Vilest’s First Show

Justin Parkhouse and I at The Loft in Lansing, MI 6-22-19 – Photo Credit: Candace Robinson

My band Vilest finally had our first performance ever! It was a ton of fun! There is also a long story leading up to finally performing.

I have been a guitarist in a handful of bands in the Lansing, MI area, but it has been a long time since I have performed live. The story of Vilest for me starts with my last heavy metal band.

I was a founding member of a melodic metal band called Toilsome from Lansing, MI. We were active from 2002-2008. In that time we recorded a few E.P.s an L.P. and did a few tours. When that band ended there was a huge void in my life for playing extreme, heavy, dark music. I continued to play rock music, but skill level for fast playing went downhill quite a bit. I knew I wanted to get back into playing that kind of music. Also, I had a lot of challenges balancing work, school, home, and band life. I was still in a band called Quarter Past Never, which evolved into Motor City Skyline.

In 2016 I reached out to a metal band on looking for a guitarist. I auditioned, got the position, and began playing music with musicians that were previously from a Lansing, MI band As Empires Decay.

The new band had a few songs, and now a complete lineup of members. They were patient with teaching me the songs, we were working on a band name, and we were talking about playing a small show. Hindsight is that it would take another 3 years to hit that milestone.

In short over those 3 years following Vilest’s formation, the instrumentalists all grew tighter in their skill, wrote more songs, and became hungry to play a show. At the same time we had a lot of vocalists in the band that just didn’t work out. The main reason most of them didn’t work out was because they would fail to show up to band practice.

So now it’s 2019 we have a new singer, the band sounds good, and we want to play a show but we don’t have lyrics. We then got a show offer to perform and play a tribute show to any band of our choosing. We talked it over with the band and decided that was a good opportunity to get back on the scene, and it was a good goal to push up. We decided to do a full set of songs by the band In Flames and we had about 2 months to prepare. After learning songs for a month our singer stopped showing up, and communicating. We immediately got a fill-in vocalist and a fill-in for the fill-in, and practice continued. There was also a change in the set list to help out the new vocalist.

We continued to prepare by learning the songs, and getting tighter, while feeling the pressure of the deadline getting closer, but sounding better and better each practice. We knew we could do a good job.

The day of the show finally arrives and we have sold almost all of our tickets. We knew there was going to be a lot of support for us.

We performed those songs very well, had a lot of fun, made some contacts with other bands, and completed our goal of playing our first show! Now that I have recently been on stage I want to know when I get to do it again next. I am feinding, like a caffeine addict, to play another show! Special thanks to the band members of Vilest: Chris, Cody, Dustin, and Theron. Also special thanks to our fill-in vocalist Justin Parkhouse and our fill-in to the fill-in Ben from Canada Dry. Thanks to the other bands: Laurentian Tides, Cold Faction, Dedlights, Freak on a Leash, The Maension, and Square Hammer! Thanks to the promoter Alfonso Civile of Heartsick, and The Loft! Lastly thanks to our friends and family that bought tickets and came out to support us in following our dreams!

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