Metro Detroit rock five-piece Wilson plays each and every set with such reckless abandon, you would literally think that they were either brutally fighting for their lives or they're putting their whole heart, soul and blood-streaked adrenaline into what would appear to be their last gig on earth.
In what was arguably one of the best sets by a local band of the entire year (from top to bottom), Wilson performed as AC/DC at the Crofoot Creepy Cheapy Halloween Treat IV. To be clear, AC/DC is not a band that is easily covered. It takes the proper amount of dynamic frontman behavior (or lack thereof), coordinated sound, energy and crowd engagement to successfully pull of a set by one of the greatest rock bands of all time. Not only did lead singer (and complete lunatic) Chad Nicefield pull off both Bon Scott and Brian Johnson impressions in stellar fashion (including the appropriate costume changes), the entire band channeled the Sydney rockers in a vigorous display of visceral rock stardom. And the room couldn't have been more enchanted, engaged and bordering on sheer pandemonium.
"Seeing Wilson live is something that will never translate into a record," says Nicefield. "It's wild, it's intense, it's alive, it's raw. Even watching a video of the show on the internet pales in comparison. It comes down to the energy in the room when the audience realizes, 'Oh shit, this isn't just entertainment, it's my life and the band is birthing it in front of me' – and in no way is this to sound self-indulgent, it's an just an odd question to answer. Just get off your ass and see it live!"
And in terms of making reference to Wilson as a local band, they've toured so extensively in the past year, they barely qualify as anything but regional or national anymore. Having made their way through pretty much everywhere that can house a raucous gang of five musicians within the lovely state of Michigan, they also blazed a trail through Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee and pretty much the entirety of the Midwest, spreading their infectious rock onslaught to the masses.
"2011 saw Wilson on the road at length for the first time – not just long weekends in the Midwest, but two two-and-a-half week long tours taking us to Texas and back, and all over the Midwest and Southern states," says Nicefield. "We rolled up our sleeves and kicked up our game. We played 85-plus shows in 2011. We have the bruises to show, and we're not hiding any of them coming into 2012."
The thing about Wilson is that, while they take their craft seriously, they're entirely fun, adrenaline-fueled yet borderline silly. In fact, Nicefield once described their sound as "bro rock." And they do, indeed, rock as hard or harder than anyone in the current musical climate of metro Detroit or beyond.
"At the heart of any heavier band is rock and roll. That's what we like to promote in our music and in our attitude," explains Nicefield. "Rock n' roll is everywhere. Whether you are gazing at your shoes or dancing your ass off, there is rock n' roll in your night. But, to be more specific, we call our music 'Gnarly, Juggernaut of the Keg Party, Rock and Roll.'" And yes, that's pretty specific.
So, what does 2012 hold for the band that's already bulldozed their way across Michigan and dabbled in the waters of touring nationally? "We are currently recording new material here in Michigan with Shane Grush at Endings Studio that will be mixed by Grant Mohrman at Method House Studios," Nicefield says. "From there, a full length will be discussed – we are pumped!"
And what about getting back out on the road to add more out-of-state followers to the growing legion of Wilsonites? "We plan to destroy the road starting in February, put out a new album before the summer and gnar the party harder than we have ever gnared the party before."
If that's not a reason to get out and see Wilson before they destroy your town, drink all your beer and subject you to a sonic wall of awesomeness, then there probably doesn't exist a good enough reason for you. | RDW