There are few places in the greater 210 that embody the puro San Antonio essence more than Hi-Tones on the St. Mary’s strip. From the Selena tribute to the Mexican art décor that adorns the walls to the famous pickle shots that spill on the bar, this bar is a solid representation of San Antonio culture. It was the perfect venue to host Brooklyn’s Shinobi Ninja, a band that wears its city’s heart on their sleeves.
It would be unfair to pigeonhole Shinobi Ninja into one style. Their sound transcends so many different genres that it leaves the ears open to interpretation. It’s only fitting for a band with so many influences to have such a diverse group of opening acts. While each of the three opening bands varied in style and sound they all matched each other in energy and intensity.
Opening act, BLXPLTN, hails from Austin but has roots in San Antonio. The duo utilizes synth loops and electronic drum beats and juxtapose them with fast guitar riffs and punk syncopation. They sound like the a combination of electronica punkers Death Set and mid 2000s hoodlum rock outfit El Pus topped off with the lyrical ferocity of Saul Williams. They set the stage and left everything out on the floor. They have a unique sound that is enveloped in punk and are the type of band that you didn’t realize you needed to see live in your life until you actually see them.
The Peanut Gallery kept the party going with their brand of party rock that flooded the dance floor with strobe lights and free tee shirts. San Antonio’s own Lonely Horse represented the 210 with heavy blues and energetic live show.
At the core of Shinobi Ninja’s sound is the remnant of the nü metal explosion of the early aughts, but they bring so much more to the table in terms of their overall style. The collective sound combines elements of metal guitar with funky bass lines and DJ scratches but is only intensified by the word flow of vocalists Baby G and Duke Sims. While it’s easy to compare their sound to the Anthrax/Public Enemy Bring the Noise collaboration, Shinobi Ninja also has the collaborative nature of UK’s The Go! Team just with a more hard rock influence. The six of them crammed onto the Hi-Tones stage and brought down the house. From Brooklyn to San Antonio, the band did not disappoint, tearing through nearly a decade-long discography, not missing a beat, transitioning from eclectic song to eclectic song. It was a proper ending in a proper setting for a celebration of different elements of rock music as we know it today.