Find your new favorite local band at Ray's Golden Lion
Since the reopening of the iconic Tri-Cities venue Ray’s Golden Lion, a multitude of bands have taken the stage. From regular Friday and Saturday night shows with a lineup of multiple bands, to varied weekday shows and DJed events, the flow of patrons into Ray’s has been consistent.
Here is everything you need to know about some of the local talent that has taken the stage recently.
Forest of Hate
The local love began on opening night, with Tri-Cities bands opening for an LA-based Mötley Crüe cover band, Mötley 2. The first band to grace the re-done stage was Forest of Hate. The heavy metal band includes three Tri-Cities natives, Joe, James and Carl, plus bass player Charles from California. They’ve been active for about two years, but have each played music for other bands over the years. All of the band members have varied inspirations — ranging from Beethoven to Black Sabbath to Dead Kennedys, according to band members — which you can hear during their sets.
Not for the Innocent
A hard rock/heavy metal band of Tri-Cities locals took the stage second. Not for the Innocent includes Steven on vocals, Aaron on guitar, Bryan on bass, and Dean on drums. They pull inspiration from ‘70s and ‘80s rock and roll. The band has been together for about a year and is releasing its first music video on New Year’s. Brand new merchandise will be available at the band’s next gig at Ray’s.
Both Forest of Hate and Not for the Innocent have shows scheduled at Ray’s in 2024.
Making their way further into the Tri-Cities spotlight, the indie band easyday is made up of four young men with significant ties to the area: Luke, Chase, Griffin, and James. It was a busy year for the group, with shows at several popular venues throughout 2023. Most recently, the band announced a release date for the first single on their second album (and the first song all four wrote together): “That Sinking Feeling” comes out December 31.
The band has a palatable vibe with different sub-styles in every song, so there truly is something for everyone in their repertoire. The four draw inspiration from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, though they each have additional individual inspirations. They were the first of three bands to perform November 3.
Since high school, the three members of Rice have been making ground in the regional music scene. They’ve performed at the Oregon Country Fair and other notable venues. All Tri-Cities locals, Ryan, Grant, and Carson know each other so well, that it’s evident in their performances that they’ve been playing together for a long time.
The modern rock band features classic rock and roll sounds in modern formulas. For live performances, the trio often extends the instrumentals to greater showcase the rhythm. Don’t be surprised if you encounter minutes straight of guitar riffs, accompanying bass lines, and intense drumming.
Band members have hinted that 2024 will likely bring new recordings from them, as they’re hoping to have increased opportunities to record music.
The only band of November 3’s lineup to return to Ray’s (rather than debut), Mad Ruby has been in the scene for more than ten years. The group of Tri-Citians have been playing together since before the band’s inception.
The band maintains its rock sound with punk influences, while sprinkling in inspirations from country, mostly brought out by fiddle player Kevin. The group also includes Rik on vocals and rhythm guitar, Shawn on drums, and Randy on bass. They are all clearly comfortable on stage, with a high-energy performance of all original songs to close out the night.
The first event of December began with metalcore band Sick April, including four 20-somethings Summer, Tanner, Evan, and Zack. They’ve been a band for about two years, but Summer and Tanner have been playing music together for about a decade. Over the years, they’ve taken part in many projects, but Sick April is the one to stick.
The band has performed across the state, while three of the four members are Tri-Cities locals. Each band member has individual musical influences, making their final sound a layered, intricate weave of each of their tastes. Vocalist Summer will go from crooning a soft melody to easily screaming throughout their sets, which the crowd at Ray’s loved. With goals for more gigs and time to record in 2024, Sick April is looking to grow further into the scene by writing music “that makes people feel something.”
The second band of the night had a softer sound in comparison, closer to The Cars or The Strokes. Well, Yeah is a trio of regional musicians, two from eastern Oregon and one in Tri-Cities, though they’ve performed in Tri-Cities before. The band’s easygoing vibe was almost like a palate cleanser between two bands with more intense sounds, though the band members Zack, Sam, and Abe are just as talented.
The night’s final band was Post Clarity, whose sound falls somewhere between the two predecessors. The local band consists of Angel and Josiah on guitar and vocals, Shawn on drums, and Jordan on bass. Angel and Josiah met in high school band and have played music together in various capacities since. They met Shawn and Jordan through regional shows.
The dynamic of two guitarists and vocalists kept the crowd on their toes. Angel’s vocals were more reminiscent of Radiohead or the soft side of Kurt Cobain, while Josiah has a rougher sound, bringing out a raspy scream with punk influence. The two compliment each other by knowing exactly when each voice should be highlighted, giving the music a seamless flow. The hardcore punk band is currently working on their second EP.
Karlee Van De Venter is a full-time reporter at the Tri-City Herald who contributes Arts and Entertainment coverage for Tumbleweird. Through a co-publication agreement, this content may also appear in the Herald.