The venue, the fans, the feel of anticipation. It all came together Thursday March 16th at Big Shots up in Valparaiso. I personally had been waiting for this show since January. The Blood, Lust, Death Tour finally made it to us. With bands like Dope, that I personally have listened to since my preteens, and Combichrist, who has been making glorious noise in the U.S. since 2003. What fan of industrial metal wasn’t waiting for this show?
The venue was perfect for this show. This was my first time to Big Shots and let me tell you the atmosphere of the place along with the raw structure fed right into the music itself. Big Shots isn’t a fancy venue with carpet and décor on the walls. No. Big Shots is concrete floors and a black interior with an upper level where flags from bands line the railing. The place also sported no obvious dressing rooms, so if the bands weren’t on a tour bus or at their merch booth they were waling around the venue just like one of the fans. it is always a pleasure to see the artists we admire so much on the same level.
Being that the show was on a Thursday night, the crowd started out a bit slim. But for those that were there, they got to see the two local NWI bands, Among the Essence and Prey of Misfortune. Among the Essence was the first to play. They are a three piece band with just as much attitude and energy as a 5 piece band. They carried a quick punk-like tempo mixed with heavy vocals with a bit of groove metal style thrown in. Though they had the first set that was pretty short, they put on a great show for those of us that were already there for our evening. Next up was Prey of Misfortune. These guys presented a softer melodic tone in a couple of their songs, but don’t let that put you off. These songs, though beginning on a softer note, quickly gave way to hard hitting drum beats and guitar riffs you could find yourself moving and head banging to. It was the kind up metal that makes you really want to just get up and go do anything other than just sit or stand there in one spot. Prey of Misfortune is definitely a band I hope to see again.
Then came the bands we knew were going to be there. The advertised ones, if you will. And hold onto your beers because there were four of them! Taking the stage next was Davey Suicide and I was probably overly excited to see these guys, haha, but seriously what isn’t there to like about them.
Its a group of damn good looking guys, if I do say so myself, that put on a killer show with tons of energy and music that will and did get the crowd moving. I personally like a band that can throw in some stage props or costumes that add to a song or two, and Davey Suicide managed to pull that off with perfection. Although they would have had a killer show even without any extra stage or costume props thrown in. I think my two favorite songs they did were “Rise Above” and “Too Many Freaks”. Both are songs that you just cant help but to start moving to. The band members themselves were all over the stage. Yes, definitely not a band where each member is in their designated spot the whole show. You could practically see the energy emanating off of each one of them. And although they are crazy and chaotic on stage, off stage the guys are very chill and down to earth. I got to talk with Davey a bit after their set and it wasn’t anything crazy. Actually just casual conversation about our hair style and other people’s reaction to it. Haha.
September Mourning took the stage after Davey Suicide. These guys and lady have songs on the radio so I really expected the crowd to rush the stage when they came out but that wasn’t the case. Although there were a lot more people at the venue by this point in the night the crowd wasn’t nearly as energetic as they were with Davey Suicide. September Mourning does have a slightly more mellow tone to their music as well though. They do have songs that make you want to start moving with the beat but it wasn’t consistent throughout the set. The crowd participation on a few of the songs was quite impressive, however. I do not know if this was contributed to them having music on the national radio or the array of the crowd really did cover such a span of musical interest to include the varying sounds from September Mourning all the way to Combichrist. Either way, like I said, it was impressive. All in all it was a good set. Not a personal favorite but I definitely was glad I got to see them and experience the show they put on for us.
Finally it was time for the last two! The big guns, the heavy hitters, the whole reason I took a PTO day for work. Dope has been one of my favorite bands since I started listening to heavy music back in middle school. When I heard they were coming to Indiana I was ecstatic. Then I was given the opportunity to get into the show to take photos and do a review and I knew there was nothing that was going to stop me.
They played some of their best songs, you know the ones that EVERYONE knows and sings along with, regardless of which band they were actually there to see. This included “Fuck tha Police,” “Die MF Die” and “You Spin Me Around.” Dope was everything I hoped they would be as far as the energy and attitude on stage. The energy was through the roof and they got the people in the crowd jumping and screaming and singing along with every single song they played. The crowd that was attending was very mixed as far as age goes. There were definitely plenty there that weren’t even old enough to enjoy the bar and many who had obviously been listening to this music and going to shows for many years. But it seemed that everyone was just as excited as I was to be there watching Dope perform.
Combichrist, Combichrist, Combichrist!!!!! These guys were so freaking awesome. Although I have been a fan of Dope for many years now I would have to say that these guys were definitely right for being the headliners. The two drummers, yes two, were out on stage first. One was dressed in a pink tutu, a bikini top, an orange wig and black body paint covering his face! He was holding one of his floor toms giving us a beat, until he was finished and slung it back behind him and into the rest of his drum set. He had, by far, the busiest stage hand I have ever seen my entire life. I can pretty much guarantee that is the crowd wasn’t watching Andy(vocalist), they were watching Eric. He was doing everything from kicking his toms off the platform he was set up on to throwing his sticks in the air or across the stage to or towards the other drummer.
But aside from the entertaining antics the music was fucking sick. It was heaving hitting with a fast paced punk like attitude. People were literally smashed up against the stage barrier to get as close to these guys as they could while a mosh pit took place only a few steps behind them. To say the very least these guys killed it! They were amazing to see live. And its not like what you hear on their albums isn’t what you hear on stage either. Yes there is obviously the live aspects to it with the sounds and what not. But as soon as they started a song you knew what song it was. I don’t know about others but it kind of annoys me when I go to a show and see a band I’ve listened to many times and I can’t tell what song their going into because they don’t start it live like they start it on their album. But that’s just me.
Needless to say I would love to see Combichrist again! They have that charisma about them that just makes you want to see them play again and again and again.
Overall the show was great. Started off a bit slow with the crowd but the bands were awesome from start to finish. And aside from the headliners I truly hope to see and hear more from the local bands that were given the opportunity to open up for this show!
Until next time ladies and gents we’ll be KEEPING IT FUCKIN’ METAL!!!