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Judgement Day and Kelli Rudick: The Hardest Strings We've Ever Heard

We walked in a few minutes late to the much-anticipated stringed line-up last night at Café du Nord not really expecting much. We were greeted with the romantic, whimsical melodies from The Cello Man aka Matthew Schoening. Alright, we ponder, this should be a pretty chill evening. But man, were we wrong.

Second-billed, experimental neo-classical Brooklynite, Kelli Rudick took the stage and nearly swept us off our feet. We can’t even begin to describe the awe-struck faces watching her hands pluck the strings of her guitar while stringing a bass line while tapping out a beat and then looping them all to create these multi-layered, well-structured pieces of music that cannot even dare be defined by a genre. And that was just the first song. She continued to silence the once-chatty crowd by tapping, bending and morphing sounds using bizarre instruments like a nail violin and an Array mbira (think a piano without keys). Overall, we were thoroughly impressed by Kelli’s originality and her ability to write so many different types of songs with so many unique instruments and ways to use them.

Fully blown away and completely taken by surprise, we weren't really sure what else Judgement Day could possibly bring to the table. With only a drummer (Jon Bush) and brothers/front men, Anton Patzner on violin and Lewis Patzner on cello, we were once again, passing our own judgments. The long and short of it is that Judgement Day figured out a way to distort each one of their instruments to sound like something else resulting in raw, epic 9-minute long metal riffs that ripped from beginning to end. There is absolutely a reason that these Oakland-natives are opening for Mates of State for the next month and booked almost every night in venues across the country until the end of May. In the end, Judgement Day’s unmistakably original style had more intensity and passion than most metal-heads could even fathom in their wildest head-banging dreams.