Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Metal Winter Break part 2: Destruction with Into Eternity, Municipal Waste, Defcon 4, and Hekseri [Middle East, Cambridge, 2/4/2007]

When I left, the Bears were up on the Colts by like 14-6, which would probably be the last time they led in this game. I didn't care, though, continuing to navigate south. I got in a little before doors...well, if doors had been at 8 as originally intended, and not at 8:30. This lameness probably cost Destruction a few songs and definitely pissed the audience off, because shortly after 8 we were shepherded outside into the subfreezing temperatures to wait for the official Einlass. This was pretty freakin' ridiculous, but not the lamest thing the club would do this night. In the process I got a discounted ticket from one of the guys in CSDO; it was probably a legit extra, because there's no way Ticketmaster would let an eighteen-dollar ticket out of their possession without a service charge that would make 'scalping' it for twenty bucks profitable. So I saved five bucks to drop on merch later.

Eventually they let us by drips and drabs in the fucking building, and I got in, processed, and drinkin'. It only took Hekseri a little while to set up once people started getting in, and from that point, the bands were go.

Hekseri [5/7]
This was a decent set, though their sound wasn't as good as when I saw them the last time, despite that being in a much smaller venue. It may be just where I was standing, but everyone was similarly within a few feet of the stage; it may be just that they were the first band on, but it's also likely that basically everyone inside was down for Hekseri, it's just that the staff wasn't letting people in the fucking club. Seriously, doors were some fucking bullshit. This time around, the sound seemed a little more thrash-oriented, though the black metal elements are still obviously present; this, though, probably is just a function of the bill. Good stufff, and they need to re-press FDHB so I can get a CD of it instead of just the shirt...for which I inadvertently gave Rich a hard time; I'll spot him some PBR the next time I get a chance.
It's germane here to mention that Jason is the best-kept secret in Boston heavy metal. Nobody ever notices him because in this band, he's on stage with two very good-looking and seriously talented female guitarists, but the dude can fucken play. I was parked in front of him for this set, and as a bass player couldn't help but notice his annihilating speed and technique. Just monstrous. The next time you see Hekseri, stop staring at Megan and Larissa for a second and look over at Jason; it's definitely worth it, and you won't question why you're looking at a sweaty dude instead of the other options available.

Defcon 4 [5/7]
Because I had stepped back to go through the merch tables and get some more beer, I was a little ways back when this band started playing, which was probably for the best; there were more people in the venue now, and those with more of an interest in this band's grindy style of hardcore deserved to get closer up rather than some old dude with prominent Blind Guardian patches on his rig. The band put up a good set, though not really one that was going to be immediately memorable for me. This has more to do with the style than the band; their execution was dead-on, and the crowd reacted well to them, finally getting the pit going on their second song -- though in fairness, there weren't really enough people in the building for a viable pit until the very end of Hekseri's set.

Municipal Waste [6/7]
It was between Defcon and the Waste that I got my Hekseri shirt, so by the time I got back to the floor, I was further back than I've ever seen a show in this building. The floor was fucking packed with both punks and metalheads, save the huge pit in the middle, and the Waste did not disappoint. They ripped through a bunch of old shit, but also tossed in some brand-new songs, and for those worried about them now doing "gay breakdowns" since they'll be recording with Zeuss, this is absolutely not the case. It's still good old kickass crossover, because it's still fucking Municipal Waste!
The only thing "gay" about this set was the behavior of the club security. Not only were they ejecting people for crowdsurfing, they confiscated the fucking boogie board. This is by far the lamest behavior I've ever seen out of secus, and not only have I been to both Mark's and Tabu, I was also at that North-Shore-infamous VFW show in Manchester where the bands got read that bizarre riot act before the show started. If you book a thrash or hardcore show, you are going to get crowdsurfing and intense moshing. If you book Municipal Waste, you are going to get people riding around on boogie boards. If you don't want to handle this, don't book the show! I can understand the venue's need to avoid liability from people cracking their heads open on the floor, but there's no need to eject people instead of just running them to the back of the hall, and it's not cool to confiscate band equipment.

In addition to the obligato shirt and patch, I also got the tape re-release of Waste 'Em All, mostly for the Tango and Thrash EP. I'll probably convert that tomorrow to listen to later; it's almost definitely the best EP based entirely on Kurt Russell movies ever released.

Into Eternity [5/7]
I and basically everyone else in the room would much rather have had Sadus, or instead that Hirax and Municipal Waste had both gone for the full run rather than splitting the third spot. However, this meant that as the floor emptied out, I could go over, get a beer, and get right up to the front pretty much unchallenged -- where I could not only see the band, but also hold down floor space for Destruction. Into Eternity put on a decent performance, but they'll fit much better with Dark Tranquillity and The Haunted when that tour comes around (Metal Spring Break, end of next month) than they did on this bill. In this lineup, they were out of place in style as well as intent, but there were still a bunch of people into them.

Destruction [7/7]
They didn't play quite as long as I'd ideally have liked, but I really don't know how this set could have gone much better on this continent. I was right up front, it got nice and violent, and the band freakin killed. They played a good mix of old and new stuff, and the crowd, in a good sign for a reunited band, knew stuff from both eras very well and about in equal measure. It was a nice long set, but cut off by a 12:30 sound curfew; if the freakin club had started the show when it was supposed to, we would have gotten more Destruction, and less time turning into metalheadsicles. Still a great show; all the Metal Winter Break shows are looking to be.

I'm going to have to look at the Wacken lineup again; if they have enough of the other people in place to do "Alliance of Hellhoundz" live, it will be freakin sweet.

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