Archive for the ‘Concert Reviews’ Category

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“Here I stand drinking a beer, watching some Nazi kook sing songs about goddamn roses and fucking Germany. His only accompaniment is an accordion player, which is convenient seeing as said kook needs his hands free to ring fucking bells and chimes and random bullshit like that.

Wearing his usual drab German military fatigues and a stupid fucking Scream mask, Douglas P. of Death In June spends two hours playing what I presume are bangers, yet, minus a few known pit stompers, are frankly far too deep in the catalog for me to know about. It’s hard to tell what the hell is actually happening because, as a normal human being, I’m not used to hearing a bunch of techno songs and folk songs I love being played by some asshole on a fucking accordion, let alone one backed by Doug P. wearing his own band’s shirt. Let alone opened for by a weirdo wearing the same shirt playing his own renditions of DIJ songs on a Sony keyboard.

My Gpen has died, and I’m now halfway through “All Pigs Must Die.” I can’t tell if I’m watching the Pogues or a shitty high school version of shitty Shakespeare play. Doug P. whips the chimes and makes a whisper sound, and all I can think about is WWE powerhouse Goldust. The similarities are astounding: sick costumes, gay dudes, and phenomenal grappling skills. I bet there’s a lot of WWE and DIJ crossover.

The stage is lined with the standard semi-neo-Nazi propaganda that our boy P-Dougie is known for. Since touring the States, he’s adapted to a more Americanized version of his one trick pony. I think it looks tight, honestly. I appreciate the showmanship. He probably got down to the club early and set all that shit up himself. No help from anyone. Just him. I bet that shit took a long time. The merch guy is slinging Mexican flag patches with Totenkopf smack dab in the middle. As someone who’s seen Mexican skinheads cover “Back With a Bang” (not chill), I appreciate this. I also see this patch doing very well in Italy.

Every instrument onstage could be found in an elementary school music lab, and it’s got some Tommy Bahamas-looking motherfucker banging on a conga drum to match. There are horrifyingly loud sound clips of lord knows who yelling or chanting or something. Maybe this is not for me.

Goth people will dance regardless of rhythmic intentions, though. They just feel vibes. As soon as Douglas P. picked his guitar up, some fucked up, weird bohemian lady was on me like flies on shit. Stevie Nicks of the Third Reich fucking loooovvvveeedddd it.

Death in June are a weird dad band. Yes, it’s an ostensibly cool gay dad, but it’s still an old Dockers-wearing motherfucker who should leave it to handsome young kids from Denmark. The first half of this set reminded me of a Slipknot show. There is definitely some crossover in that department.

The vibe changed completely and noticeably during the second half. It seemed like Big D started having fun at this intimate gig, playing to 60 people at a goth club on a Tuesday at 9:30 PM. This half of the set was beautiful—passionate, honest, and pure. There were utterly gorgeous renditions of amazing, incredibly arranged songs. He was having fun. You can tell. He was actually enjoying playing music, unlike earlier, when it was like watching a kid smoking his last cigarette as he headed into the trenches.

Can you imagine how stressful it must be in a band like Death In June? People fucking hate you. They protest your shows and wish you were dead. They maybe sometimes pray for it. I think Douglas P. sings pretty songs. I don’t care about his political agenda. He came to Austin and played to 60 people like it could have been 1000. I respect that.”

I love Death in June.  So much that for a second, a quick second mind you, I contemplated going to their show the same night my partner had open heart surgery.  I didn’t go, mainly because I felt it in bad taste to see a band in late May that mentions dying in June in their name.  It was a bad enough omen that I sold two Death CDs the day of the show/surgery.  That being said, I have to agree with the Noisey reviewer’s point of view.  Seeing DIJ now isn’t like seeing them in the 90s.  When the mask actually meant something and they felt subversive.

@BRAINxTRUST

I’m usually not the one to write concert reviews.  I’ve read enough and, to be honest, I find them boring. The band was awesome, they played these songs, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Last night’s show was different, however.  I met up with a new friend, Urb ( @UrbThrasher ) at the Tonic Lounge.  It’s a venue that just started having “real” shows, not local bands playing to their friends.  Upon arrival I was greeted with this, which isn’t a good sign – literally!

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Even though Exmortus were the openers, a good club would still spell a band’s name correctly.  I mean, there’s a contract somewhere that has band names on it, correct?

When we finally make our way inside the band room I was a little surprised.  A short stage, maybe two feet tall with road cases as a barrier and an oddly shaped room.  I’ve never been to a show where a guitarist is just walking around with his guitar, warming up for his set.  He just wandered through the crowd like this is normal.  Cool.

Exmortus finally took the stage and slayed!  Dual guitar thrash attack with a drummer getting everything he could out of his tiny kit.  Lots of head banging on stage and in the small, but responsive crowd.  Highlights were a cover of Flight of the Bumblebee, yes, the classical song, and a cover of Ozzy’s Bark at the Moon!  Metal thrashing mad indeed!

