What better way to jump back on the concert saddle than going to a hardcore punk show because we are totally hardcore too! Don’t even try to dispute that, our Gam Gam said so and she don’t mess around! But this article is not an ode to us but an ode to the lineup of local bands near and not so near that added a much needed dosage of grit and sweat to our Friday night. We all joined local punkers Pissed Regardless at the Soda Bar on Feb.9 to celebrate the release of their latest EP Feed The Birds. Before these fierce five got up on that stage, an array of badass bands tore a new one on that stage.
We dove head first into the hardcore grooves of Surface Report which also happened to be their first time playing at the Soda Bar. The quartet performed mostly from their 2017 album Stand By… and let me just say we all did anything but stand by! These hardcore mofos laid out the first track “One At A Time” which has calculated and paced riffs a la Gojira, yes that damn great! If you are craving the eclecticism of Dillinger Escape Plan, “Quid Pro Quo” will hit the spot. If you’re not feeling any of those bands, no problem because these hardcore gents had more of their own unique brand.
Surface Report may have started things out with those two killer songs, but once we hit mid set, the quartet enlisted their unpredictable “Lackey” and “Constellations” among others. The karate kids in the venue were bouncing around with enthusiasm recharging their strength but bid their time to bust out their moves. By the time Surface Report wrapped up their set with “Sidelines,” we were shook with a riveting energy and hunger for more. If you wannabe shook too, dive deep and check out their bandcamp here!
The Soda Bar was rumbling for more of that hardcore stuff, stuff more hardcore than a soda and Mentos cocktail, Burn Infinite sedated our shakes with their grit and started with the explosive duo “Boiling Point” and “InVein.” The quartet showed SD how they throw down with the unmerciful “Wrath Of The Gods,” stirring the karate kids in the venue and churned our butter..wait..you know what I mean, ya nasty bois and gurls! Taylor Stevens’ thick vocals fueled the rage and intensity of each track they belted out to the masses.
If you think that’s all I have to say about Burn Infinite, well think again! These guys were not done there and had one more final wave of face melting goodness to dish out because it wouldn’t be a hardcore show if they hadn’t. Stevens even joined the pit while as they capped off their set with the vicious “En Fury” and cast their swift and final “Judgement.” If you haven’t seen these guys, well damn you are missing out my friend because you don’t mess with Burn Infinite! Because not only will they light the fire under your ass but they will most likely melt it too. Time to separate the mice from the (wo)men, check out their Bandcamp if ya gots the guts!
National City natives, Nerve Control, revived the ember Burn Infinite left behind and doused it with more raw and hardcore kerosene when they took over the stage. These guys unloaded an unprecedented energy that will make you wet yourself with sweat and other bodily fluids your body decides to secrete. Needless to say Nerve Control gave everyone a major nerve to stir that pit up! The band continued to send us on an ultimate overdrive with their passionate performance and their intense tracks.
Vocalist Elton would hunch over and conceal his face while he gathered all the energy around him before unleashing it in to a sonic boom! Nerve Control broke the time and space continuum and next thing we knew, it was their time to go. That’s right, and just like that they were dunso! Man… Nerve Control will not leave you blue balling but they will leave you wanting more, and because more is better, see what I mean and check out their Bandcamp here.
Keeping the theme of short fuses alive and well were Short Temper and I mean the band, I’m not talking about the Ugh Metal staff’s issues. The quartet suckered punched us with “Dug Your Grave” from their split with fellow badasses Forged and kept it going with “I Don’t Need” before jumping right into “Cut Off.” The crowd was more flared up than that California reaper pepper you are definitely not going to eat!
Short Temper was raging so damn hard, they had minor technical difficulties. While they were trying to get the problem fixed, bassist Devlin told a nice little hippo joke which I will totally adopt if I remember it and pass it off as my own. Once they were up and running and gave us a set we will never forget, the band teased the crowd with their last song “Secrets (Slapshots)” by starting off this badass song with Disturbed’s David Draiman’s signature “ouchie” cry, you know that “Uh-ah-ah-ah-ah!” Those stinkers! Ok tough guys and gals you think you can handle Short Temper?! Well check out their Bandcamp here if you dare! Short Temper kept the frenzy going till we were all…
Pissed Regardless… Oh I mean the killer band, not us! Because our happy asses were having a great time! These locals wasted no time and went in for the kill and were ready to feed us their latest EP, Feed The Birds. The quintet started with their classic “Not So Swift” which is off of their 2013 debut self titled EP. Pissed Regardless immediately sprinkled a new song “No Reprieve” to follow it and it’s so damn great and empowering it’ll make you “drop dead!” *raises fists*
Now this special release party wouldn’t be completely okay or alright if Pissed Regardless didn’t unleash the vicious flock on us and “Feed The Birds.” These exuberant dudes kept the flock going with the ultra frisky “Empty” and the irresistible “Lipstick On A Pig.” PR’s flamin’ hot set didn’t stop there! They continued their badassery streak by adding more classics into their set such as our beloved “Shit Sack” and “Taking It Easy” ‘cause it was Friday night man!
If you were looking for a quiet walk in the metaphorical park on this Friday night, you came to the right place because Pissed Regardless and their hardcore squad delivered a release show you will never forget! Oh wait that doesn’t make much sense does it? Well I know what I said! And there was lots o’ good booze and merch too! Which I think tops a quiet stroll in the park because did I mention it was a Friday night?! It was a great way to start our year and left us feeling far from pissed. If you wanna get a feeling of how brutal these Birds were, then check out what the Klown thought of this EP here and get your copy here!
The night of October 26 was somewhat eventful and also capped off Ugh Metal’s busy month. The night before, the overlord and founder of LA based metal site Metal Assault, Andrew Bansal celebrated his birthday back in his city’s home base. Bansal was a bro and decided that a one-and-done shindig was simply not enough and decided to extend his birthday festivities into the Brick By Brick with Huntress. Talk about better to give than to receive, eh? So on that note, the night bolstered a great lineup that attracted any metalhead.
The night kicked off with a band that Ugh Metal has seen once before back in the summer, the metal upstart Meltdown. The Klown felt pretty stoked to see these paisas from Tijuana once again. Much like the last time, they delivered a solid opening for the night’s festivities. Even their warm-ups are awesome as hell, it even fooled The Klown into thinking the show was officially in full gear…again, till he caught.
The Klown likes to assume that that’s a good way to market yourself in case you’re shy or if you have curious attendees wondering what the band is selling. The collective began strongly and immediately emphasized the spirit of the old school heavy metal that are synonymous with the likes of the legendary Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Accept.
