February 7, 2017
I’ve been a Striker fan for about two years now. Due to any number of excuses, I have missed them each time they’ve been through Atlanta but this time around I was not going to let this pass me by. Life is too short and I was dying to finally see Striker live. The excitement of seeing a band live for the first time is a feeling that, no matter how old I get, never gets old. It’s one of the single most exciting feelings. The anticipation of the show, the questions: Will they be as good live as they are on the album? Will they be into it? This is exactly how I felt the night of the Striker show here in Atlanta at The Earl.
Just before the band took the stage, I made my way front and center as I wanted to be on the front line for this. I could feel the anticipation building as I wondered, “What will they open with?” Striker took the stage, did some quick tuning up and then launched right into “Crossroads” from City of Gold. “I want to see something new. I want to go places I’ve never been.” What a perfect way to open the show. I was so taken back by the sheer power of this band in a live setting. Lead vocalist Dan Cleary was hitting the note with everything he had as he led his cohorts through an hour + long metal onslaught that had me screaming, thrusting my fist, and headbanging like I haven’t in a long fucking time. (My chiropractor bill is in the mail, fellas.)
“Phoenix Lights” was the song I was so excited to hear and Striker didn’t let us down. The harmonies were spot on and the guitar playing was just off the charts good. The last time I was this blown away by guitarists was the first time I ever saw Holy Grail and honestly, Striker is giving them a serious run for the money. “Out For Blood” followed and once again I couldn’t even begin to contain myself as I beat my fist on the monitors singing along with my other front line friends as the band looked on full of smiles. Dan Cleary is without a doubt one of the best singers on the scene right now and why this guy isn’t being talked up more is beyond me.
Striker is without a doubt a force to be reckoned with. The energy, the fire, the sheer power of this band is something to be seen. These guys came straight off of the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise all looking road worn and a bit tired but you would’ve never known this watching them on stage. Striker performed an arena level live show in front of a crowd of 30 or so and let me just say that it was absolutely stunning. These guys have a way of making you feel like you are the only one in the room as they completely draw you in with their songs and their magnetic stage presence. Striker closed out their facemelting set with the one two punch of “Second Attack” and “Terrorizer” and with that they were done.
Two years of waiting to see Striker was over in just over an hour and it felt like they had only played for about 20 minutes. The band showed no signs of tiring out and honestly looked and sounded like they could’ve gone another hour. It’s shows like this that make me so fucking ecstatic to be a fan of a band and Striker without a doubt has solidified a place in the top tier of favorite bands for me. This was show that I will never forget and I am already anxiously awaiting their next return which I hope will be sooner than later. If you Striker coming to your town, go see them because these guys are without a doubt one of the best fucking bands out on the road today. You can thank me later.