Trey Spruance and Secret Chiefs 3 Shred The El Rey [PHOTOS] REVIEW+PHOTOS: SECRET CHIEFS 3 @ EL REY 8/21/17

Secret Chiefs 3 @ El Rey 8/21/17. Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq. (@Methodman13) for www.BlurredCulture.com.

Secret Chiefs 3 @ El Rey 8/21/17. Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq. (@Methodman13) for www.BlurredCulture.com.

West Hollywood, CA- When I saw Secret Chiefs 3 billed as the opening act for Dead Cross at the El Rey 8/21/17, I was a bit surprised. Sure, Mike Patton and Trey Spruance have worked together on some killer projects (co-founding Mr. Bungle and Trey playing on Faith No More’s “King for a Day .. Fool for a Lifetime”), but I had a hard time imagining Dead Cross fans falling in love, and rocking out to, Secret Chiefs 3 music. On one hand, Dead Cross is hardcore punk/thrash metal while Secret Chiefs 3 music is more experimental, infusing a plethora of styles including middle eastern/Asian influences, metal, jazz and more. Would fans of Slayer and The Locust dig Secret Chiefs 3?

As I waited for the stage curtains to get drawn, I asked those standing next to me whether they were familiar with Secret Chiefs 3. Not a one were familiar with the band’s repertoire.  I’m sure there were those in the audience that were excited to hear them play, they just weren’t standing near me. But I had a feeling in my gut that after Trey and company stepped of stage, they’d surely have a few more fans in their corner.

Secret Chiefs 3’s performance was as mind-blowing as the two other times I’ve seen them in concert. With musicians of the highest caliber accompanying him, Trey unleashed a sonic barrage of existential sonics upon the crowd that had me mesmerized from start to finish. The most familiar performance was their thrasher cover of the 1979 theme song to the classic horror flick Halloween.

The only true constant of the band is Trey. Over its twenty plus years of existence, the band has had a rotating cast of players.  For this performance, Trey had Jason Schimmel (Atomic Ape) on a multitude of guitars, Peijman Kouretchian (Girth) on drums, Matt Lebofsky (too many bands to list) on keys and Joe Lester (Intronaut) on bass. Each wearing a black hooded robe, they played some of the harder, more metal, cuts from the SC3 repertoire. I looked towards those I had earlier conversations with and they were all equally entranced like I was, with a wide-eyed woman mouthing to me during the set, “These guys are good.”

And though there were definitely those disappointed that Dead Cross had to cancel their headlining slot due to Mike Patton suffering an injury in a skateboarding accident en route to the venue, there were probably those equally content that they got their monies worth with Secret Chiefs 3 alone … like me.

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