Deadset Society

Deadset Society @ Taste of Madison, Madison, WI 09/01/2018

Having been a fan of My Darkest Days, I was instantly intrigued seeing the newest incantation of the band listed on this bill. They did not disappoint. I have to preface this by saying you cannot think of them as being anything like their previous form. In fact they are much better and kick more ass on stage. Frontman Reid Henry is a straight up rock star. Nothing but pure energy from the first note to the last. In my opinion they were one of if not the best band at Taste of Madison performance wise.

Opening with “Since you’ve gone away” a nice solid rock song with heart break laced a sense of relief. Leading into “Numb” another tunes that projects and almost anthem like chorus of “I go numb. I can’t believe what I’ve become”. Guitarist Dane Hartsell whose licks are infectious execute each strum and pick with power. He was hard to take your eyes off of while performing. It didn’t hurt that he triggered his inner Slash with a top hat. 
I wasn’t expecting DSS to play 2 extremely popular tunes back to back and early on. “Automatic” kicked in with a Henry growl and a Brendan McMillan head bang. Clearly, the crowd sang word for word. It was hard to not sing myself. Its a struggle for me because it seems almost unprofessional at times. Nonetheless, the infectiously deeply tuned strings backed by digital tracks exploded onto the eager crowd. Not even skipping a beat “Every Lie” started up. A My Darkest Days cover. Almost seemingly trying to not run from their history, the song garnered the most crowd applause in the set to this point. 
With the crowd fired up the artists slowed the set down with 3 profoundly slower songs. Each having what feels to me a different meaning. Music is all about the listeners interpretation. “Rearview Mirror” basically gives me the idea of leaving an abusive relationship behind. “Born Again” projects almost as a love song. The double guitar riffs and melodic beat gave me the feels. When there is one person who can pick you up off of the ground in your darkest hours and help you become new. It’s a simplistic take, but it forces me to think about certain people who’ve assisted in my growth. This song is an instant body sensation for me. “Outside Looking in” and obvious break up song had the audience singing the chorus “Thinking of You…..” it was impressive.
With the intro to “Like a Nightmare” kicking in you could feel the power, intensity and strength of the band itself. With head bangs and foot stomps Deadset Society rips into one of their singles with absolute perfection. Engaging the crowd by screaming the lyrics and holding the microphone out emphatically. By the end of the song everyone wanted more. Announcing they are closing with a My Darkest Days song, everyone on the square knew they were talking about “Pornstar Dancing”. It was easily their largest hit as a band collectively. With bassist McMillan head bangs and dances around the stage playing the infectious riff we all know, Reid jumps down to the front row. While standing on the barricade singing and high fiving audience members the band sounded its tightest. I was so blown away by the performance that I downloaded their album as soon as I got back home. It was amazing. I am really hoping I get another chance to see them again soon. 

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