And there shall be shrieking violence: A review of the Summer Slaughter Tour
Twenty minutes into the show a couple of cops pushed their way through the crowd. A few minutes later a huge bouncer strolled out of the mosh pit with a stiffly moving metalhead clamped tightly by the neck under his arm. The Summer Slaughter Tour was going as expected.
B.B. King’s has taken to hosting metal shows on Sunday nights and July 8th was no exception. I’ve heard of some of the bands that were playing, but I’ve never actually heard any of their stuff before tonight. Ion Dissonance, and The Faceless are going to make a great addition to my music collection. Cattle Decapitation put on an amazing show, but I can only handle so much screeching and roaring before my ears refuse to process the input as musical. Cephalic Carnage and Necrophagist remained unsampled because in the end it does suck that B.B. King’s schedules these mighty fine metal shows for Sunday nights when Monday mornings loom large in the mind of a commuter.
The tour’s reputation must have preceded it, because there were more bouncers in the pit than there were metalheads. And they kept the lights on. Despite the best efforts to keep order, chaos still ensued until the somewhat flabby arm of the bouncer enforced order. The largest of them simply used his bulk to force an exit on whoever happened to be trapped in front of him, completely unable to get around the mighty gut.
The venue filled up quickly and kept on filling up. A frantic salesgirl was not taking any shit from some guy who felt $25 was too much for a band shirt. Yeah, it might be too much, but B.B. King’s takes a percentage of all sales, so the prices have to be bumped up. Also, someone just stole a stack of Cattle Decapitation T’s and the band was out $500. Good policy would have been to spare some of the security goons who kept breaking up the pit to watch over the merch. Instead, the thief just gave all the shirts out for free and I wondered if maybe a fan just robbed his favorite band.
Jeff Ventimiglia of The Faceless
The Faceless rocked. A gothic melody coiled through their songs that was reminiscent of Cradle of Filth’s Thornography. The pit exploded and I had to take over the human wall duties the fragile boy-child in front me was not able to keep up with. After one too many of the blindly kicking and punching balls of human ricocheted off me a large bruise materialized on my left arm. A tall heavily made up girl with well pierced ears pushed her way into the pit with an intent look on her face. The look quickly turned into a grimace of pain as she resurfaced clutching her face. It sucks getting hit in the bridge of the nose because you can’t help but cry. The guy who punched her tried to comfort her, but she waved him off and beat a retreat.
It has been a while since I’ve been to this kind of a show, and I forgot how enormous people could get. Metal shows are always filled with monsters. And apparently really tiny emo kids too. Where ten years ago it was generally a bunch of white guys with black T’s, jeans, and combat boots, these days the crowd is goth and punk and ghetto fabulous with lots of ethnicities and both genders represented much more equally. Some things stay the same: the guys are still generally unsure of what to do with girls, and so it’s hilarious to watch a large man push his way through the crowd only to stop suddenly and dare not be rude to a female.
“There is sweat in my eye and it’s not mine! I am so grossed out!” D42, faithful companion, screamed out after The Faceless got off stage. I ushered her over to the seating area which encircled the floor and on hand with eye drops screamed “Open up!!! Make your eyes say ‘aaah’!” over the booming filler music.
After a while of screaming myself hoarse while trying to have a conversation over the music I saw D42 going blank. She finally focused back in and announced “I’m thrown off by the fact that Dino, as in Fear Factory, is walking right behind you right now”
Enjoy my paparazzi shot of Dino as my camera finally dies
Dino Cezares’ latest band is called Divine Heresy and I definitely plan to check out “Bleed the Fifth” when it is released.
Here is another one of Dino in all his wonderful bulk
The lights finally went down and it seems the bouncers decided to let us meet our fates. The crowd went nuts for Cattle Decapitation and spazzed out all over the beer-covered floor, trying to damage each other without sliding around too much.
The band went SHRIEK!!! And the crowd went BLARGH!!! And that went on while Cattle Decapitation’s frontman, Travis Ryan, showed off his fine loogie catching skillz. A wall of plump metal flesh went up between me and the pit as my femaleness apparently exuded need for protection. Ryan covered the front of the crowd with water and sweat and probably some snot, although the loogies he pretty much kept under control.
A tall longhaired roadie jumped off the stage and was successfully carried for maybe two feet before running out of space and being dropped down. B.B. King’s is pretty small and you are in front of stage pretty much as long as you are not in front of the bar. That was the only crowd surfing to occur that night.
A few seconds of second-rate violence in total darkness
The mosh pit, however, got plenty more vigorous. Watch as an exhausted metalhead, a dead look in his glazed over eyes, gets run over by the freight train of moshing biomass. He is torn down; he is picked up. Desperately blinking he shakes his head as if trying to clear up the concussion he probably just received and pushed through the human walls around the pit. The biomass is gentle now and lets him fall forward toward the bar where $8 dollar beers, $3 water, and free ice await him.
Ryan got chatty with the crowd and overall, appeared to be having a damn good time. He joked around, bitched about parking in New York and talked about the tour. The crowd occasionally picked up a chant and he would launch into another song. Each song sounded like the same shrill pain to my ears, but he had so much energy and was so masterful with the loogie that it was just a pleasure to watch the man at work. The vocals as described by D42 were “ceaseless screeching, like being attacked by banshees.” Sort of odd for a band consisting of vegetarians who are bringing environmentally friendly messages to their fan base.
The Summer Slaughter Tour proved to me that going to B.B. King’s a couple of Sunday nights out of a month is a solid way to get exposed to good metal sound. It’s also the best time to hang around Times Square which is usually a hellpit of slowly moving tourists. B.B. King’s allows reentry, which, in turn, means that when there is a show, the metalheads fan out through Times Square and make the tourists speed up with nervous energy.
Article and Images Copyright © 2007 to ETL