So I Lay My Burden Down.

It’s the end of an era, the last good-bye. Thank you Jesse, Derek, Jeff and Pete.  After two full-length releases with Equal Vision Records, Seemless have decided to part ways and focus on their other musical projects. Seemless was formed in 2002 by former Killswitch Engage vocalist Jesse Leach and ex-Overcast guitarist Pete Cortese along with ex-Shadows Fall drummer Derek Kerswill. In 2002 the band released the critically acclaimed Seemless , then in 2006 unleashed their sophomore album, What Have We Become . I was always really hoping they’d break through. Both albums are fucking solid. I always play them when a bunch of us are hanging out drinking and nobody has never not liked them. These guys kicked all sorts of ass and always put on a hell of a show every night, with tons of energy. They really worked very hard at it and slogged it out on some great tours and a couple of tough ones. Unfortunately, the BS of the music biz kinda wore them down and at the end of the day, you still have to pay your bills, so when touring is not cutting it, you have to change your priorities and look elsewhere. But hell, two totally solid albums and five plus years; they had a great run! Incredibly great bunch of guys as well. They have been missed and will continue to be!

  Image used courtesy of Bruce Bettis [Zeroflesh]

Image used courtesy of Bruce Bettis

I’ve known Pete, Derek and Jesse since 2003 and I am proud to say I was there at the end. The show was fantastic. I’ve never seen the Lucky Dog that full. Not even for the video shoot they did there for “The Wanderer”. I saw so many familiar faces and we all had old stories to share.

It really took me back to the days (and nights) when I lived in Fitchburg. How every Friday and Saturday night was spent at the Palladium, The Compound, Bill’s Bar, The Lucky Dog, The Middle East, Axis or Avalon. Every Sunday was spent recovering, blogging and posting pictures. How every Tuesday there were new cds to buy and Wednesday or Thursday was band practice there was a new crazy story to tell (or commiserate over), music to share and the whiskey flowed like water. It never mattered who had class or who had to work. It never mattered if there was booze or who was driving. All that mattered was the music; When, where and who was playing the next show. I wish I still had all the tickets I’ve ever purchased. I would have a huge album chock full with a story for each.

As I made my way through the room, recognition flickering across people’s faces as I said my hellos and got re-introduced to a few, and getting hugs from some who I have maintained contact with and the many I have close friendships with. L came with me and he was really stoked on it. I saw Kim and Colin and we hung out with Bruce, KJ and Buzz, laughing it up over shots of patron and glasses of wine. It really made me realize how different my life would be had I never met the people I have.

Drunk to Sober: Colin, Kim and I

A flock of assholes

How I would never have met entire groups of people who are close to me. I wouldn’t have some of my best friends in my life, people who I have really come to count on and love.  KJ and I waxed about random jazz over a cigarette while rocking out to Birch Hill Dam. If you like Corrosion of Conformity you will like BHD. Black Bear opened up and they were good, but I did not particularly care for them. I made my way to the Merch side and cleaned up with a sweet Zip-up track jacket and hoodie. I saw Derek in my travels and we talked about the Anchor’s Up Unearth debacle from last month, a graphic artist we knew once upon a time and how we used to have the longest IM  conversations ever.

Images are used courtesy of RttP

Image used courtesy of RttP

As I made my way back to the bar and I found Jesse pondering into his water alone. We had a real good conversation about everything. He is honestly one of my favorite people, his wife too. Both of them have that bright spark of goodness and creativity  in them, which is so rare to find. I shared with him how the first album kept coming up on my iPod all year and how his lyrics really reached me now more than ever. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and for that album, that this one track in particular kept jumping out at me warranted my attention. He gave me a big hug and told me that hearing that meant so much to him. That brought a smile to my face. I am eager to hear what he has to say with his next album with his new band. It made me feel amazing that I was able to thank the person who helped me, that his words helped me through such a troubling time in my life. Not many people get to do that.

By this point I had heard a few rumors of what might be coming up next so I took my place by the stage.

