Oct. 8 at the Cactus; Pavement, Oct. 8-9 at Maritime Hall; the Chemical Brothers, Oct. 8 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium; No Doubt, Oct. 10 at the Edge; Day on the Green with Megadeth, Sevendust and Sammy Hagar, Oct. 10 at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds; Type O Negative, Oct. 14 at Maritime Hall; Widespread Panic, Oct. 14-15 at the Warfield; Pennywise and Strung Out, Oct. 16 at Maritime; Family Values with Limp Bizkit, Filter and Primus, Oct. 19 at the Cow Palace; Warrant, Oct. 20 at the Edge; Smash Mouth, Oct. 22 at the Usual.

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From the September 30-October 6, 1999 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 1999 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.

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