One of the songs that the collective treated us in the beginning was “The Final Chapter.” The frontman/guitarist Ian “El Pelosauve” Roa tapped into his inner Niklas Isfeldt of Dream Evil for some grandiose high power metal vocals. Although this time Roa didn’t have to endure technical difficulties and do a quick stand up routine, he still did his job as a frontman. Roa hyped the present crowd, invited them to get near the stage for a closer look, and was thankful to the early birds. The appreciation fest would not end there.
Roa gave a quick shout out to the birthday man, himself. He called Bansal up and performed a modified version of “Las Mañanitas” as he walked towards the stage to give his thanks, greetings, and acknowledgement to all. The band continued the festivities with “Kill The Night” and featured some pretty bitchin’ guitar licks, and sweet drumming from Alfredo “El Peligroso” Acuña.
The night finished with “The Living Dead” where Roa really stood out, ran around like a madman on stage, and was very interactive with everyone. Hell, the Klown even got in on that action when Roa hijacked Acuña’s high hat and ran around with a drumstick to make sure that everyone, including yours truly, hit it before their time was up.
After Meltdown cooled off, Malison took the stage to resume this jamboree. Malison should be familiar with y’all if you keep up with Ugh Metal. Aside from the name being tossed around a couple times prior, this would mark their second appearance in Ugh Metal. The trio from Oceanside became a quartet for that night’s festivities.
Unlike last time, however, the band took in the services of Nightshadow’s Danny Fang as an additional guitarist to add some extra twang into the mix. The locals kicked off their performance with “Seeker” which featured Mario Lovio and Fang’s guitar skills. The collective also premiered songs that were new to most attendees and shared classic songs with their loyal supporters.
From their batch of hits were “Death Crawlers” and “Nightmare: Pursuit” which do justice to the power metal genre, and have a bit of a signature twist from Malison. “Beyond The Sun” is still great to hear especially because it was upbeat, and highlighted Steven Rodina’s vocals and bass.
Speaking of Rodina, he’d keep the crowd riled up and controlled through his charisma, jokes and humility. Much like Meltdown, he extended his gratitude and wished Bansal a happy birthday. The band closed out with their theme song “Malison” which featured Lovio’s multiple solos and tradeoffs with Fang. Malison, just like last time, stood and delivered strongly and left fans satisfied, and gained more followers that night.
As the locals vacated the stage, the all female quartet from across the pond took the stage. “What are you talking about Klown?” He is talking about JOANovARC, plebian! Just like the historical figure that they named themselves after, they came and conquered. It is worth noting that this was their first time in the U.S. and had a mini tour. The best part of that deal is that we, as in those who went AND the Klown, were fortunate to be present for it.
San Diego also happened to be the final stop of their tour. With all that to digest, the hard rock group began their siege and broke in the crowd with some songs from their 2016 debut LP (Ride Of Your Life) such as “This Way.” During this performance, Lead vocalist/bassist Sam Walker, and rhythm guitarist/vox Laura Ozholl released their voices to the masses.
It would be a disservice if the Klown didn’t talk about lead guitarist/backup-vox Shelley Walker. This woman was a spectacle because she wasn’t simply rocking out and dishing out guitar solos, the guitarist got the crowd moving by engaging them. In fact, some audience members that began to trickle in caught a glimpse of Shelley doing her thing and she would introduced the band to fans that were fashionably late. They also treated us to a feel good anthem called “Seeds Of Summer.” This was perfect because most times in San Diego we don’t even know when summer officially ends.
The collective busted out a new song that night but, unfortunately, yours truly didn’t get the name of it. Still was catchy as hell though and featured all the stringed women singing together making their hard rock song into a harmonic and melodic one. The quartet dedicated “Girls Wanna Rock” to the other ladies that were present and also treated everyone to their catchy ode to the land of the rising sun with “Say Sayonara.”
JOANovARC were quite the display and even though they’re not “metal” enough for the elitists and staunch, they provided a nice change of pace you didn’t know you wanted. In fact, most peeps that saw these women present had a smile on their face like the drummer Debbie Wildish.
As mother England’s hidden gem cleared, the stage was being set for the hunt. A face that Ugh Metal and San Diego is familiar with, Eli Santana, stepped out alongside the other members of Huntress and began to shred away. As guitarist Blake Meahl and Santana shredded, the femme fatale known as Jill Janus came out and graced everyone with her presence before letting out some powerful alto-soprano vocals for the start of “Sorrow.”
Things picked up some more when Huntress dished out their first hits from their 2012 debut studio album “Spell Eater.” Janus even ditched her fancy jacket to show how serious she was about the enchanting us.
The night got better when Janus took a breather and announced that they would be playing a new song from an upcoming album that they’ve been working on. On that note, the band performed the ironically titled “Oh I Know It’s Bad” which can be described as a throwback to the old hard rock sounds and compositions popularized by ZZ Top and Heart.
A bit after, Janus once again took a breather and introduced a song with an anecdote and the history behind it. For those who didn’t know or weren’t aware “I Want To Fuck You To Death” was written and gifted to Janus by our patron saint of metal, Lemmy Kilmister upon a meeting that they had years back. We all enjoyed the song so much that even the birthday man graced us all at the pit and joined in the festivities. Why not? It was his shindig, damn it!
Before performing the rest of the set, Janus and company took the time to thank everyone and gave Bansal some birthday wishes. For those who don’t keep up with Metal Assault, Janus and Bansal have a long standing friendship so the Grand Poobah of Metal Assault wasn’t just going to get a simple “happy birthday.” No sir, Bansal was summoned to the stage, was serenaded a metal version of “Happy Birthday,” was given a shot of some good stuff as Janus stood in front of him to cheer and shimmy, and wished him a happy birthday before pecking him on the cheek.
After the Maharaja of Metal Assault departed, Huntress took it back to their debut album again by performing “Children.” Huntress capped off their performance with their most recognizable hit from the same album, “Eight Of Swords” in which Janus mesmerized everyone with her siren like screams as well as her appearance. Much like some of the songs before this one, Janus would have her signature golden blonde hair flowing like a witch harnessing some power before unleashing it to hex someone.
After the “Eight Of Swords” was performed, the Klown witnessed an ending he’s not accustomed to seeing. Janus ordered Santana, Meahl and bassist Eric Harris to drop to the floor and give her 20 push-ups! Janus added that it should be known that “Huntress is a tough mistress and needs to keep her men in shape.” Huntress’s skinman Tyler Meahl left his kit and stage and ignored Janus’s order which she simply quipped with “Uh-oh looks like someone needs a spanking!” We all laughed, as did she and thanked us once more before taking off altogether.
The Ugh Metal hooligans wore their Sunday best and headed over to the carnival or should I say the freak show! For once, the divalicious duo known as Jenny Oh and the Klown were not the stars of this particular freak show but they were still giddy. Oh, you didn’t know about this spectacle? Why it was on Oct.22 at the Brick By Brick! Still not ringing a bell? Well let me enlighten you ladies and germs!
