Tours come and tours go. Great shows last forever in the memories of those lucky enough to have seen them.
Entombed, among the forefathers of the original Swedish death metal sound, met with Crowbar, the kings of New Orleans sludge, supported by Pro- Pain, the toughest of old-school New York Hardcore, and The Mighty Nimbus, who bring with their Doomy aesthetic enough crust for an entire bakery. Tell me what’s wrong with this concert, I dare you.
The simple fact of the matter is that every now and again, a show comes along that is truly something special. Here are four bands in decidedly different genres of music (although The Mighty Nimbus do have a bit of the sludge to them), coming together for a tour of the U.S. and blowing minds the whole night through. You’re damn right I got there early.
I had to, you see. I’ve heard The Mighty Nimbus before. But even so, I don’t think I could have been prepared for the onslaught that emanates from a stage with that band on it. The slow parts are slower, the fast parts are faster, and all of it is beyond volume. Heavy and huge enough to crush mountains with a single riff; for a band with only one record out, they’re almost frightening.
When they came onto the stage, I was maybe one of four or five people who moved to the front. And yes, when the guitarist closest to my side of the stage began to spit blood, I nearly lost my shit in approval. The audience was sparse, but the audience was beaten, and even though sometimes the heavier end of the musical spectrum seems like it’s a little too much for the B.B. King’s sound system, The Mighty Nimbus gave a strong and impressive performance, even without guitarist Erik Larson, who’s currently on tour with his main band, Alabama Thunderpussy.
As their set wore on, the crowd began to file into the club, and although at no point in the night was the show unpleasantly packed, there was a decent amount of people showing up on an otherwise unpleasant Monday night.
During the break between bands the club played Soulfly, Pantera and Meshuggah, which I only remember because of the amounts of ass those bands kick.
Pro-Pain were up next. Their singer, Gary, made fun of himself for having moved to Florida from the band’s original NYC home. “Hey, we all get old,” he said. Pro-Pain live is about the most intense thing I’ve seen since the first time I watched Fight Club, and I’ve seen them before, but they don’t seem to have weathered with age.They’re still bald, they still wear button-down work shirts, and they still rock like madmen. I’m not the biggest fan of hardcore the world has ever known, but it’s hard not to give it up for these veterans, even though they didn’t play “Don’t Kill Yourself To Live.”
The party was in full swing when Crowbar hit the stage. The band is out supporting their long-awaited new album, Lifesblood For The Downtrodden, and the material is incredible. Kirk Windstein, founder and brains behind the operation, has formed an entirely new band around himself, one which includes former Crowbar drummer Tommy Buckley (he left and came back), guitarist Stephen Gibb, and Pat Bruders on bass. The band is as heavy and powerful as ever, and his beard may be salt and pepper, but Windstein’s voice still has that raw, gut-wrenching howl that earned Crowbar such acclaim way back when they first started out.
Their set was a combination of new material and old. “All I Had I Gave” and the classic crowd-favorite “Planets Collide” brilliantly intertwined with “Slave No More,” and through it all, it was readily apparent that even through label troubles and years of grief in putting out this new album, Crowbar somehow haven’t missed a beat.
It was getting late by the time Entombed came out, and with an early work day on the horizon, I told myself I’d only stay for a little while. “Just a couple songs, then I’ll go. Just to see ‘Chief Rebel Angel.’ That’s all I need, then I’ll go.”
Yeah, right. Ninety minutes of Entombed later the show is over, and yeah, I’m standing by the door, but I’m still watching them get off the stage and the houselights are coming up. I’ve never seen them before, but I sure am glad I did this time around, because they’re tighter live than they are on CD, and even though this was the first night of the tour and there were some rough spots, the band came across incredibly and the crowd loved it. I like to think of their style as Classic Death Metal, where it’s not even necessarily about brutality, but it all just rocks and has a real groove to it. Entombed are the masters of that sound. This headlining show just further affirmed it.
Definitely one to remember, and easily worth the loss of sleep.