Let’s start this review with a case study example of why bands should use twitter.
I follow Skeletonwitch. I’m planning on going to the show by 8pm to catch their set. At approximately 5pm, they tweet that they go on at 7pm. I replied, saying that the website said differently, and they responded:
Now, this is great for several reasons:
1. I would have missed their set otherwise
2. I re-tweeted that and hopefully spread the word to a few people
3. It’s cool that they took the time to do that, and took a twitpic! Awesome.
Skeletonwitch are from Ohio. Of the four bands, this was the one that was most ‘me’, and they completely lived up to all my expectations. I was photographing this show, and I was thrilled when they came out and my first shot was the epicness that is the long blond guitar and bass duo:
The frontman is great. He flicks his hand like he’s flinging water on the crowd in perfect time with the music between versus. Example from another show:
The music is fast and relentless. They seem happy to be there and eager to entertain. Even with their short 30 minute set, which ended with the command to go “smoke weed and eat pussy”, it was the best thing I saw the entire evening, and I was consuming music from 7pm-2am.
I was not prepared for Austrian Death Machine. I’m standing in the photo pit, and out runs a bunch of guys in costume, and suddenly, my camera lens is staring up the shorts of a bassist is YMCA cop attire. Whoops!
It was the most gimmick laden set I’ve ever witnessed. I was laughing the entire time, and the crowd ate it up. There’s someone dressed as Arnold, with tumors coming out of his head, and yeah, they have a song called ‘It’s Not a Tumor’. The lead singer wears a SWAT vest. They threw those little things that you pop open and streamers come out into the crowd. Someone dressed as Cookie Monster came out and threw cookies into the crowd. They sprayed the audience with some substance on multiple occasions. There was definitely a GWAR influence at work here.
Up next was The Black Dahlia Murder. This would be my fourth time seeing them this year- I followed the Mayhem Fest around earlier this summer. I was very happy to hear the guitarist test his equipment out with the riff from ‘South of Heaven’. People are psycho about BDM….as soon as they launched into their set, the crowd went ballistic. The crowd surfers were so numerous that people were running into each other mid-surf. Trevor reaches his hands into the air spastically, as if he’s conducting the crowd on marionette puppet strings. Now that I have been informed that his Heartburn tattoo is because he really suffers from heartburn every day, I am now sympathetic.
The changeover time for the other bands had been very short, so the crowd was spoiled and grew angry when we hit the one hour mark between the BDM and Children of Bodom sets. The chanting between intermission songs quickly went from ‘Children-of-Bodom’ to ‘What-the-Fuck’ to straight up booing and throwing things on stage. Finally, they came out, and the crowd quickly forgave them.
I was very interested to see the much hyped Alexi Laiho in action. He is a very fast, skilled player for sure…but I didn’t get that strong of an x-factor vibe from him. I must be alone on this, because the amount of women- really gorgeous women- in that crowd was inordinately high. When he came out on stage he walked right up to my camera…..I was waiting to get ‘that feeling’ and it never came.
Alexi apologized for the delay and thanked everyone. He explained that their drummer had been in the hospital, “And I don’t even know what the fuck’s wrong with him’. He would later reiterate this, and their twitter states that he broke a leg?
There’s no doubt that they are a tight sounding band. I’ve just never been able to get into them because they are simply too symphonic for my tastes. The keyboards are too much for me. ‘In Your Face’ is about as close as I get to liking one of their songs. That said, they are excellent performers who give the overjoyed crowd a lot of attention. After photographing, I watched the rest of the set from the side of the stage. There was this very pretty platinum blond girl, presumably with one of the band members, who was headbanging and air guitaring perfectly to every song. I was totally tripping out on her for a while.
This was an interesting show that made my head spin a bit. Sure, all four bands are metal, but really they couldn’t be more different. And it didn’t help that I ended my night by going to a hip hop club to meet some friends and listened to dubstep for the rest of the evening. I feel dizzy just thinking about it.