Material: Blue Midnight is a hard rock group complete with outstanding vocals, two guitars, a great rhythm section and even a violin. Think Evanescence meets Iron Maiden with the violin adding another dimension of mostly rhythms to all of the songs. The opening tune, “Acid Rain,” brings out the band’s true colors as they sit nicely atop the hard rock/metal genre. Dueling guitars, a la Judas Priest, take turns on solos, harmonizing and keeping the rhythm tight and intact. The bass neatly complicates the beats, while Justine puts icing on the cake with delicious vocals.
Musicianship: This band is tight as can be, with a minimal amount of flubs. Hill connects with Allen to solidify a great rhythm section as Hornbeck and Hulin go head to head laying down rhythms and harmonics. Both possess excellent soloing abilities. Meanwhile, you don’t expect a violin in a rockin’ band, but Sandoval is a pleasant surprise as he contributes layers of pleasurable, squealing resonance to all the tunes. Justine has an exceptional voice and is impactful and energetic, but there is an untapped potential to it. She holds back ever so slightly––that is evident in her delivery––but at the same time she is on that cusp where a little push will send her over to the next level.
Performance: Blue Midnight’s show was successful from the first rumbling of the guitars. All the players exhibited good rapport with each other and all interacted with the audience to some degree. Justine connected with the crowd numerous times, while Sandoval remained in his own little world, grooving to all the tracks. He gave all that he had and left it on the stage.
Summary: Blue Midnight performed two cover songs, and although those tunes were rendered extremely well, they mixed into the band’s own style a bit too much. The songs melded together, which detracted from the creativity that is Blue Midnight, who’ve got very likable original songs, good stage presence and superb, unique musical ideas. All in all, this band is making music that can appeal to a wide audience.
Players: Justine, vocals; Mike Hill, bass; Matt Hornbeck, guitar; David Allen, drums; Edgar Sandoval, violin; Caleb Hulin, guitar