Snoebmeister and Gawkman take a little road to trip to meet Kayn at the Backdoor in Austin. A long drive, but very worth it.
Ya know, I think there is an understood Concert rule that is as follows: "No concert shall start until at least an hour after the scheduled time."
Well, this rule worked to our advantage as Snoebmeister and I rolled into Austin (very slowly, rush hour not anticipated) at least 45 minutes after 7. We greeted Kayn and Cliff (who decided not to go, the weiner) and got our asses out to "The Backroom", where we were greeted by a line the length of one that would grow for a chance to go out with Jennifer Love Hewitt. It took forever for the "helpful" staff to give us the simple answer when asked where we could pick up tickets: The Line.
Somewhere during this little hunt, Lajon of Sevendust walked right by us and I didn't even know it.
"Dude," Kayn said while violently shaking me, "That was Lajon!"
I intelligently responded, "You're shitting me!"
Kayn then remarked on how short Lajon really was. I had to agree; I always thought he would be a lot taller. Must be the stage.
After taking a spot in The Line, Kayn and Snoeb ran off to find a phone while I conversed with the fellow metalheads about various bands. I remember one guy stating that he had been to Family Values, and the only thing that made it worthwhile was Staind. Heh.
Finally around 8:30 or so the line began to move, and before long we were in. This is good, for we were afraid they would be out of tickets. We obtained entrance, where we talked about stuff for a good 20 minutes. Some guys took the stage, did a soundcheck, and then it was on.
Wow, these guys could could actually plays something besides a 4/4 time signature! After the first song ended, I heard some guy behind me telling his friend, "See, I told you they were good!"
After the second song ended, Kayn turned to me and said, "See, I told you they were good!"
These guys were quite good. They knew how to play their instruments. Props to the frontman for holding out that wailing note for longer than it usually takes me to take a piss, while not sounding like a glam rock singer. Their music had a generally progressive feel; it didn't make you wanna mosh a lot of the time, (though not all the time), rather you ended up bobbing your head and going, "Yeah".
I sensed a little Tool influence, but the sound was pretty much original. They didn't try to get the croud pumped or hyped by telling 'em to jump or yell something, instead they just got up there, played the shit out of their music, and got into it. That's something that gets people truly hyped. Like they always say, "A daisy can sometimes be an eggplant."
Well, perhaps there is a better quote for this band, but I can't think of it. They were damn good, OKAY? I don't know many bands that I can still remember some of their songs two days later when I've only heard them one time. Like I said, they were good damnit! Well, that's not exactly what I said, but close enough.
Pros: Great musicianship, great songs
Cons: I have yet another cd to buy =)
Have you ever gotten a new cd and found that one song that's really cool at first so you like it, then it does something weird that could be better, so you end up not liking the song that much? That's what happened when we saw Orange 9mm. I got a good first impression; they were energetic, had groove, were pretty heavy, and they were gonna tear it up. But that's all it ever went to; they never really quite reached that peak.
The end result was our general disinterest after the first couple of songs in their set. After that, everything started to sound the same. They were a very average crossover/rapcore. This style has been done many times louder, heavier, cooler, and plain better (see Rage Against the Machine, Shootyz Groove, (hEd)p.e., and Stuck Mojo). All in all, Orange 9mm was nothing to write home about.
I'll have to admit that the singer did get into his music, and he did a good job of getting the croud hyped. Unfortunately, the music lacked surprise and creativity. Not only that, but the singer seemed like he could be gay.
The only thing that made this band worthwhile was the bassist. Man, that dude was hilarious! He had these cheesy little moves he would do in conjunction with what he was playing. He would start walking back and forth for no reason. He was chewing gum the whole time. Too bad he's in a signed band that's been together probably for along time... he would make the ideal Asinine bassist that we could recruit.
In scoring Orange 9mm, I would have given them a 2/5, but the bassist alone earned them a PLUH.
Name: Orange 9mm
Pros: Good groove, cool basist
Cons: Sound-a-like tunes, heterosexual-questionable frontman
It was really starting to getting crouded, and hot would be an understatement. This only added to the tension/anticipation of the upcoming Machine Head. Philipp loved Machine Head but had never seen them live, so he was in for a treat. Of course, we were too, just as you would watch a favorite movie again and again, catching something new everytime that you didn't get before.
Once again, we heard an opening that we had heard a little more than a month before (at Coal Chamber, Machine Head, Slipknot, and Amen). It was a soundtrack of some sort, with a men's choir singing really evil medieval sounding stuff. Sounded like boss music for a Castlevania game. It was cool.
