Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wake Up Dead

Last night I did something I haven't done in about twenty years: I went to see Megadeth in concert. They're touring with Slayer and (apparently) decided to use their off day to rake in a little extra cash by driving over to Fargo to play a gig. Donna and I went with a couple friends from work (both of whom in true metal fashion were in the bag when we got there).

Of course, in situations like this you have to put up with the one-off opening acts. In this case, there were three. Some would say three too many, and I would be one of those people.

First up was some band who's name I can't remember. They sucked, so it's okay. They had a late 80's Nine Inch Nails looks to them, but their music was more like that time Trent Reznor's cat got gang raped by those rabid banshees who were in turn being gang raped by Polish police sirens.

The second band was called Warbringer, and with a solid early-eighties metal name like that, I was hoping for some good metal. I got some pretty heavy riffs accompanied by this guy:

I am become death, the destroyer of comprehensible lyrics.

They could be pretty cool, but even as a teenager I wasn't into the growl-really-low-and-don't-say-anything-that-can-be-understood school of singers. Dave Mustaine ain't Pavaratti, but his vocals work for me.

The third act was a true abomination in the eyes of the Lord, Suicide Silence. Jesus Christ. This band is apparently on the forefront of the movement to replace bridges, verses and solos with breakdowns. Each song lasted about twelve minutes, and consisted entirely of a ten-second lightning riff followed by a two minute breakdown consisting of atonal screaming and the lead singer stomping in rythm to the bass drum. Kids eat this crap up apparently, but then that's why kids are morons.

The singer looks like he's on the ginko biloba and heroin diet, as he was so thin as to cease to be visible when turned sideways. I shall call him Trainspotter. Fashion tip, Trainspotter: if you're going to wear sneakers on stage, buy jeans that don't end halfway up your socks.

Suicide Silence: this band committed neither of
these things and we were all the poorer for it.

Easily the highlight of Suicide Silence for me was when Trainspotter introduced a song by saying he wrote it for his daughter. He then proceeded to screech for eight and a half minutes. Here are the lyrics, as I understood them:

Yeaaargh blaf brop brop
Zheeeyaahhh brot brot glumphhh
Neeeyahh rarrhh brop brop
Wraaaa norf nughht yearrgh

And so on.

Donna and I had quite the time holding pretend conversations between Trainspotter and his daughter: "Daddy, play that song you wrote for me!" "Of course, pumpkin. Yeaaargh blaf brop brop..." Good times.

This would be a good time to comment on the state of moshing in 2009. That is to say, it is both tamer and more annoying that I remember it. Tamer in that I saw no blood. I saw people spend large parts of concerts on the floor unconscious at a Slayer concert in the late eighties. They'd wake up ten minutes later, realize where they were, get up and start the devil signing anew. Last night was more like square dancing for short bussers.

It was more annoying though because I was constantly getting hit from behind. Blindsiding is uncool and leads to poor hygine and cancer. I simply began keeping one eye behind me and raised my elbow when appropriate. Okay, so I threw an elbow when appropriate. Which turned out to be when anyone under the age of thirty approached me. I have to admit, throwing elbows at the heads of teenagers is way more satisfying now that I'm over 200 pounds and can get some force behind it.

After that is was on to the main event. Megadeth was pretty awesome considering 1) the show got moved to a smaller venue[*], 2) the acoustics in The Venue are not conducive to heavy metal, and 3) Dave Mustaine is like 48 or something which is 116 in metal years.

I managed to shoot some video. The audio is pretty bad early on. Once the solo kick in it improves somewhat. Dave can still play.

All in all is was a good time. Megadeth can still bring it, though Dave Ellefson not being on stage with Mustaine is just plain weird. I'd love to see them in a venue with better acoustics. Oh, and play Devil's Island next time.

Dave Mustaine's dad? A roadie? Both?

[*] Another data point in support of the idea that only concerts that feature someone wearing a cowboy hat unironically can sell out a big venue in Fargo.

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