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I was excited to see Krisiun as they are total road dogs playing multiple times in Portland every year.  Unfortunately, they did nothing for me.  An unnecessary seven string guitar that totally lacked riffs.  The drummer was talented, but blast beats should be used as accents and driving a song, not pummeling the audience into oblivion.

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Then came the Teutonic thrash masters Destruction!  The audience started to get excited when Schmier peeked through the back door.  The frenzy eventually erupted in to a mosh pit before the band even hit the stage!  They shredded through an hour long set, with only a small break due to a partial collapse of the drum riser!?!  Not sure what the stage crew did to fix it, but the respite was only temporary.  I withdrew to the back of the crowd due to some over-aggressive 300 pound pit members who more concerned with showing dominance than being able to realize there are 110 pound women they were crushing.  Destruction’s mission was complete: they came, they played, they destroyed.

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Outside of the amazing performances last night, was probably the coolest merch item I’ve ever purchased:

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A drum head signed by all of the members of Destruction and Krisiun. Thrash till death….. Bestial Invasion indeed!

–Brain Trust–

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In preparation for Portland’s stop on the Decibel tour, here is The Black Dahlia Murder’s Majesty Documentary.  It’s a great flick.  My favorite moment is the kid who tells the cameraman that making a documentary about the band is “sick,” only to have his dad show up seconds later and drag him to the car to go home.  Priceless!

 

Sunday is the 2014 edition of the Decibel tour at The Roseland in Portland, Oregon.  Noisem, Gorguts, The Black Dahlia Murder and grind legends Carcass.

For a little extra excitement drop by Music Millennium at 3158 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214 at 3pm and meet Trevor and the boys from The Black Dahlia Murder.  Oh, and get a chance to win a $100 shopping spree courtesy of the band.

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So I started off on this adventure with hopes of being able to show a friend a huge part of my past.  You see, I’ve spent over half my life in the music industry; in one form or another, I’ve profited from my favorite hobby.  It started right out of high school when I began managing a small record store in my home town, Everett, Washington.  Ever heard of it?  Most know for the largest Boeing plant in the world at the time, and a friend of mine since sixth grade murdered his family.  [Side note: He was invited to our 20 year high school, I was not.] Even as I age, I still find myself the outsider.

Last week, I got a phone call for the largest record store in town, who is a good friend of mine, and asked if I would be willing to conduct the Philip Anselmo & the Illegals sound check party and meet and greet. Having done this type of promotion hundreds of times before I was excited, as sound check parties are the easiest to deal with.  It gives the attendees something special to remember, and essentially costs the band, or Anselmo in this case, very little time and effort.  They do have to do a sound check, after all.  Everything was set….or so I thought.

Things seemed a bit off from the get go.  Something that would have never happened during my tenure at Universal Music Group.  If I can deal with Marilyn Manson during the height of the controversy, I can handle anything.  Unfortunately, doing someone a favor leaves you at their mercy, not being in the loop left me with a guest list, but no contact info.  Let the games begin.

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No one involved had any contact info for the tour manager.  This is a major hassle as one has to rely on the house staff to understand what you’re trying to accomplish, believe that the promotion is indeed confirmed with the band, and allow you into the venue when there isn’t enough staff to keep an eye on you.  Fortunately, after 20 years of these types of logistical issues, I know how to get my point across and have the staff believe why I’m there.  As such, we got sorted away fairly quickly.  And then the waiting game begins.

People think touring must be the greatest thing in the world.  What most fans don’t understand is band’s operate on a hurry-up-and-wait schedule.  Rush from one town to another only to wait around to sound check, eat crappy food, perform, and hit the road again.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  With a scheduled start time of 5pm and the weather hovering around 30 with a slight breeze, the folks outside were not happy campers.  And it was only slightly warmer inside as the club waits for the crowds to utilize their body heat as the heating source.

As is usual, sound check runs long.  I popped into the show room to watch a bit and it seemed dialing in the bass was the issue.  Add to that Phil isn’t singing, choosing to save his voice for the performance.  Totally understandable given his vocal delivery on Walk Through Exits Only.  Finally at 5:30 the band made their way out to the lobby.  Phil walks right over to me, spreads open my jacket to reveal my Bathory goat’s head shirt and busts out singing In Conspiracy with Satan.  I said my hello’s, shook some hands, and got some photos taken.  Taking time out of your day to help out some friends does have it’s benefits.

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With that, it was time to head out into the cold to check names off the list and do crowd control.  Nothing out of the ordinary here.  Very polite fans, smiling and excited to meet the band.  The cold didn’t seem to bother them as their excitement was overwhelming.  The vibe brought me back to my glory days.  Handing out golden tickets to sold out shows and helping make people fans for life…..but that’s a story for another day.

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— Brain Trust —