This weekend, West Coast Rock will meet Heavy Metal for unprecedented, inaugural performances on the Kenai Peninsula.
Contemporary musical titans, Buckcherry and Drowning Pool, will take the stage at 7 p.m., Saturday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex for back-to-back concerts that promise a raucous song selection, exquisite production and maybe even some bodily fluids, specifically fake blood, if fans are lucky.
“We are very high energy, very up-tempo,” said Stevie Benton, Drowning Pool’s bass guitarist. “All the medium-tempo kind of ballad-y songs that you hear on the radio a lot — well we don’t do that. We are totally different. We are a little more aggressive to our approach in a live show.”
Most members of the Dallas, Texas-based band have been performing together for nearly two decades, and have not slowed down one bit. Drowning Pool’s live shows usually consist of a lot of lights, onstage action, and death growls to pump up the crowds, a craft they have only refined with time.
To assist, Benton said he and his crew plan to haul as much gear as possible up with them when they come.
“We pretty much do what we do, we are a one trick pony,” Benton said. “We’ve got our thing and that is what we do best and that is what we stick with.”
Saturday’s set list will likely span the gamut of Drowning Pool’s collective career, with glimpses into their earliest performances, including the complete tracklist of their debut album “Sinner,” to songs off of their newest CD, “Hellelujiah,” which was released this spring, said C.J. Pierce, founding member and guitarist.
A few weeks ago the band pulled out some selections they haven’t played in more than five years for audiences in Australia, simply to meet the needs of the fans and revisit an old muse, Pierce said.
“We play all the hits, man, it’s a mixture — our favorite tunes from the new record and the newer stuff,” Benton said.
While their styles differ, Buckcherry and Drowning Pool are two bands that feed off one another and inspire seriously hard performances each time they work together, he said.
“We are very live rock and roll,” said Keith Nelson, Buckcherry’s guitarist. “We really like to bring the party to the people. It is an escape for the audience and an escape for us, what I would hope is that everyone is having a good time.”
Nelson said the seasoned rock band has a variety of techniques, themes and sounds they bring to their live shows, from upbeat tracks, to more introspective ballads. They too will give the audience a taste of their entire body of work, including a chunk of songs off of the “15” album, which includes one of Buckcherry’s most popular singles “Crazy Bitch,” and has hit its tenth anniversary this year.
“You are not going to see a laser show with pyrotechnics,” Nelson said. “It is 100 percent Rock and Roll. It’s just five guys playing music.”
It will be one of the few shows both bands have played in Alaska — aside from a few previous visits to Fairbanks and Anchorage — and their first on the Kenai Peninsula.
“We are very excited,” Nelson said.
Most often there isn’t enough time to see the state’s iconic scenery, said Benton and Pierce, and previous shows have landed them upstate in the middle of winter. But the audiences have been awesome, they said.
“We did get to meet a lot of people after those shows,” Benton said. “People were maybe a little more enthusiastic about seeing the band simply because we don’t often get the opportunity to come to Alaska. They haven’t already seen us, like, 10 times throughout the years. And for us being in a new place is always exciting. Alaska, being such a scenic place, you want to take in as much as you can while you are there.”
Since Alaska performances are so rare for the band, they try to soak up as much time with fans and audiences as possible. Pierce said people would likely be able to find him in the crowd afterward having a beer and watching Buckcherry.
“Come hang out with me, come meet me,” Pierce said. “Skip work, shut down the town.”
Reach Kelly Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org.