A band is a puzzle, with each member being a different piece. This series of posts is taking that puzzle apart and putting it back together. We’ve talked about lead singers, now we’re going to talk about bassists. Bassists seem to be the ones at live shows that really keep your attention on the music itself and keep peoples attention on certain songs. Let’s highlight some of them…
5. Ahren Stringer of The Amity Affliction: My first time seeing The Amity Affliction was at Warped Tour in 2015. I was completely nervous about being in a different city and state and being at the festival for the first time. The Amity Affliction was the band that I saw first that day and I am honestly so glad that was the case. Ahren has one of the strongest “this is my time to shine” attitudes on stage and totally rocks it. Both times that I have seen them since then, he still keeps my attention. Focusing on the way he plays to the crowd and balances vocals with some of the deeper riffs in many of their tunes is captivating. (I lost my pictures from their live shows so here’s a meet and greet picture).
4. Oshie Bichar of Beartooth: Honestly, not only is Oshie one of my favorite musicians in general but he kills it live. He’s consistently putting his all into it and there are times during Beartooth sets where I literally cannot take my eyes off of him. He knows his stuff and knows how to put on a show, I know the band wouldn’t be near as cohesive if Oshie wasn’t a part of it. He will ALWAYS be one of my favorite bassists. Next time you guys see Beartooth, do yourself a favor and watch this guy for a second, you’ll feel the same way that I do.
3. Jared Wrath of Blessthefall: Of the four times I have seen Blessthefall, I have always been in awe of their show in general. Jared is absolutely no exception. This dude is a powerhouse and that is putting it lightly. With his screams and how he absolutely commands the stage, it’s difficult not to focus on him and the intensity of what he’s playing. If you’re not focused on what he’s playing, you’re probably focused on his screams so either way, this guy keeps your attention. Not to mention he’s usually the base of the shred pyramid so you know he’s a pretty big deal.
2. Dallon Weekes of I Don’t Know How But They Found Me: Now, we all know Dallon was a member of Panic! At The Disco before starting IDK with former Falling In Reverse drummer Ryan Seaman, so did we really expect him not to be one of the best out there? I have seen Dallon perform once and honestly, that is enough to make anyone understand that he is one of the best bassists around. As weird as it sounds, the way he plays matches the bands vibe to a T. It’s poppy, it makes you want to dance, it makes you want to wear a sparkly black jacket and split the crowd in half for a sort of “come to Jesus” type thing. I don’t know how, but he’s got it all down. Sorry, I had to take the opportunity.
1. Zach Merrick of All Time Low: I have had the opportunity to meet All Time Low, and therefore Zach, four times. Zach is probably one of the sweetest, most shy guys you could meet when talking about the music scene. The first time that I saw them, I was absolutely blown away by Zach for a multitude of reasons. Going from the meet and greet where he was quiet and shy to seeing him absolutely blossom on stage was incredibly refreshing. He’s jumping around, carrying Jack around on his back, jumping on and off of platforms, he’s taking every opportunity he can to move around. Then there are some songs, primarily from their most recent album “Last Young Renegade”, that allow him to find a more centered performance and give him the chance to be a little more emotional in his playing. He is one of the most impressive bass players that I have seen to date in his performance, personality, and chemistry with his bandmates.
Honorable mentions (In no particular order, *pictured)
- Justin Morrow of Motionless in White formerly of Ice Nine Kills
- Eric Bass of Shinedown*
- Mike Dirnt of Green Day
- Josh Woodard of A Day To Remember* (featured photo)
- Sam Bettley of Asking Alexandria
- Aaron Kelley of The Wrecks*
Stay tuned for the next set of “best of the best” and follow my Instagram @nat.lindz to help me decide who gets highlighted next! Until next time.