Haken brings technical metal back to life in Mesa

Haken at The Nile Theater on May 22nd 2023

Review & Photos by Megan Juarez-Fontana

Intricate and technical metal is something we don’t see often. Two bands who really pull out the Dream Theater technicality of music are Haken and Arch Echo.

Arch Echo at The Nile Theater on May 22nd 2023

Arch Echo hit the stage first, fans clapped as they walked onto the stage. The band formed in 2016 with the goal of creating complex music that is easily accessible to the listener.

The band is completely instrumental only and made up by Adam Rafowitz-guitar, Joey Izzo-keyboard, Joe Calderone-bass, Adam Bentley-guitar and Richie Martinez-drums.

The band came onto the stage one by one, each member taking their rightful place. The music began to queue up and instantly your mind begins racing. You’re trying to figure out which sections are certain types of genres or if it reminds you of a certain band but your brain can’t piece it together. The music flows seamlessly from one style to the next creating a scene in your head.

Each song starts out at a different tempo incorporating jazz and metal. There are a few areas that are almost reminiscent of chip tune but that is due to they keyboard sounds.  Some of their sound gives your hints if Dream Theater, very intricate, technical and advanced!

The fans enjoyed the music, at first everyone just stood there and listened but at the set continued more and more people began to head bang. The band did not have much room to move around the stage but they made due. There were a few times the members played to each other like a battle of the guitars and they would even stand on these light up white boxes. By the end of their set everyone was clapping and screaming. If they were not a fan, they became a fan!

Haken at The Nile Theater on May 22nd 2023

The stage crew came on and began to set the stage up for the final act of the night, Haken. Luckily there was not a whole lot to change up except add a few microphone stands. The stage set up was a little unusual they were set up in a u shape with the singer up front and center and open stage behind him.

Haken is an English based band that formed in 2007. The bands current lineup is Ross Jennings-vocals, Richard Henshall-guitars/keyboard/vocals, Raymond Hearne-drums/tuba/vocals, Charles Griffiths-guitar/vocals, Conner Green-bass/vocals and Peter Jones–keyboards/vocals.

The fans screamed as the band took their places on set and they began to play. Jennings came into the stage a few moments after the rest of the band began to play. They opened up with their song “Taurus” off their 2023 album Fauna. The fans screamed and everyone’s faces looked like a kid watching their favorite childhood movie for the first time; they were enamored. The audience was seen singing along and dancing in their spaces.

Haken at The Nile Theater on May 22nd 2023

The band had great every day and we’re keeping everyone entertained. Jennings ran all about the stage moving all around. At the end of “Sempiternal Beings” Jennings left the stage and then reappeared. When Jennings came back, he yelled “Hello Mesa!!”. The fans screamed even louder.  Haken a technical skill with their Queenesque melodies really make their unique sound stand out. They bring something different to the table of progressive metal. This band has created a fun album that every member of that band has participated in writing and created.

Haken Photos

Photos by Megan Juarez-Fontana, All Rights Reserved

Arch Echo Photos

Photos by Megan Juarez-Fontana, All Rights Reserved


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