Concert Review

Concert Review: Paranoid Maniac, Reckoning Force and Public Acid

Taking a brief detour from this month’s Pride-based content (because I’m very sick and incapable of concerted research) to cover a recent show I attended.

This show was special, not just because it was insanely fun and had a great line-up, but because it was the first show my younger brothers had ever attended.

Taking place June 18 at Kings in Raleigh, this three-band show was a wildly good time and a great way to kick off a fresh work week.

Paranoid Maniac

Composed of Raleigh locals, Paranoid Maniac delivered a frenzy of hurried, untethered sounds.

The five-piece group were the first of the three headliners to go on, and their performance certainly set the tone for the rest of the night.

With an unceremonious start, the vocalist and band quickly mobilized to flood the room with a slant of distorted guitar, gnarling bass and reverberating drums that thrummed in the ribcages of everyone in the audience.

Cover for “Hold Your Own Leash” by Paranoid Maniac

The vocalist, clad in a vest and large pair of opaque black shades, wailed barely-comprehensible lyrics into the mic as they paced back and forth across the stage.

Amid the swell of music that pounded against the venue’s concrete walls, certain phrases rang out with clarity, such as “f– the alt-right.”

The crowd was (frustratingly) still during this performance, headbanging and swaying in place despite the palpable energy that electrified the air.

At the end of the set, we’d all sufficiently woken up from our perpetual daytime half-slumber.

Reckoning Force

Reckoning Force is a rapid and rabid group based out of Norfolk, Virginia.

My first impression of the band formed while watching a roadie unceremoniously duct tape a flag on the venue wall.

Reckoning Force at Kings, Raleigh, photo by J

Everything following was perfectly intense and chaotic.

As Reckoning Force started their set, patrons who’d been tucked away at the bar began to flock to the stage.

The vocalist lurched around in a torn-up yellow shirt with a frayed, screaming voice that paired nicely with the frantic music. Shortly after the start of the set, the crowd parted as two individuals darted back and forth across the floor.

The energy in the crowd changed instantly. Everyone moved at once either to dart to the sides of the room or to slam as hard as possible into the nearest person. I went for the second option and was promptly knocked to the ground by someone twice my size.

Two massive punks in studded vests immediately grabbed me, pulling me to my feet and checking to make sure I hadn’t broken something. I was fine, if not a bit embarassed, but felt better after watching several others take a similar tumble later.

Though the pit was small, we were sufficiently invigorated by the sounds — or maybe the force — of Reckoning Force.

The highlight of their set was certaintly when they covered Minor Threat’s “Screaming at a Wall,” a track well suited to the vocalist’s particular brand of angsty screams.

Public Acid

The final band to perform was Public Acid, based out of Richmond and North Carolina.

Like Reckoning Force, the band set up a flag before their performance. To my absolute delight, they simply taped their flag — baring a Rorschachesque skull — over the one left up by Reckoning Force.

Cover for “The Beat Sessions” by Public Acid

Public Acid was my brothers’s favorite act of the night, as they said the music reminded them of the DOOM franchise.

The band’s straight-up heinous sound compelled my brothers, both teenagers “too cool” to do much of anything, to bob their heads and sway around. I consider that a massive win.

Though not many patrons entered the pit, this allowed for more movement and dynamism as people kicked their legs around, spun and knocked into each other. The energy in the room was magnetic, even for those outside of the pit.

Public Acid was a great way to end off the night, leaving the audience sweat-drenched and shaking with adrenaline. After the show, I felt both like I could run ten miles and sleep for ten years.

Closing Thoughts

Paranoid Maniac, Reckoning Force and Public Acid are three bands with small online presences.

They make up for this by totally dominating the stage and plunging the audience into a landscape of chaos, insanity and vigor.

Familiarity with the bands isn’t necessary to enjoy them. Their vibrant sounds and captivating stage presence strike you right through the ribcage in the best possible way.

By J

J is a DJ at WKNC and a staunch enjoyer of dark and moody music.