Blondeaux, Kayn, and Gawkman come together to go one serious kickass concert.
Ah, there's nothing like the sight of the stage, the massive PA system: a big wall of black boxes, each one with it's powerful deafening noise production. I just love when they play the those pre-concert cds through it, bringing out the absolute heaviness of each song that comes out (unless it's "Cowboy" by Kid Rock; nothing can help that song). Even though I'm not a smoker, love the smell of the 200+ types of tobacco lingering in the air, the legal and illegal. Kayn and I recollected our numerous memories brought back by the surrounding environment, such as our very first heavy concert (Pantera, Machine Head, Coal Chamber, and Pumpjack). Half of those bands were back for this one, and we were getting pumped. It was nearing the time for "Amen" to take the stage.
I just love when they bring the house lights down, you know what's coming. Amen took the stage, and the first impression I got of them was less than great. Take their logo for example: a big picture of the United States with a pentagram over it. Gee, a pentagram- isn't that original?! There used to be a time when I, being Christian, was grossly offended by this symbol (which is their whole point in using it, very few bands are bonified Satan worshippers). It has become used so much that it doesn't even really bother me that much anymore. It actually leaves me more annoyed than offended.
Aside from the all-too-typical evil image, the music was anything but inspiring. The songs had a few moments that got your head bobbing, but not near enough. Then there was the singer. Sounded like a Dave Mustaine wanna-be with no sense of pitch and a cold; he had this really annoying whiny high pitched voice capable of shattering even the finest of Plexiglass products. As good old Blondeaux put it, "I think Asinine should have been up there, you guys are way better."
Sad thing was, that really wasn't that great of a compliment.
All in all, this band sucked, and everyone was glad they only played a five song set. I was especially disappointed because I had heard that Amen was made up of three former members of Snot, and Snot had kicked ass when they were still together. After seeing this band though, I give them 2 middle fingers up. I believe I remember hearing someone yell, "GET OFF THE STAGE!!!"
I'll say Amen to that.
Style: Punk influenced metal (hardcorish)
Pros: Three members used to be in Snot (but it waSnot enough...)
Cons: Annoying singer, boring tunes, steriotypical image
After Amen got off the stage, we awaited Slipknot. I had been waiting for this over a month, ever since I heard that they were coming. I had gotten the cd, and a month later came the announcement.
Well, this moment had finally arrived. Kayn, Blondeaux, Jacob, Dean, and some other guys that you don't know and I didn't either found the perfect spot on the floor. I just love drum checks; they start with the "thump" which rises to a pounding "thud" on your chest as the bass drum is equalized. Kayn started to become quite hyper by this point, and so did I. The 95x guys came out and announced Slipknot, followed by the intro track of their cd ("The person laughing is sick... the person laughing is sick..."). This repeated over and over until the brutal beginning of the opening song "Sic" fired from the PA, followed by that awesome double-bass lick in which many a jaw dropped in awe.
"Pick up the pace!"
Enter the mosh pits. One errupted around us and before we knew it, we were slammin', jammin', jumping, headbanging, dancing, thrashing, yelling, fighting for our lives, and all those other wonderful things that you do at a good concert. Slipknot's masks were cool. #3 (Chris) masterbated his long "PickleNose", while #6 banged his head on his toms. The mechanical platform he played on rose up and down... that was pretty cool too.
To sum up Slipknot's performance, they simply kicked ass. I was not disappointed one bit (except for the fact that didn't play "Liberate", one of my favorite's). Even our friend Jessica, who doesn't even listen to that much metal enjoyed them. Two big thumbs up for Slipknot. If I was a mutant, I would have given them three.
Style: Brutal hip-hop/hardcore deathmetal
Pros: Creative, original, heavy, energetic, incredible
Cons: Some of them may have been =)
Ah, Machine Head. I saw them once before when they opened for Pantera. I had bought all the albums and was ready to enjoy the shit out of this band. I was also somewhat apprehensive, fearing the new "sound" they had on the latest album Burning Red (Rob just doesn't quite fit as a rapper). They opened with "Desire To Fire" which is the opening track for that album. Just the beginning of that song started a mean pit, and they hadn't even gotten to the heavy part of the song. I knew from that moment what this show was gonna be like. When the beat kicked in, to say all hell broke loose would be an understatement. It never really slowed down the whole set.
As for the fear of them "selling out" to the rap-rock trend, they only played a few songs off the new album; the whole show was mostly the classics. Even with Rob's new look and no Logan, it was still MH all the way. The bassist looked mean as hell; he was sweating so much that it was dripping off the neck of his bass. They played all of our favorites: Ten Ton Hammer, A Nation On Fire, Scarred, and even ended with good old Davidian. At the end of that one, they held the tempo way back, milking every pummeling palm-mute for what they were worth.
After the last song ended, there was a big curtain that dropped with the Coal Chamber logo on it, and it got stuck on one side halfway down. You could still see half the band, so I guess that it goes to show that you can't cover up the better band behind a headliner.
Let freedom ring with a shotgun blast, b-yotch.
Name: Machine Head
Style: Metal, pure and true
Pros: HEAVY! HEAVY! Did I mention that it was heavy?
Cons: I wish Rob hadn't cut his hair.
Kayn had weinered out on Blondeaux and I by this point (actually, he had jammed so hard to Machine Head that he could barely stand), so he retreated to the stands to sit with Jessica who had now become sick (must've been something in the air).
Blondeaux and I were on the floor waiting for Coal Chamber to come out; we had been taking bets on the opening tune. I knew it would be "Loco", while everyone else argued that "Loco" would be the closing tune. The first thing to come out of the PA was "This Is Halloween" from the Nightmare Before Christmas. It fit the Coal Chamber mood. Well, I won the bet on the opening tune as the beginning of "Loco" screeched out of the speakers. Following that was "Big Truck" (my favorite), so I jammed. They played nearly every song on the first album along with a few tracks off the new one. They also played "Not Living", which was only on the Strangeland soundtrack (I was proud to be one of the very few that knew the words to that one).
Overall, it was good. Not great, but it was good. I seemed to get this general impression of, "Gee, we're headlining so we don't have to try as hard."
Of course, after following bands like Slipknot and Machine Head, there's nothing Coal Chamber could have done to earn the title of the best band there. Not only that, but everyone was already worn out. Coal Chamber should have been opening for the other two, they would have gotten a better croud response. Coal Chamber gets 3 Pluhs. I would have given them 3 1/2 if Dez had done his mike thingie on "Big Truck".
Name: Coal Chamber
Pros: Played all the good ones
Cons: +Fame = -Effort
Excluding Amen, it was a damn good concert. It was cool as hell to have Kayn in town to go jam at it with us. I believe my bud Jacob enjoyed his first metal concert. He walked up to us with his shirt off, covered with Coal Chamber's confetti and said it all by simply stating: "RAAAAWRRRRG!"