This circus was no ordinary circus and it became a reunion of a sort because it was a show in which the Klown’s former clown college buddy headlined. That’s right the Klown got to see his buddy’s budding project and his band’s name shine brightly on the marquee. You probably haven’t heard of them but they go by the name of Avatar 😉 But before the hooligans could be wowed by the eccentric quintet, their excitement was set on “Overdrive” by their local heavy metal heroes.
Jenny Oh: Man! It’s been a good year to be us! PSYCHE! It’s always great to be us especially when we get to see other First Impressions alumni in action. We were not the only gruesome twosome in da haus!
Chuggo the Klown: Minus the gruesome part, it was Tzimani. The Klown shall take his nose off for the brotherly duo. Why? Before you start prying the rhetorical question, they stepped up big time when they were called in. They surprised us all when vocalist/guitarist Eddie Vazquez announced that they were the only other band on the bill. It was their best time to shine. Kudos to you Vazquez brothers!
J: Tzimani set up shop, and made that stage their biatch! Soon enough they began playing songs that were not included in their demo such as “Overdrive,” and dished out their hits “Final Hour” and “Get Me Out Of Here” which are available in their demo. These bros emitted a tremendous confidence and were still glowing from their recent inaugural American tour.
C: Right you are disgruntled one. “We Are The One” and “Endless Road” were among the new batch of songs that the Klown had the pleasure of hearing for the first time. The Klown was even surrounded by people who had never heard of this duo and talked about them right after.
J: Why would I be disgruntled especially after watching Tzimani?! While Eddie stirred our hearts and limbs with his vocals and riffs, drummer Sebastian Vazquez fed this vigorous set with more life causing everyone’s energy level to be on maximum “Overdrive”! *looks into non-existent camera and winks* You get it?!
J (cont.): Anyway, Eddie and Sebastian turned the pit into a mini dance floor. That’s right everyone, not one metalhead was spared from the dancing bug when Tzimani was on that stage. Tzimani’s mind blowing and intoxicating performance may have ripped the fabric of time, and space, and ended too soon, but alas these gentlemen made way for your Swedish compadre’s band.
C: Yeah, their performance was solid. Once again, it was great that those guys filled in when they were called up! But now the Klown must talk about a fellow clown, and the Klown’s former college roommate who happens to have a band now.
J: Good to see he kept the spirit of the circus alive by playing a lot of Swedish nursery rhymes, and old timey music IN SWEDISH! What more could we want?!
C: Well… for one a phone call. We could have pregamed before the show. The Klown and Johannes Eckerström could have had a proper reunion of the Lambda Omicron Lambda house! Two… well, the Klown can’t really think of another thing to ask for.
J: Johannes is off to bigger and better things, he don’t wanna hang with you no more! After we all warmed ourselves up with these fun lil tunes, Avatar went in for the kill and started with “Hail The Apocalypse.” I was not expecting our favorite freaks to drop this hit so soon into the set. But no complaints here!
C: Up yours! Johannes and the Klown are good friends and were great frat brothers! L.O.L. fun as hell! Oh… the Klown now gets the frat motto. In these troubled times of political turmoil, Johannes offered us citizenship to Avatar Country for those worthy enough. Of course the Klown’s history will make him a first priority for Avatar Country. Luckily the requirement for this application was to join Johannes with their national anthem, “New Land.”
J: SHUT UP AND TAKE MY ‘MERICANISM! I have a feeling that my citizenship will not be too far beyond this new day and you bet I will be singing this “New Land” at the top of my lungs loudly and proudly while I start anew in Avatar Country! I shall pick a villa where “The Eagle Has Landed” and sing this popular hit too. But the ever so generous Avatar didn’t just belt out their current hits, they blasted us to the past, and unleashed more classics!
C: Either way Johannes knew the Klown well and sang one of his favorite songs, “Bloody Angel.” But the one thing that happened that totally emphasized the fun loving clown in the frat house was his love of dancing and insisted that everyone join him for the surf rock anthem “Tooth, Beak and Claw.” “Dance, San Diego, Dance!” he yelled out and man did he get what he wanted.
J: We were all part of a 60’s beach montage soon enough! But we were no match for Johannes in this dance contest. Avatar added a hint of darkness to this fun fest and took us out to the “Black Waltz” and also performed “Paint Me Red.” MORE CLASSICS PLS!
C: The Klown doesn’t want to admit this but Johannes honored the clownhood better than the Klown and the U.S. Prez. He donned Pagliachi’s famous garbs and made the Klown feel… feelings with “Fiddler’s Farewell.”
J: We were a glass case of emotions! That Pagliachi costume was MUAH! Perfection! With this outfit, Johannes managed to add a subtle touch of lightheartedness to this heartbreaking anthem. Not that he needed extra outfits, and bells and other fancy stuff to enhance his performance. Your compadre also added a lot of heart in to the “Snow Lies Red.” “I will remember you, San Diego.” He said when he finished performing this song. *Swoons* Isn’t he dreamy?
C: Of course, he would. One thing that should go without saying is when the band took a breather. The Klown’s brochacho acknowledged Ugh Metal’s city by stating that when the presales were taking place, the band was being persuaded to cancel because they had only sold 17 tickets prior to the day.
C (cont.): Of course, some booed and Johannes simply halted the jeers by saying, “Why are you booing? You’re already here. There’s no point in booing when you’re already here!” He also poked fun at the fact that the show was on a Sunday night and how everyone else could be spending their time doing something else and said he would turn on some Netflix to watch Gilmore Girls.
J: I’m glad they persevered and in true San Diego fashion, the venue filled up on the day of. It is in our nature to procrastinate and to be indecisive 😉 This stop was their last headlining show till they shared the stage with In This Moment for their remaining dates. This deal was sweeter than cotton candy and tequila gummy bears combined! So with that said Avatar continued to make our blood boil with excitement with one of the most highly demanded song “For The Swarm.”
C: As much as the Klown has been emphasizing Johannes’s dedication to clowndom, the Klown has neglected the rest of the band who also had a huge input visually. Like the times Jonas Jarlsby kicked off some songs, did his solos or would either be face to face with Johannes, and how guitarist Tim Öhrström, bassist Henrik Sandelin and their eccentric skinsman John Alfredsson would also be playful.
J: Awww yeah! It takes a team to run a proper freak show and they did it so great especially when they all froze after finishing up a song and built the anticipation. Yes, there was plenty of giggling from our part as the quintet stood perfectly still like mannequins. Well poor Alfredsson had a mean hand cramp and discretely shook his hand as he stayed in character. Kudos to him! When these guys weren’t wowing us with their playful showmanship, they were having a lot of fun and poking fun at each other.
