LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE
By: Joanna Glezakos
On Friday May 20, 2011 Norma Jean performed at the Opera House for their Explosions II Part Deux Tour with After The Burial, Motionless in White, For The Fallen Dreams and Stray From The Path. This tour was their first real headlining tour in over a year and the band played a lot of songs they haven’t played in a while. Formed in 1997 with original members Chris Day – Guitar and Scottie Henry – Guitar, after original singer Josh Scogan left they added Brad Norris who only lasted a year and half. Surprisingly for a band that has changed members frequently over the last 14 years they have a pretty strong fan base and a great sound. Current members include Day, Cory Brandan Putman – Vocals, Jake Schultz – Bass, Jeff Hickey – Guitar and Matt Marquez on the Drums, Henry is currently taking a short break from the band. Their 2005 album ” ‘O God, The Aftermath ” was nominated for Best Recording Package at the 2006 Grammy’s, “Meridional” was named one of 2010’s essential albums and Cory Brandan Putman was named “Best Vocalist” by the editors of Alternative Press. The album is on sale for $5 from Amazon MP3, if you haven’t heard these guys this would be a great time to do it and I encourage you to see them live. Cory, the lead singer has enough energy to get the whole place moving, even though the balcony was closed that evening lots of people crowded in and got close for Norma Jean.
I heard of Norma Jean a while back and listened to a few tracks over the years but they never really stuck. Finally having the chance to see them live was a treat and I encourage anyone who’s looking for a good live show to shell out the twenty bucks to watch them. The energy was great and the fans were really nice letting me sneak in and out for shots, security was a bitch at the door. They were being very strict and having to wait in line with everyone wasn’t fun. The Opera House is a great venue for fans, small enough to get close to your favourite artists and gives them a chance to meet them before and after the show. As for shooting, it is terrible for photographers, bad lighting and more often than not no barricade to separate media from the fans. Not to mention the beer is expensive as hell and unlike their usual set up the bar was blocked off to anyone under 21 years of age. The time leading up to Norma Jeans performance was less than favorable but all in all it was a good night, I give the venue 2/5 stars and the band 5/5. I had the chance to listen to bands I never heard before and actually enjoyed myself and met some interesting people in the crowd. I may have enjoyed watching the crowd just as much as I enjoyed watching Norma Jean it was nice to see a real pit for once since the crowd wasn’t filled with 14 year old girls. Kudos Norma Jean for putting on a good show and having some pretty cool fans!