Last night was my first time attending a metal show by myself, and also the first time I’ve been in the front row. It was a pretty darn great experience. 6 bands played, two of them local and the rest from various places. The overall theme of the night was gothic metal due to the headlining act of Moonspell.
The first two bands were local, Todesbonden being the first. They’re a very gothic band in the veign of Nightwish and Epica, with a female lead and lots of symphonic stuff going on. For an opening act they were quite decent indeed; the vocals were enjoyable and the bass guitar stood out to me as very punchy and energetic. The front-girl reminded me more of Simone (Epica) than Tarja or that new chick, which is cool because I prefer them.
The second band was a bit more of a disappointment, especially compared to the rest of the bands. Still, they weren’t too bad. I guess they were some sort of gothic metal; not really anything more specific that I know of. This was another female-lead group, but it rocked more. I think maybe the thing that made me enjoy it less was one of the guitarists prancing around the stage with his skin-tight outfit and black lipstick. Their entrance was pretty fun though. The girl came out in a trenchcoat and spiked goggles, and let out a pretty long scream. Fun enough I guess.
These guys were probably the highlight of the night for me. I’ve never heard of them before which is a shame. They’re a death/thrash metal band that seemed to verge on grindcore, signed to Relapse records, home of a ton of great metal bands. Three guys, drum/bass/guitar, with both the guitar and bass guys doing (growled/screamed) vocals. This was a great break from the first two acts. Every song was fast, heavy and hella fun. There were a lot times that they reminded me of Pig Destroyer. They had great stage presence, often joking around between songs and just being all charismatic. I bought their latest CD entitled Existence is Futile to commend them.
EDIT: I’m pretty sure this is them at the very show I attended! I can’t see myself, but I should be right in front of the guitarist. Watch at MetalInjection.net
Secrets of the Moon
Apparently these guys are from Germany, and this was their first time touring the US. It was pretty cool hearing the front man counting off in German for the sound check. They’re a pretty straight black metal band, not much gothic about them, drums/2 guitars/bass. Thankfully they steered away from the corpse paint like most other BM acts seem to be doing now. The music was ripping. One of the coolest bits for me was the fact that the bass player is a girl, and she seemed very into the music. Of course being into black metal shows itself differently than for other music. Very awesome altogether.
Dino Cazares’ post-Fear Factory venture replaced Samael on the ticket for this show, I’m not sure if it’s a tour-long thing or what. These guys are really the reason I showed up. It was cool seeing Dino and Tim Yeung (the drummer) chatting it up with the guys in line before the doors opened. They’re quite decent fellows. The music of course was great, and it seemed most people in the audience knew all of the words. I knew at least a few, like Bleed the Fifth and some of Failed Creation. Really fun metalcore band.
These guys seem to be a lot more popular than I would have thought. Pretty much everyone in the audience sang along to every one of their songs. Seems strange for a gothic black metal band from Portugal. Anyway, the show was entertaining if not entirely my thing, as more often that not the gothic part of their subgenre would rear its pathetic little head and bring down the heavy. Still, a lot of their act tore it up quite decently. They played two encores, which I’d rather they hadn’t really as I was pretty worn out by that point.
The venue, a place called Jaxx in Springfield VA, was pretty nice. It’s a small place, kind of a glorified bar, sitting in the middle of a small plaza next to an afghan restaurant or something. There was hardly any parking but I got there early enough to not have a problem. I was able to buy tickets upon entering, and got right to the front row and didn’t leave until the end. There were a few points where the crowd behind me pushed me against the bars hard enough to make me feel pain, but it was all part of the metal experience. Now I’m living with the aftereffects; a really sore neck and lots of buzzing in my ears. Still, I don’t regret it.