Sons of Texas at The Machine Shop in Flint, MI

Sons of Texas bring some heat to the stage with a high-energy set of rock with support from Sunflower Dead.

Hailing from California, Sunflower Dead have been building up a following of fans called Evil Seeds since their debut album back in 2012. Originally wearing makeup, they decided to let the music do the talking while touring in support of their latest release C O M A. Kicking off their set is “The Biggest Mistake” from that album which finds vocalist Michael Del Pizzo stalking the stage from side to side and using the riser dead center. Guitarist Jaboo provides the harsh yet lucid vocals, while also cranking out the riffs and leads. He too is highly active on stage, joining Michael up front often and letting his high fly as he shreds.

Accompanying drummer Brett Weir is bassist Evan McKeever (Nine Shrines), providing the pulsing rhythms that drive many of the songs including one of their heaviest, “You’re Dead to Me.” They slow things down a bit with “Mother Mortis” from their 2015 release It’s Time to Get Weird. After that song, Jaboo throws in some guitar soloing.

It is pretty rare to see an accordion in any concert, let alone a hard rock concert. Michael makes great use of one during a few songs including the heavy song “Savior” and “Counting All My Failures.” It adds a layer that blends in well to give the songs a different edge without going over the top with the traditional accordion sound. Another twist is their version of The Police’s hit “Every Breath You Take” from their 2012 debut. While the opening and general pace mirror the original, when the chorus kicks in, it takes on a heavier sound with the guitars and vocals, including a cool solo by Jaboo.

Cranking things back up, they play “Wasted” that has some wicked drumming by Brett and heavy guitar, including a blistering solo by Jaboo. Next up are two singles from C O M A. “Turn Away” starts with some soaring guitar before it transitions into a slow, melodic beat and then returns to a softer delivery during the chorus. Jaboo also lets loose with some rapid-fire soloing in the middle. “Victim” begins with some heavy bass and guitar and then finds Michael delivering the clean vocals. When the chorus hits, Jaboo once again lets out his harsh vocals. The crowd shows its appreciation with loud applause and cheers. It’s a great opening set by a band that deserves more attention.

At one point during their set, Michael announces that it has been four years since they played at The Machine Shop, but fans will not have to wait too long as he says they will be back in June. The current tour continues for a few more weeks. Be sure to catch them as they put on a great show. You will not be disappointed.

Son of Texas from McAllen, Texas have been around since 2013 and have toured hard on their two albums and one EP. They are known for their high-energy shows and have built a fanbase mostly from word of mouth, with some airplay on Sirius XM Octane. Many of those in attendance have seen them several times with this being at least their sixth performance at The Machine Shop. They come out of the gates firing on all cylinders and kick it off with “Resurgence,” “Spoils of War,” and “Lock, Stock, and Barrel,” which are the three songs that comprise their 2019 Resurgence EP. “Spoils of War” is a barn burner of a song that brings to mind the power and energy of Pantera and Hellyeah.

Singer Mark Morales does not stand still, throwing in jumps and headbanging all night. He goes hard on every song, singing with conviction. It doesn’t take long before he is dripping with sweat. The dual guitar attack of Jes DeHoyos and Jon Olivarez power the songs with killer riffs and solos. During “Blameshift,” all of the band is headbanging and Jes rips it up with a solo. None of these guys stand still for long. They make use of the whole stage and play off each other on many occasions from either side and even up front on the riser. They really know how to work a crowd and play off their energy, and the fans love it.

The drumming of Mike Villarreal sets the pace for the songs and Nick Villarreal is a beast on the bass, laying down the forceful bottom end that you can feel. The crowd goes crazy when they play part of Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” that shows off some of Nick’s bass prowess before transitioning into “Expedition to Perdition” from the 2017 album Forged By Fortitude. Nick continues to wow the crowd with the killer opening bass on “Feed the Need,” as well as throughout this song. Nick really seems to be having a ball as he is smiling all the time. This is also another fast-paced song that has Mark singing with conviction.

After a verse of ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man,” they transition into the more metal sounding “Never Bury the Hatchet” from the 2015 album Baptized in the Rio Grande. T

hat song has some pummeling drums by Mike and squealing guitars by Jes. They follow that up with “Baptized in the Rio Grande” and follow that with “Texas Trim” also from the same album.

Returning to the stage, they are joined by Michael Del Pizzo from Sunflower Dead. Mark and Mike trade vocals on a killer cover of Pantera’s “I’m Broken.” The fans are having a great time on this song, throwing fists into the air. Once again the Sons of Texas have wowed the fans with an incredible high-energy set of hard rock. They truly give it their all and the crowd shows their appreciation right back at them.

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About Gary Pahlow 29 Articles
Gary is located in Rochester Hills, MI and has been officially photographing and writing concert reviews since early 2016. His main music interests are metal and hard rock, but he is also a fan of most genres including alternative, indie, jazz, and even some pop and country. When not covering or attending concerts, you can find him traveling with his wife or watching the Detroit Red Wings.