C: Well… it “Smells Like a Freak Show.” At least that’s what the fellow clown said before performing. The Klown became a little self-conscious regarding that because he swears he showered before going to the show. Good to know that Johannes still practices the teaching of Pennywise and busted out the red balloons. The Klown envies his piousness. The best part was when we got a little bit of the Blues that night.
J: Stick ‘em up for “Black Water”! This was a showdown we were waiting for a long time son. Avatar’s show of oddities was to die for and was the hottest and most underrated show this year but their faithful legion showed up threefold that night despite of the pessimistic presale numbers.
C: It’s a great thing that that didn’t stop the band in general. In fact, we received the best news of the night. That news was that of Johannes announcing that they would be returning with more acts next time. He liked what he saw, we impressed him, and he said that we could all brag about the time we saw them before they did when they return because we’re Californians and love that hipster shit. He’s not half wrong.
C(cont.):It was great seeing these guys and, as if it hasn’t been emphasized enough, this was one hell of a show. For those who pondered, you missed out on a great show. All we can do is cross our finger and look out to for the next time the freak show lands again. As for the Klown, he just wishes Johannes would have had the time to catch up a bit and is looking forwards to Avatar Country this January!
We are still riding high on our Industrial craving and needless to say that KMFDM hit the spot. We slapped on our cyber goth masks in hopes of being cool and headed down to the San Diego House of Blues on Oct.20 for this affair. Yes KMFDM may have been the name shining brightly in the marquee but this night was filled with another legend and a big surprise!
Eager fans were waiting to throw their horns up in the air and give in to the neon lights of this bash but KMFDM threw a pleasant curve ball by having their merch man Andrew “Ocelot” Lindsley open the show with his rhymes. That’s right, expect the unexpected kids! Ocelot rapped under his crew Distorted Crown and with their booing and bitching, most attendees welcomed the performance after the “WTF” factor faded. It was a pleasant surprised and a nice change of pace.
Some audience members morphed in to insufferable children. Even during the brief booing (I’m looking at you, whining man child behind us), Lindsley carried on with his passionate performance like a true professional. Ocelot trolled the haters and asked the crowd “How many of you are pissed that you’re at a rap show?” he asked while he kept his amusement at bay.
The rapper interwove powerful political messages and social issues we are facing today, and denounced white supremacy before kindly giving them a big “Fuck You” while raising his middle finger in the air, everyone else followed. Who knew middle fingers would be raised for a positive message? ‘Cause fuck those putos! Though Ocelot was not on the bill, it was a sobering and pleasant surprise. Loosen up people!
Once Ocelot was done stirring the pot, we got weird with OhGr. For those that are not familiar with this act let me just say that front man Kevin Ogilvie…WHOOPS! I mean Nivek Ogre, is an eccentric artist that sometimes keeps himself busy with his other little known industrial band called Skinny Puppy. Not sure if you’ve heard of it? You have?! Well we’re off to a good start then!
Ogre lets his hair down in OhGr and created a magnetic mystique about him along with his lively counterparts. This intrigue was cranked to the max with the otherworldly and contagious “maJik” not just because the song has a Lynchian vibe but also because Ogre became a mystery man. The frontman dawned a featureless mask as he performed the song before he stopped teasing our brown nosing happy asses and removed it. After the big reveal, Ogre stared out at the crowd with a seemingly stone face but anyone could see the mischief bubbling beneath the surface.
Ogre continued to give us more Lynchian trips with “Eyecandy” and even dedicated a song to the Ugh Metal fools. That’s right, Ohgr knows us and loves us so much, he sang one of many theme songs our theme song “Nitwitz.” GAHH! Okay maybe he didn’t actually dedicate it to us but if we had a soundtrack, you bet this song would be there. If our hellhounds had a personal soundtrack, they would have “Dog” in their soundtrack because we know that song would play when they are up to no good! And we HAD to have our dose of “Water” and “Devil.” YUMM!!
Ogre is a master of this artistic craft not just because of his impressive repertoire but because he knows how to reel in fans and casual viewers alike. Ogre pulls you in with his subtle interpretive dancing, his playful interactions, and his theatrical gestures. He even adopted a papier-mâché spider-stick thing a fan handed to him! No word when these two will be hitting the road to officially celebrate the papier-mâché’s addition. Anyway, for those that have not seen OhGr in action, you are missing out.
We loosened up with OhGr and were limber enough to shake our bootys to KMFDM! The metaphorical neon carpet was rolled out for the legendary industrial band as the grandiose intro to “D.I.Y” filled the venue. The silhouettes of founder/vocalist Sascha Konietzko and vocalist Lucia Cifarelli were the shadowy beacons in the light. Together, they scanned the sea of eager fans while they stood with regality and authority. Konietzko and Cifarelli were ready to give us the long awaited sermon we’ve been aching for and commanded us to let our “Freak Flag” fly!
Did we want more KMFDM?! “Hell Yeah” we did! Did we get more?! “Hell Yeah!” And that song is exactly what we got which was just as empowering as it was in their latest record. Wut? You didn’t know they still pumped out music?! No prob, casual listeners here’s a shameless self promo and check out what we thought about it here. Because we are morbid mofos KMFDM dedicated “Glam, Glitz, Guts & Gore” while Cifarelli nursed our broken hearts with “Murder My Heart.”
It wouldn’t be a KMFDM show without their classics! And so they delivered “WWIII,” unloaded “Stray Bullet,” gave us “A Drug Against War,” and capped off the night strongly with “Hau Ruck.” Konietzko and Cifarelli’s switch offs were done so great. Konietzko sung every song with a contagious jurisdiction and when he wasn’t taking over vocals, he kept watch over his mixing board while combing the crowd with a cigarette in his mouth.
Cifarelli was a living magnet and could effortlessly catch anyone’s eye. When the frontwoman wasn’t taking over with her melodic vocals and occasional growls, she was dancing and prowling and posing all over the stage. Lest we forget their touring guitarist Andee Blacksugar who was pouring all his riffy sugar on us! KMFDM are still loud and proud and are vibrant than ever. They are still an unstoppable industrial powerhouse, and will probably still be shouting their anthems even after WWIII happens and even after the Mecha-bigfoots take over.
For those who went to the sold out Metallica show back on August 6, you saw Gojira as the opener of that night and you welcomed them ridiculously well. The Klown and the rest of Ugh Metal didn’t go and thought that that would be the end of the French titans’ time in America’s Finest City. However, Pennywise and the metal gods smiled upon this fat Pagliachi’s misery and turned his frown upside down!
When Gojira announced their second leg, San Diego was named as one of their final stops of their tour. The Klown rejoiced some more when it was announced that the North Park Observatory would be the venue of choice and it would take place on October 19. Naturally, Ugh Metal was ecstatic for two reasons. Number one, it was in our neck of the woods and two, they brought Code Orange with them.