Here came the intro to "Desire To Fire" once again. I noticed something about concert PA systems: the systems used in smaller rooms, such as bars, tend to be cleaner, louder, and better balanced. Big concert systems are often so bassy that the good licks often get muffled, and it can be hard to hear the vocalist. In this particular case, we could hear every wonderful note (probably more than we needed to).
The MH set was shorter than last time, but way more intense. Rob was totally into it and having a great time. After climbing the tower of speakers and diving off them into the croud, he got right back up there to do it again. This time his groin was groped by a croud-surfing female (perhaps that's why he sang a little higher than usual right there...), and he dived again shortly after. It was cool, although I think many were too busy moshing to notice. They ended with Davidian once again, and like they had before, slowed down the heavy ending to a crunching crawl. Through this system, and was much cleaner, and way heavier.
Rob asked the croud if they would come see Machine Head again if they were in town (duh!), then got off the stage. That was it. It could have been more dramatic, though it wasn't necessay after the set they had just played. Still, it left the croud kinda hangin, kinda like when there's a piece of cake left, and you want to save it for later for when you're really hungry, then someone comes along and eats it, ruining your plan. Bastards.
Despite the weak exit, this has been the best performance I have seen Machine Head give yet. Philipp did enjoy himself, by the way.
Name: Machine Head
Style: Metal, still pure and true
Pros: Still HEAVY! Best I've seen 'em thus far.
Cons: Rob still has that haircut, weak exit
Note to self: kill Kayn for getting us so close to the speakers. My ears are still ringing.
Beforehand, it took Sevendust a lengthy amount of time to get setup. During this time they nearly played the whole Staind cd in which Kayn and I sang half the songs in harmony. This had been the third time to listen to that cd that day (we had gone through it twice on during the drive there).
In the middle of "A Flat" (which is track number 7 for the people that don't read the song names), they did the soundcheck. Shortly after, the house lights went down, and we debated whether they were gonna open with "Black" or "Home". Home it was, and so was I. Home. Yep.
I'll tell ya this, that song, and all others on the new album, sound so much better at 12,000 watts, especially standing that close to the speaker. That didn't last too long as we got thrown around in a mosh pit that blew up around us. After fighting our way out of it, we jammed. I thought to myself as I was headbanging on the floor to one of my favorite bands, "I'M HOME." Uh-oh, someone got knocked on the floor and need to be helped up. LEAVE IT TO ME. Everywhere you looked, people were jamming FROM LEFT TO RIGHT.
Kayn started to become quite fatigued (weiner; he always does), so he took a breather leaning against the wall. As for the set, Sevendust played 5 songs off their first cd, and the good ones off the new one. "Crumble" sounded totally brutal, and much mayhem occured. I went nuts myself a couple of times, especially in the middle of Too Close To Hate and at the end when they played Bitch. They covered part of "Walk" by Pantera again, and Kayn had flashbacks of getting the breathe knocked out of him during that song at the last Sevendust concert we went to. He was alert to say the least.
After they finished Bitch, they said goodnight and got off the stage. I have to say they were better than last time. Kayn had seen them another time before then that I wasn't able to go to at all, and said that like Machine Head, this had been their best performance yet. I believe that. I also believe that tires are round. Round and circular.
Style: Groovin' Alt-metal
Pros: Best I've seen 'em; new songs sounded great
Cons: Lajon began to lose his voice
So was the long as drive, spent money, sweaty shirts, bruised nose, lost voice, headaches, busted eardrums, and total exhaustion worth it? HELL YEAH! I don't mind driving, I never get out of town anyway. I really need to move to Austin asap, they get cool concerts all the time (which Kayn always misses like he did at Albuquerque; I just think he needed tha Gawkman there to bail him out of the mosh pits with him being such a wuss and all).
As for details about why it was good, we will give you a rundown of Cool/Uncool:
Cool: Not starting until we got there.
Uncool: Starting so late that it was after we got there.
Cool: Managing to get tickets.
Uncool: 234,324 questions to learn how to get tickets.
Cool: The Backroom (kickass metal bar/club)
Uncool: The Backroom Staff/Assholes
Cool: Orange 9mm's bassist
Uncool: Orange 9mm's singer
Uncool: No one's heard of Chevelle
Cool: Machine Head
Uncool: Squishy croud.
Cool: Good soundguys and PA system, well balanced.
Uncool: Standing next to the PA speakers.
Cool: Fine metal chicks.
Uncool: Fine metal chicks had boyfriends.
Cool: Snoebmeister was there.
Uncool: Blondeaux was not.
Uncool: People that don't like Sevendust
Cool: The concert.
Uncool: We had to drive 6 hours to go.