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Blue Fire
Don Hills
May 6th, 2006
Written by Dan Tulino

Photographed by Krisztina Fazekas
at the Blue Fire show
Don Hills - November15, 2005

Blue Fire’s Josh “Pix”and GUS "Bigman" Ward

Waiting for my second chance to hear Blue Fire perform, I knew I was about to see the best young band in all of New York City. It was early (7:30PM to be precise), but I already felt transported into the darkest regions of night, a place where only the strongest and fiercest musicians survive.

Blue Fire’s Josh “Pix”and GUS "Bigman" Ward

The raw energy mixture of band mates Josh and Gus (guitar and vocals) and R.J (drums) completely dismantled my mind. They sound like a band with thirty or forty years of experience with a talent that is far beyond their years. Blue Fire is an embodiment of all that is good about music. Three musicians haven’t sounded this powerful and mystifying since the early years of Rush. Their full-out assault was enough to scare the women and children (if there had been any) to the back corners of Don Hill’s.

Even when Blue Fire attempted to play a slow song, their sound built to a heavy lifting, sword-swallowing feat. I wish I were in this band! At times, guitarist/singer Josh Karickhoff's vocals outshone his ability on the guitar. On the other side of the stage his cousin, Gus Ward, musically provoked Karickhoff with each slap of his bass guitar. They taunted each other from opposite sides of the stage and then came together to create a wild yet tempered fury; their voices blended perfectly to create a wall of sound. What’s more, none of those prodigies ever faltered in their musicianship despite their bangin’ heads and flailing hair. I felt some pity for their new talent-rich drummer, R.J. Sole; he had the daunting task of keeping up with two wild beasts.

Blue Fire’s showmanship is on another playing field and so is their music. The Metal genre their music falls under may be the only obstacle in their way, but even that may be a non-issue. They have talent enough to pull in more listeners with each passing gig. Listening to songs with titles like "Decay," "Rush Hour" and "Sins of the Father," I couldn’t stop feeding off Blue Fire’s exhaustive energy as I shouted to myself, “Bang your fuckin’ head motherfucker!”

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