Unless you have been living under a rock, Code Orange changed to code white-hot ever since they released their breakthrough Forever this year which you can check out the review here. The Klown was surely excited when he found out that he was going to get a second chance on catching this group live since he couldn’t make the trip to Santa Ana earlier in the year. The band opened strongly and kept it “Real.”
The minute Joe Goldman’s strong bass strums combined with Jami Morgan’s double kicks and drumming, Eric Balderose and Reba Meyer’s powerful guitar twangs, had the trickling crowd moving faster towards the stage. The Klown had never seen Code Orange and was amazed to see that Morgan was the frontman.
Of course not all credit can go to the drumming frontman, the Klown would be doing a disservice to the sole power femme of the group. Meyer’s voice was infectious and had a lot of feeling to fit the theme of the song, which complimented Goldman’s erratic motions. Goldman bounced around the stage, interacted with his bandmates, and fueled the performance with more energy because who else will show you how to throw down!? Meyers shined even more when she took over for one of the most recognizable hits of the album “Bleeding in the Blur.”
The collective slightly toned it down with the performance of “Spy,” which had Morgan demanding a circle pit and also had Meyer and Goldman show off their physical performances making them a spectacle throughout their entire set. This band was a treat to see and totally showed everyone why they are the hottest commodity and closed their show-stealing set with the soothing “dream2.” The Klown can say this confidently, if you have the opportunity to see these guys do so they are worth your time and ears.
As the Code broke away from the stage, the proverbial torch would be passed on to the Floridian stoner/sludge quartet Torche. The band kicked off their set with the one of their mellowed out anthem “Minions.” They continued their melodious set by playing a slow version of their hit song “Loose Men.” The band went more on the stoner hard rock when they performed “Reverse Inverted” and had Jonathan Nuñez busting out some solos of his own.
Not far behind from the spotlight, bassist Eric Hernandez showcased some skills of his own and even interacted with the fans by the rails and the rest of the members of the band. The quartet played other calming but hard songs such as “Charge of the Brown Recluse” and their bonus song from the deluxe edition of their 2015 release Restarter, “Harmonslaught.” The band ended their set with “Tarpit Carnivore” from their 2007 EP In Return.
Although Torche played a solid performance the Klown feels like they should have opened and use the fire in their name to spark the night. Don’t take the Klown’s words the wrong way! He enjoyed the set very much and saw why Torche has a strong following. However, by comparison to Code Orange’s adrenaline soaked opening, it left the Klown feeling a bit languid and not just because of all the crap he consumed earlier in the day.
After we brushed off the good stuff that Torche lit for us, the night reignited for one of the best things to ever come out of France aside from great champagne, baguettes and bitchin’ cheese. The name Gojira should immediately ring a bell to any and all metalheads. Once Mario Duplantier climbed into his kit and began to perform, the rest of the French quartet dove right in and began with “Only Pain.”
The Observatory’s crowd erupted a lot faster than this review’s publication. The crowd roared, they headbanged with their horns held up high, and had a pit going before the Klown even knew it. It is worth noting that that same day was frontman/rhythm guitarist Joe Duplantier’s birthday. Talk about better to give than to receive, is the Klown right or what?
The collective revisited the famous album with the whales which you could say that Shamu wasn’t the only to be called “The Heaviest Matter of the Universe” especially once he jumped into the pit like a Sea World performing orca. *wink* Of course, before the Klown knew it, lead guitarist Christian Andreu alongside the birthday man started the infamous opening riffs to the band’s recent mega-hit “Stranded” and “The Cell.”
One word of warning though for the Klown’s peeps that are prone to seizures and similar disorders, a handful of their performances had a lot of strobe light action. The Klown felt like the paparazzi had finally caught the Klown doing something appropriate. The Klown cares enough to say that, if the opportunity presents itself enjoy at your own risk.
The Klown felt like it was his birthday the moment Gojira played some of the Klown’s all-time favorite songs such as “Backbone” and “L’Enfant Sauvage.” Aside from a killer performance by the Duplantiers and Andreu, the bassist Jean-Michel Labadie made sure that he would stand out just as much by trading places with Andreu. The bassist interacted with both Duplantiers and the crowd near the guardrail.
The band also applied air cannons for some added effects to their performance of the songs. The Klown was also surprised but ridiculously pleased to hear “Terra Inc.” and “Remembrance” which come from their 2003 The Link album. During the brief break that the stringed performers had, Mario went full force by doing a drum solo and showed us why he was deserving of multiple best drummer awards this year.
After Mario showed off his drumming prowess, the rest of the collective rejoined him on the stage, and continued with the soothing prog song “The Shooting Star,” and “The Gift of Guilt.” Before the mighty Gojira cleared the stage they treated us to an encore in the form of “Toxic Garbage Island” and another of the Klown’s favorite’s, “Vacuity” from their 2008 release The Way of All Flesh. Now if Randy Blythe would have been there outta nowhere to do “Adoration For None,” it would have been the ultimate send off. The Klown is sure that he’s not alone in that sentiment.
For those who didn’t get the chance to catch these gents the first time with Metallica, it was truly a redemption. The Klown has been a huge Gojira fan ever since he listened to their 2001 debut Terra Incognita and hoped to see them at least once in his hometown. For the locals who are like the Klown probably hoped for the same and got their wish that October night.
For those who have heard a couple of their hits, received a bit more exposure to some of their musical arsenal and in a grandiose fashion. The Klown still can’t help but still take his nose off and raise his glass to Code Orange for a stellar opening. With all that said, the Klown can only say merci beaucoup et jusqu’à la prochaine fois messieurs!
October, Friday the 13th was one hell of a date for everyone especially, for Ugh Metal. First, an avalanche of awesome albums releases, and then after a long day at the fortress reviewing albums and fighting the evils of adulthood, the fools needed to unwind and headed to the Brick By Brick for a night of naughty debauchery.
The night hosted a scandalous engagement for libertines to express themselves and have some wholesome fun involving great music, good booze and awesome acts. The sold out latex clad show featured an all star card of Industrial acts and gave us an experience we’ll never forget.
Chuggo the Klown: Indeed, narrator person. That night was indeed unforgettable. That Friday night was some party and became completely exclusive when it was announced that it was a sold out affair. That show was as exclusive as the Klown and his keg. The night was so cray that we were still waiting in line to see the show. The Klown was pretty fortunate to catch the LA duo Night Club.
Jenny Oh: I wasn’t fortunate to see Night Club *wipes tears away*. I did hear Emily Kavanaugh’s heavenly and sensual voice seeping through the Brick’s walls as I waited to be let in. And that had to suffice me.
