Concert Review: Shok Paris at the Beachland Ballroom

  • Shokking!

Shok Paris shook the Beachland Ballroom Saturday night with a huge dose of classic metal and a tantalizing hint of something new.

The top dogs of Cleveland’s ’80s metal scene, the quintet reunited late last year with singer Vic Hix and guitarist Ken Urb, supported by a new rhythm section — bassist Ed Stephens and drummer Donovan Kenaga — giving the tunes a propulsive jolt.

For their first full-scale show, they regaled fans with a front-to-back rendering of their 1984 debut Go for the Throat. They blazed through “Battle Cry,” “Burn It Down,” and “Can’t Find the Evil” with new guitarist John Korzekwa doubling with Erb on some guitar leads.

That business out of the way, the band delved into other old favorites "Streets of Pleasure” and “Go Down Fighting” from 1987’s Steel and Starlight. They worked in a new tune, “Madness My Love,” slightly slower and more melodic than the potent, riffy, straightahead metal they’re known for.

They closed the set with a rendition of Deep Purple’s open-road ode “Highway Star,” riding a wave of energy and intensity that surpassed their often lackadasical ’80s performances.

Pittsburgh’s Dofka opened the show, followed by Cleveland metal stalwarts, H.A.T.E., whose set featured dense, trashing tunes like “Battering Ram.”

Ground Zero followed with a set that showed they’re a band to keep on eye on. Their thunderous metal is loaded with drama. “This Means War,” “Mass Chaos,” “Unleashed,” and finale “Crush, Kill, Destroy” were sculpted from waves of staccato chords, volume, and tempo contrasts, pregnant pauses and Ken Dugan’s fiery, expressive vocals. The band is currently working on its debut album, and it’s one local metal fans should eagerly anticipate. —Anastasia Pantsios

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