Posted by: Necci – Jan 17, 2012
A show like this is sure not just to bring kids to the pit, rather to kick their doors down, put em in a chokehold, and drag them to Canal Club to see this show. If I remember correctly I only paid ten fucking dollars to get in to this gig. Ten bucks! I’m not rich. In fact, I’m more broke than I’ve been in a long time. I write this as I sip on coffee that I paid for by collecting all the change from the three pairs of jeans that I bought on sale at the Levi’s closeout last week. But ten bucks to see Dave Brockie get naked, Randy Blythe front Cannibis Corpse and a chance to catch tons of free swag? Not to mention Mensrea, Antietam, Throne from Royalty and Make like Murder? To put it bluntly: You’re a fucker for not going.
First off, Canal Club did a great job with the event. Regardless of their facilities, the fact that a legit concert venue is selling $3 PBRs is praise enough, but there were tattoos being inked on the first floor, lots of raffles and merch, and the new Cory Smoot Experiment album on sale. Just a ton of extracurricular stuff to do between the bands, when most of us are normally bored out of our minds. Maybe my concert/beer price scale has been thrown off by spending time in NY, but the $3 beer thing nearly brought tears to my eyes.
Raffling was done by Dave Brockie and Eve of Cakes by Eve fame. Brockie was hilarious; a natural entertainer, always about his wits. He wasted no time stripping down to his skivvies, and raffled off prize after prize to an eager audience. Speaking of prizes, local businesses really ponied up for this thing. Off the top of my head I can remember several hundred dollars in tattoo vouchers from Heroes & Ghosts, and at least one other local shop. Tons of shirts from Municipal Waste, GWAR, and other local faves, along with tour posters and a very cool GWAR vaporizer. The grandaddy of them all was a mysterious piece of art that Brockie claimed to have been working on for 5 years.
Make Like Murder came on to some unfortunate sound issues that come along with being the first band. I’ll give benefit of the doubt to the sound guy though as MLM’s guitarists had that scooped EQ kind of modern metal sound. All you could really hear was the bass drum and the vocalist, which was a shame because it looked like their lead guitarist could really rip it up. I’d describe their sound as a mix between a traditional Swedish melodic death and the kind of Boston-based melodic hardcore/metal sound that Shadows Fall made so popular in the early part of last decade. The vocalist has a pretty cool range, and this band seems like a unique staple in this town.
One of the awesome things about this show was the lack of boredom between sets. All the prizes got tossed out while the next band set up and did a quick sound check. Throne From Royalty took the stage and really fucked shit up. In a good way. Lots of energy from everyone in this band, and a nice change of pace from the super serious metallers before them. The sound was better, the energy was more lively, and there was good between song banter from the dudes up front.
Antietam 1862 was next and crushed it with their Civil War themed black metal which really just sounds like a lot of other American black metal bands. The musicianship here is high, especially from the poor drummer. God damn, it looked like he was going to die behind that kit, but he killed it. Absolutely killed it. There ain’t a lot of real black metal in the area but Antietam certainly does it well. They spared us from the ravishing grimness just long enough to invite Hallhammer from Cannibis Corpse up to sing Slayer’s “Hell Awaits” with the band. Awesome surprise, killer set.
The mighty weed eaters Cannabis Corpse were up next, and by far the highlight of the night was seeing Randy Blythe from Lamb of God up front. It was also the first show (I believe) with their new guitarist, Antietam frontman Brent Purgason. Musically they were as good as ever, driven by the rythmic force of the Hall twins--you shouldn’t expect these guys to fuck up. Blythe was as wild as usual, wearing sunglasses the entire time. He just thrashed harder than anyone around the stage, drinking bongwater and slamming his body into the front row. Did anyone else notice him fighting with someone in the front? I had stepped back after I took a few good pictures and couldn’t tell for sure. I’m not sure Randy will stick around with Cannibis, but it’s gonna be even harder to fill that void.
Dave Brockie Experiment (DBX) played probably my favorite set of the night. This scum punk trio played a short set of their usual classics like “40,000 times” and “Too Much Stuff.” As always, they ended with the GWAR classic “Sick of You,” which at this point is something of a Richmond anthem. Brockie finally raffled off his big piece of art, having Tony Foresta cut off his long locks and present them for sale. Most of it just ended up in the front row. Later on, Blythe finished the job and gave Dave a clean shave.
Mensrea finally played a pretty emotional tribute set to their fallen brother. A ton of technical death was shredded and Cory’s buds did a great job. Cory Smoot’s legacy was carved in stone with a heavy metal blade, his family got some helpful money, locals got tons of free swag and we all got to see some of the best Richmond has to offer. I probably got the order wrong, but it doesn’t really matter. All that matters is that we were there.
By Grant Fanning