C: The Klown feels for your loss. In fact, the Klown barely made it to half of the performance of one of her singles, “Dear Enemy.” The mood shifted once she announced that En Esch would be next and announced that she would be closing with “Bad Girl” and thanked everyone who made it through the door on time.
J: Why oh why?! *Sighs* Ooh well. I only saw Emily sing the very last verse of “Bad Girl” but was blessed by the brief sight of her striking a fierce pose. Oh wells, till next time Night Club! I may have missed out on this duo but my happy ass was so damn ready for En Esch! What better way to pregame for KMFDM’s Oct. 20th show? You just wait till I spew it out…if I spew it out amirite? The eccentric En Esch was ready to keep this party going and our blood flowin’.
C: The Klown was really glad to see the prince of perversion take the stage. En Esch’s music is good but his performance and showmanship were fantastic. All hail! He proclaimed his love to us, Mexico and his love for the music.
J: En Esch’s love fest wasn’t the only thing making us feel all sorts of warm, fuzzy tingles. If it wasn’t his piercing all seeing eyes, it was his twerk abilities towards the ultra sexy dance anthem “Do Me (Leather Strip Remix).” Erica Dilanjian’s vocals added extra intensity and tension and woooooooo! I got the vapors!
C: Right you are, sis. The original twerk king put on quite a performance and Dilanjian and the rest of the crew. The drummer even joined in on the fun by interacting alongside even if he wasn’t in the spotlight.
J: If there were any people weirded out by this night or this article already, then do as En Esch and Dilanjian said and sang, “Live And Let Live.” I approve of this message! The live performance of this song was extra contagious. It was so fun seeing the chemistry and playful interactions between these two. Perhaps someday we too shall become En Esch’s sidekicks!
C: En Esch gave us a treat in the form of KMFDM classics and some perversions which the Klown absolutely approved. The awesome thing about that was that he did this a week prior to the actual KMFDM show. Stay tuned for that one! But the other awesome part was that En Esch would surprise us with his repertoire and kept it lively. Even though En Esch managed to keep us animated and perverted, Christian Death managed to add some class to those feelings.
J: Aww yes, these goth rock legends dimmed the lights and recited their dark baritone poetry. *Swoon* But before Valor Kand could take us away to the other side with his hymns, he slinked out of the stage dressed in an elegant armor with his fiddle in hand.
C: Yeah the Klown didn’t know what to expect. All he knows is that some dude came out in some elegant armor with a bitchin’ helmet. Valor Kand… not only does it sounds like an awesome name but it sounds like an unknown badass knight or character from a fantasy tale. That dude even used his fiddle stick as a conductor’s wand to get us to cheer like an orchestra and showed us what “We Have Become.”
J: Yes, that’s what I just said you drunk fool. But one thing you did not say is how Kand was not the only one enchanting the stage, no! Bassist/vocalist Maitri was casting a special spell on us not just because she looked like a glammed up Venetian pirate vixen but also because of her passionate bass strumming and her swaying. She looked like a divine musical specter! Maitri showed off her haunting vocals in “Penitence Forevermore” and took the lead with a classic.
C: Ah yes, elegance incarnate. The Klown was trying to build up to it. Not the Klown’s fault that Kand spent more time onstage at the beginning. But that matters not because we went from festive to tranquil. It was a great performance to remind us all that the reason we go to shows is to be attentive of the performer’s talents. Maitri had an incredible voice and did it with feeling.
J: Kand treated the sold out venue by mentioning that the following song was the most requested song. The vocalist also addressed how they got almost on every tour and so they gave in and gave Maitri a cue and unleashed the famous bass and guitar intro for “Romeo’s Distress.” She added a tinge of anguish, deviance, and sensuality to this song making this track a little more memorable with her rendition. It gave us a taste of le petite mort!
C: Yes… indeed it was like looking at a modern day opera but surrounded with all kinds of folks… and a horse. Maitri and Kand made us feel feelings that night, such as heartbreak, anguish and lust that we didn’t even know we had.
J: Horses? I don’t know what you’re on right now, but I approve. Christian Death is still producing and thriving and are pleasing their faithful legions. Valor Kand is still oh so fascinating after all these years.
C: Yes, indeed. After the Death dearly departed, the Klown laid eyes on one of the hottest industrial group out there and *clears throat* one of the hottest girls in the band. Even though the Klown didn’t see Joe Letz he did see… Nancy was her name, right?
J: That’s right. We got to see the sexy little minx in the Combichrist clan called Neutered Nancy. This lovely lady was ready to take us to pound town and get us all wet with her moist drums. She surely knows how to get us all worked up, she filled in nicely for Joe Letz ;). Combichrist made the set hotter with “Today I Woke Up To The Rain of Blood” which built the anticipation with them strobe lights!
C: Andy LaPlegua incited the sold out crowd and showed why they are at the top of their game. However, our response showed LaPlegua that we were a crowd that he “Can’t Control.” It rendered him speechless. Y’know you been put over when the crowd you’re entertaining have left you speechless.
J: Well that’s what they get for neglecting us for about a decade! Hey man not exaggerating, LaPlegua acknowledged it himself ya know! The reception they received was a lot more shocking than any “Electrohead” and the constant screaming left our throats feeling like we had a “Throat Full Glass.” After ten years, San Diegan fans were thirsty for more Combichrist and even though we were all crammed like sardines. The sweaty human masses danced and jumped for every song the live trio dished out.
C: Speaking of thirst Nancy knew how to quench it. Literally, she poured some wawa on the drums and made it rain through the drum beats. Even guitarist Eric 13 joined in on this fun and showed that he wasn’t far from the action himself. Not only was he rocking out with his guitar but he even showed off his vocals to back up Andy.
J: Aww yeah! And you know what, Nancy was so naughty she kept knocking down her drums so that her roadie could pick ‘em up. She was keeping him on his toes man! Most importantly, this pasty vixen entrusted me to hold her drum set while she banged on them hard. It was magical man! Yes, Neutered Nancy may have been the star but LaPlegua and Eric13 also kicked major ass. LaPlegua was a great showman and a great hype man. Lest we forget the big gathering for “Maggots at the Party” where most members of the touring bands joined them onstage!
C: Yeah, the crowd also lost it when they performed “Get Your Body Beat.” The Klown was later told that Nancy was not who she was. Some of you may be thinking “What The Fuck Is Wrong With You?” in which the Klown shall respond in kind, the Klown has no shame whatsoever. It was great seeing this trio tear the Brick down and set us up for the Lords. The Lords Of Acid to be exact!
J: PRAISE THE LORDS! It was time! After getting worked up for these industrial legends, it was time to get down and dirrrrrteh! So much magick and tension was in the sweaty air and Dj Mea Fisher strutted out along with co-founder/keyboardist Praga Khan, the super stylish keyboardist Roland Turner and the rest of the crew! We also got to see Erica Dilanjian again!
