Which is perhaps why the doorman no longer really needs to look at my ID nor give me the flyer for the next one (cuz he knows I’ll be there), and the bartender gives me that, ‘oh, it’s that sad girl who’s always here alone’ look.
I’m at my perch watching Brainoil set up, gazing out at the crowd. It small, but rapidly growing in size. There are several young boys, perhaps ages 10-14, in black hoodies with denim patched vests over that. They are poised to thrash…..this is a big night for them. The three piece begin. The guitarist and bassist share vocal duties, but the majority lies with the bassist, whose voice has the venom of a snake hissing. They trudge through their sludge for their quick 30 minute set, and by the end the place is packed and those boys have an entry in their young metal memories.
Stormcrow is next: five members, two of which have impressive dreads, who play death punk metal. I kept thinking that something was missing from their set. Part of it was that I thought the vocalist could have a bit more of a stage presence…he wasn’t bad, it’s just that when the singer doesn’t have an instrument, I expect him to really bring something else…something….intangible. The rest of the band sounded pretty good, but it just all came off as a bit strained.
Technically, EYEHATEGOD was the first metal band I ever saw. They opened for White Zombie and Pantera at Freeman Coliseum in 1996. That show has come up a lot for me this year, as life comes full circle for me before going into the next decade.
The set begins with nearly a minute of ear piercing feedback instigated by nearly every member, followed by vocalist Mike Williams picking up two near empty beer bottles off the stage and slamming them into eachother, breaking glass all over the front row. That’s how you begin a metal show. Then a crowd surfer jumps on stage and dives off, followed by another who gets pushed off by security…and that repeats all evening. Little pieces of glass are cleaned off the stage beneath their feet while the set is in progress.
It quickly become apparent that Mike is pretty fucked up. Either that, or give this guy an Oscar…he doesn’t ever seem to miss a note. But he’s spitting on the crowd, blowing snot rockets, wobbling around, falling down and lying prone on the floor for longer than comfortable spans of time. It’s honestly been a little while since I’ve seen someone perform in this condition…I’m always overwhelmed by both intrigue and sadness. It’s on odd combo of emotions often reserved for Scott Weiland and Anton Newcombe.
Their music is so heavy, it often feels like it’s just going to stop. But they chug along, keeping a fairly close eye on each other, but especially Mike. The crowd is going nuts, crowd surfers climbing over people and slamming the hell out of everyone in the front row.
The guitarist has a Confederate flag guitar, but instead of stars, there are pot leaves. I realize that since I’m from the South, too, seeing a Confederate flag still doesn’t faze me like it should.
“We’re EYEYHATEGOD, and we love, you, San Francisco……we love you. Will you marry me? Oh, and we’re…playing….LA…..tomorrow, so like, can you drive down there to support us, too?”
This was one of the more ‘metal’ shows I’ve seen all year: loud, dangerous, dirty, debaucherous…as I left, people were comparing war wounds by the door. Someone had a broken nose.
See you again, Sunday, DNA? It’ll be our third date this week…that must mean that things are getting serious.