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Articles Home » Music Reviews » Tantric/Otan Vargas at The Vault Live Show Review By Nina McCarthy
Tantric/Otan Vargas at The Vault Live Show Review By Nina McCarthy

Tantric / Otan Vargas

The Vault Music Hall & Pub

New Bedford, MA

October 22, 2021

Live Show Review

By Nina McCarthy

Boston Rock Radio



Six years ago I was introduced to Otan Vargas (by Opus from Dead By Wednesday) and booked him for an acoustic performance in Providence, RI. Since that time, I’ve seen him booked all over the place, especially Foxwoods Casino. There always seemed to be a conflict when he was in my area, so I was excited to see him again, as he was scheduled to open for Tantric at The Vault Music Hall in the heart of downtown New Bedford, MA.



I was amazed by Otan Vargas’ solo acoustic performance, as I had been several years before. As he started singing, I noticed the audience quiet down and take notice of his euphonious voice, that took me back to the first time I heard him. Otan has such a lovely, humble tone to his voice and great control that makes him stand out as an individual performer. If you’re going to cover Aaron Lewis of Staind (who ironically helped launch Vargas’ career), then you better do it justice, and that was exactly what Otan did. I heard several surrounding comments of, “He sounds so much like Aaron Lewis!" as he performed several covers and some originals.  My favorite cover was "Hurt" by Johnny Cash. Vargas has a way of pulling you in and feeling every emotion of the lyrics. Later, joined by drummer Joe Walsh, on the hand drum, it was a fantastic beginning to the night.

Tantric is a band I’ve seen many times over the years with different musicians behind the only remaining original member, Hugo Ferreira. Hugo’s voice and vivacity remain strong. Tonight, the band seemed to rock exceptionally hard, with Sebastian LaBar on lead guitar, Jaron Gulino on bass, and the newest member Jon Loree on drums. This combination is a force to be reckoned with! Being only four months post op from back surgery, I was trying to take it easy, but found myself dancing until my feet turned numb! (Probably not a good thing!) I wasn’t the only one, as people were dancing and enjoying the show as much as I was, as you couldn’t deny the intensity and devotion coming from all forces on that stage. Hair was flying, sweat was dripping, and smiles all around.

(Photo credit to owner)


Multi-layered vocal harmonies with LaBar and Gulino on backup, most notably during “Live Your Live (Down)," add a new and exciting layer to the originally post-grunge/nu metal sound from the inception of Tantric.  Whether you were there to hear old favorites such as “Breakdown” or “Astounded” or just out to enjoy some good food and socialization, it certainly was a gratifying night for all those in need of a rock fix. Tantric has been touring pretty continuously, so keep your eyes open for a show near you if you want to be rocked hard. This was the best I’ve seen Tantric, and believe me, I’ve seen them many, many times over the last 22 years! I can't wait to catch them again at Bleachers in Connecticut on December 3rd.



Tantric - Facebook

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Otan Vargas - Official Website

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