C: Yes, let’s not forget the other ball of prolific energy, the bassist DieTrich Thrall. Who was on par and at Fisher’s mobility and energy level. They gave us a college experience by taking us to “Voodoo U.” They told us that we can “Do What You Wanna Do” and that they were looking for “Young Boys.” Of course, girls are welcomed!
J: Ya know, I didn’t intend to go to my college reunion but here it was and with Lords of Acid! And ladies were more than welcomed at this show, we were so welcomed and excited an eager lady fan threw her thong at DJ Mea after she requested a sexy little gift from the crowd. DJ Mea was so touched and excited about her first naughty gift by a fan, she invited the lucky lady up on stage, shared a smooch and a hug. So much love man!
C: The Klown was in love. Just wish his fucking intern wouldn’t have stolen his potential thunder. She was a potential second ex wife, damn it! The Klown wouldn’t have minded if he was whacked by a mic stand. He’s totally into that!
J: BAHAHAHA! Aww yes! That moment! *wipes tears away* That moment was awesome especially your stupid runny face. That was the whack that was heard around the Brick and you know what, I have to agree with DJ Mea, your pathetic intern did take that mic whack like a “Mr. Machoman.” Though I must admit I too was a little jelly of your intern especially after he got showered with hugs from DJ Mea and Erica, AND a free beer from Roland…I WANNA GET WHACKED TOO!
C: Biter! The Klown just said not long ago that he was totally into it! And it wasn’t just that. The Klown’s intern even got attention from the people and the ladies around him… bastard! *wipes tears and runny face from cheeks* That son’bitch even got “Scrood Bi U” briefly dedicated to him! Roland Turner took the words right out of the Klown’s mouth when he openly and rhetorically asked if Fisher was the hottest lead women ever.
J: Lucky bastard! DJ Mea may have been the belle of the Sextreme ball but can we also talk about Praga Khan’s acrobatic skills?! Mah Gurrrsch! He put yogis to shame especially when he repeatedly draped his left leg over his keyboard as he grinned, played, and sang to the masses! He knew how to get to us especially when he sang the timeless classic “Rough Sex/Take Control.” Also Roland’s hair and style was to die for! So much swag!
C: Yes, the Klown was jelly. He was quite the spectacle when Fisher, Dilanjian or Thrall weren’t moving around to hype us! The only thing that was missing from Praga Khan, Fisher and Turner was joining Combichrist for “Maggots at the Party.” The Klown knows that Fisher stayed extra limber when she asked for our state’s green stuff.
J: Luckily it’s legal and because it was a party, fans shared the wealth with her. After the adorable but feisty frontwoman had some of our green treasure on three separate occasions, it didn’t affect her showmanship… ya prudes! So chill out! She was a ball of energy and kudos to her for saying fuck it and getting extra comfortable and ditching her platform boots in the beginning of the set. A girl’s gotta be comfortable ya know! In fact, everyone was so comfortable and in party mode, Fisher invited all the lovely ladies in the venue to join her onstage and dance with her to the naughty anthem “Pussy.”
C: The song Fisher dedicated to her cat? Apparently she doesn’t like to hide it too much and wanted to see other cats. That night was awesome it was such a shame that, as that saying goes, all good things must come to an end. In our case, a “curfew” was the reason the show was over a little too soon. The Klown had no idea that he was a kid again… thank Pennywise for making him feel young again but not for ending the show abruptly.
J: BOO! Curfews are stupid! The venue groaned, booed and protested in sadness because we were not gonna see the Lords perform their final two sexy and iconic sermons of the night “I Sit On Acid” and “The Most Wonderful Girl.” *Sigh* The set suddenly ended right after “Scrood Bi U,” but alas, we eventually found solace by inhaling our state plant, chugging down a few brewskies, and basking in the now final moments of this amazing show. Might Lords of Acid be the best we’ve had so far? 😉 Me no know! But what I do know is that I can’t wait to see these guys swing by again to show us a really good time.
C: Let’s just say the Klown and the rest of the fans weren’t the only ones who were pissed. First, the Klown’s intern raining on the Klown’s parade by sabotaging a possible courtship with the Acid Queen that he sure he had clinched, then your fucking intern’s cat! Next, a curfew that the Klown didn’t know we had! The Klown feels you Roland. He truly does.
J: I can live with my lousy intern’s cat stealing people’s attention but that night, after having a whole song dedicated to her by our Acid Queen..that cat crossed the line! The twist?! I don’t have a cat…Oh! Nevermind, I understand what “Pussy” is about…Anyway, I coulda sworn that the bleached part of Roland’s chic do turned red! And so did ours! Before it faded to blue and then to a vibrant purple because purple is beautiful and satisfying. WHAT A NIGHT! Fans at least had the opportunity to mingle with members of LOA, Combichrist and Maitri of Christian Death making that night extra special and epic to make up for it. Don’t forget about us Lords of Acid! You dun left us Acid whipped!
C: Overall the night was still great despite of everything. The heat of the night was a catalyst for everything that took place. We laughed, danced and felt… things. It may have been a crazy night but that was to be expected since it was Friday the 13. The Klown hopes they swing by again maybe have their new album out by then, and the Klown hopes to have a second chance at courting Fisher!
J: And don’t forget the people in bondage outfits! Especially the horse play couple! What a Friday the 13th. Here’s to you Mea! *Puffs Pirouette*
To quote the marketing team of Ugh Metal, on “Sinday” Oct. 8, the creator of the Ugh Metal creators decided to drop off the Klown and the rest of the “crew” at the North Park Observatory, even though the Klown and his krew live in North Park. Two things happened prior, the first thing was that we were running late and didn’t wanna literally run to the Observatory. Two, we didn’t want to miss the opener that was kicking off this show of biblical proportions, and because the Klown is out of shape, like hell he was going to have some smeared clown-scara on his leading man face. Once inside, the Klown knew he was in for a treat.
The night opened with Dust Bolt. If you haven’t heard of Dust Bolt the Klown would highly recommend that you check them out. The quartet is amongst a current generation that represents a new wave of Teutonic thrash metal. The sounds that these gents produced were powerful and energetic. Imagine Kreator’s Miland “Mille” Patrozza’s vocals with Jurgen “Ventor” Reil’s thunderous and fast drumming combined with Sodom and Destruction with Tankard’s fun attitude.
Not only were we excited about seeing Dust Bolt but they too were excited. Early in the night, frontman/guitarist Lenny Breuss did what any frontman would and hyped the crowd which he would then excitedly confess to us all that not only were they happy to be in San Diego, and touring with two legends, but it was also their first time touring the United States. Breuss thanked Obituary for bringing them abroad.
