Two (HED)s are Better Than One

(Hed) p.e.
The Rave – Milwaukee, WI

(Hed) p.e. is:
Jared Gomes – vocals
Mawk (Mark Young) – bass
DJ Product © 1969 (Doug Boyce) – turntables
Jaxon – guitar
Trauma – drums

(Hed) p.e. have been around for 17 years with 9 albums to their credit. They have influenced several big name bands with their style of music that ranges from rock, rap, hardcore, and metal. They have teamed up with Mushroomhead again on the (Hed) to Head tour 2.0; each band taking turns headlining every other city. Tonight, Mushroomhead were the headliners.

After what seemed like a longest teardown between the openers and (Hed) p.e., (Hed) p.e. started their set about 20 min late. There was hip/hop music playing in the background as the crowd waited chanting for (Hed) p.e. and Mushroomhead.  The lights dimmed and (Hed) p.e. walked out to “Truth Rising” from their latest self titled album, followed by “Live or Die Free.” The stage setup was kept simple; it was all about the music and at times rants of singer, Gomes. Gomes and DJ Product prowled the stage like two MC’s going back and forth with lyrics before DJ Product settled back in on the turntables & pumped the crowd up. The crowd was into it – from the jumping and pits erupting in the middle of the floor, yet the intensity increased when Mushroomhead had their turn.

(Hed) p.e. reached back in to their music catalog, playing hits off their first couple albums. As a band, they were very tight – playing all styles and ranges to go along with Gomes kinetic energy as a lead vocalist. At times, they matched perfect and a few times, just did not flow well.  The set l included a guest appearance from one of the guys from Mushroomhead. The favor was returned when Trauma played the water drums with Mushroomhead for their set.

With only an hour for their set, (Hed) p.e. jammed in as many songs as they could but honestly, I felt they could have played more.  Gomes felt the need to talk to the crowd about the political world we are in, how Wisconsin is dealing with union issues, and Fox news being a bunch of liars to the American people. Now, I don’t mind a little speech in a show, but it felt like it went on longer than it should and set a buzzkill to the show. Yes, (Hed) p.e. is a social/political band, but let the music provide the message.

With that put aside, the music and show was great fun. I had only heard about their energy on stage, as this was my first time seeing them live, and they did not disappoint.
If you’re looking for a show to see that is not your typical rock show and with lots of visual performance and energy, then you won’t want to miss this two-headed monster tour.

written by Peter Lizano

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