Image used courtesy of RttP

Image used courtesy of RttP

Many many years ago a few pals of mine did a Mötley Crüe cover set, in costume, complete with Ken snorting lines (of sugar) off of the back of his guitar. So this “band” consisted of Derek, Jeff, some guy who I don’t know and KP’s sister. I love that the Rev dubbed them “Coverella” on RttP. They ripped out three songs, the only one I can recall being Barracuda. They were pretty good too! Then they called for Frank to come up to the stage to sing. I was expecting to hear some Waltham songs like “Cheryl”. This was not the case. I damn near pissed myself when Frank took the stage… dressed as “Dr. Rockzo The Rock ‘n’ Roll” clown from the cartoon Metalocalypse.  I shit you not. The amount of  people yelling “I do c-c-c-c-cocaine!” was only overwhelmed by the uproar of laughter.

Image used courtesy of RttP

Image used courtesy of RttP

He nailed the look, but I wonder where the hell he found the gold lemay jump suit. They broke into the best cover set of VanHalen songs I have ever heard. I remember yelling out “Hot for Teacher” and Derek cracked up and said “Yeah, that is SO not happening!” They did do “Running with the Devil” though and the crowd ate it up and sang and danced along. Some of the crowd included Jet from Sam Black Church who stormed the stage, grabbed a mic and raged along. Probably the most energy I have seen on a stage ever is contained in that man. He is a force of nature, always has been, always will be.

As midnight finally rolled around, Seemless took the stage for one last time.  It was such a bittersweet moment listening to Jesse address the crowd and tell the story of how Derek told him to “stop screaming, to reach down, find some soul and start singing” after he had left Killswitch.

Image used courtesy of RttP

Image used courtesy of RttP

They kicked things off with “Something’s got to give” and “The Wanderer”. The latter being one of my all-time favorite songs. I haven’t rocked out as hard as I did that night in a very, very long time. Though my ears were ringing all day yesterday, I still do not regret not wearing earplugs. As the night progressed and Jesse told a little story behind each song and as each member got up and made a speech, the crowd got a little more somber. It was tough, they kept asking for more energy, but you could just feel it in the air. Everyone was bummed out, we gave it our all, singing and rocking out the whole way. They brought up the original bassist and Rutcho for the keys. When Derek got u p and just talked about how much his wife meant to him and how much she gave up for him and the band, I damn near lost it.

Image used courtesy of RttP

Image used courtesy of RttP

Amy is a wonderful woman and he is damn lucky to have her and he knows it. When they did “In My Time Of Need” I came completely unhinged. Hands in the air, dancing, singing at the top of my lungs with tears streaming down my face. This was the song that Jesse and I had been talking about earlier.  During the refrain he sought me out, reached down and leaned the mic out to me and we sang it together. It was incredible and I felt so alive. That song is such an inspiration to anyone down on their luck at any given time.

They wrapped up around 2:00 AM. The Encore? “Lay My Burden Down”. The room absolutely exploded with the opening lines: “I! I work these fingers to the bone!” Not a single soul in the club was still. Everyone was either dancing or head banging and all were singing at the top of their lungs.

Image used courtesy of RttP

Image used courtesy of RttP

All four members of Seemless were joined on stage with the original bassist, Rutcho, Frank, Jet and Eric, the owner of the Lucky Dog. The energy was unreal, everyone was electric. At the end, they demanded that nobody leave and that they had planned it out that they would still have time to get drinks and hang out with everyone there. Never in my life have I ever heard of a club staying open til Three AM just so everyone can hang out after the last band has left the stage. The whole night just seemed un-freaking real. There were no problems, no fights, no bad blood. The room was full of love. It was tough saying good-bye to everyone at the end of the night, but we had to leave around 2:30 because I had to work the next day and L has back problems and they flared up at some point in the night. I can’t stress enough how amazing everyone was, and how lucky and blessed I am to have such amazing friends.

Image used courtesy of RttP

Image used courtesy of RttP

This was the end of the chapter, but definitely not the end of the book. Take a moment to check out the other projects members of Seemless are working on.
Unearth
Kingdom of Sorrow
Garuda
Birch Hill Dam
The Empire Shall Fall

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