This act of gratitude and giddiness showed sufficiently when bassist/vox Benedikt Münze would chime in and rocked his bass like no one’s business along with guitarist Flo Dehn when he would take over for a couple of solos. Some examples of those actions happened when they performed songs from their 2014 Awake The Riot album such as “Soul Erazor,” and “Agent Thrash,” and from their last album Mass Confusion, “Mind The Gap.”
The coolest part of that performance was the band’s energy and the music was as infectious as Breuss’s charisma. The vocalist dropped from the stage and approach clamoring fans that were front and center on the rail to perform his guitar’s twang while the shirtless drummer, Nico Remann, backed him up on stage with his booming double kicks. Did the Klown mention that Dust Bolt were the openers?
As much as the Klown wanted to keep seeing what other jolts of energy they could dish ou they unfortunately had to vacate. The electricity they left behind would be picked up and cause the following act to take that power. This is exactly what Power Trip did! The Klown has heard this band serendipitously before but never thought he would see these Dallas Cowboys in his neck of the woods. Power Trip brought forth some thrash with some lone star grit similar to that of Pantera. The night kicked off with “Soul Sacrifice” from their recent album Nightmare Logic.
The moment frontman Riley Gale’s vocals met with Chris Ulsh’s drumming and the guitar twang of Blake Ibanez, fans threw their metal horns in the air and raised them high for these Longhorns. The band really got a strong response when they picked up the pace with the “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe).” The pit grew with intensity along with our craving for beer and brisket because that’s what Texans eat, right?
These Mavericks brought forth some more noise and had the rowdy San Diegan crowd make a pit the size of their home state. Power Trip left the rampant crowd in a frenzy as they nailed their Sunday special in the form of “Crucifixion.” They went for the kill with “Firing Squad” and closed out the massacre with “Manifest Decimation.”
Our fictional and rhetorical death was followed up appropriately by one of the daddies of death metal, Obituary. This would mark the second time this Floridian quintet graces our page as live performers this year. In fact, the Klown and his sibling talked about them when Ugh Metal took a trip up to Santa Ana’s Observatory for the Decibel Magazine Tour which featured the mighty Kreator. Check that out when you can.
Anyway, this time it’s the Klown’s turn. That night, unlike the last time they performed, was a little different. The night featured a more… relaxed and interactive Obituary. Then again, this time, their set wasn’t as limited as it was last time. The quintet started their set with their infamous opener “Redneck Stomp.” Once Kenny Andrews began the opening riffs to the stomp, the North Park crowd began to cheer and lost their shit because they knew the show was already in full swing.
The instrumental classic would then be followed by “Sentence Day” from their latest self-titled album. By that point, John Tardy would chime in with his incomparable harsh vocals that some people don’t believe it to be death metal. The stoic frontman had his usual never fails to remind us that he is a veteran of the mosh pit and headbanging and his actions follow suit.
When Tardy wasn’t headbanging, he sang with his harsh vocals adding more character to the already classic death metal sound. Not one to be far behind is his brother Donald Tardy, who blasts his drums the way thrash drummers do. But the real treat by far was Trevor Peres, who decided to challenge the chugging throne of the Klown! During the brief breaks, Peres would start to drink, the crowd would chant “chug” and he proceeded to do so. Donald would not only find amusement with the reaction but would cheer him on as well with bassist Terry Butler joining in and applauding with approval.
This awesomeness would translate so well that by the time “Visions In My Head” ended, the band began to experience technical difficulties. Not even the darkness with orange backlights was enough to slow these gents down or kill the mood. Peres would liven up the mood and played some playful “Merrily We Roll Along” guitar riffs. For those that don’t know, that’s the Looney Tunes’ theme song. Of course, Andrews would join in briefly with some of his own.
When the power was back up, the quintet continued with “A Lesson In Violence” as if nothing had happened. If a clergy were present at the show, he would have agreed with the destination the Floridian band was going to send us to which was “Straight To Hell.” Of course,
we were “Dying” to hear more Obituary and if possible we wanted to hear them “‘Til Death.” Most importantly, as much as we didn’t want the moment to end, the band closed out their entire set with their prolific single from their debut album Slowly We Rot with the song of the same name.
As soon as Obituary migrated off of the stage, one of California’s Bay Area thrash titans would take the stage. If the world were a perfect place, the Big 4 of Thrash would actually be 5. The fifth member in that fold would be Exodus. The moment would also mark the first time Ugh Metal has seen the full, current, Exodus line-up separately. Although some were bummed out that Gary Holt wasn’t present, Ugh Metal had the pleasure of seeing Holt at last year’s SD Comic Con. Check that kick ass collab when you can.
The night began with “The Ballad of Leonard and Charles,” with the drummer Tom Hunting gracing the crowd with an open-armed strongman pose right before taking his place behind the kit during the beginning. He would soon be joined by guitarists Kragen Lum and Lee Altus, and bassist Jack Gibson. Ever the showman, frontman Steve Souza would make his appearance last, hyped the crowd and blasted the mic with his prolific and powerful vocals.
Exodus riled up the crowd further when they followed up with their newest classics “Blood In, Blood Out” and “Body Harvest” from their 2010 Exhibit B: The Human Condition
album. Souza would then announce that from there on they were going to play blasts from the past and superseded with “A Lesson In Violence.” The Klown saw the lesson have its effect when the pit grew and became more aggressive than a swarm of yellow jackets defending their hive. Of course, Souza showed all in attendance why Exodus deserves to be on a legendary throne and why they should be taken seriously at all times.
One example was when Souza, drenched in sweat, refused to stay in one spot. Souza did not stay in one place and hyped and interacted with fans along with Lum, Altus, and Gibson. Souza and Hunting’s presence were felt even when they were far from the spotlight . Not only did Hunting provoke the crowd through his drumming prowess but also with his strong, embracive poses such as throwing his arms up signaling for more energy.
Souza would then express his gratitude to the crowd that showed up and emphasized the fact that it was a Sunday night. The frontman voiced his love for San Diego and said that Exodus always had a great time and received a superb reception from the diverse San Diego crowd. The rest of the band would join in, expressively through applauses and cheer gestures to go along with Souza’s word and continued with more classics before calling it a night.
The night got more insane once Souza announced, through an anecdote, that we were “Bonded by Blood.” The night saw a
bigger circle pit when “The Toxic Waltz” started as well as a loud roaring chorus line that sang along with Souza. The night closed with one of their first hits, “Strike of the Beast.” Souza thanked fans once more and bowed out with the band which lingered on a bit further to bow out repeatedly.
Before the Klown signs off, he would like to acknowledge and thank Lee Altus for being an awesome guitarist and a true gentleman to the Klown’s despondent sibling. Altus made sure that the setlist that was snatched from her hand by some geezer would be returned to her hands.