Xyon's Rambles

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

9:33 AM

How Many Vegetables Had To Die For Your Stupid Salad OR An Evening With AntiTrust and Downbleed

This is a post from over at Team Rock about a show I went to about 2 weeks ago. I wanted to post it over here so my archives would collect it....

One would think that with the Rock City Cafe due to close next weekend that the mood would be somewhat depressing. Not the case when AntiTrust and Downbleed are there! A favorite place of both bands, Rock City Cafe will be remembered well by both bands(even if I was only able to make it this one night). This past Saturday night marked both bands final, full performances there. I had been on top of a mountain in Mendota, VA all day (hawk watch) and decided to head on up and catch the shows.


The night before, Downbleed blew the top off the 7th Street Cafe in Bristol and Saturday night was no different. The ability to draw the audience into the bands world of rock with their hard and heavy music has become Downbleed's trademark (at least for me).

The Band:

Dawg - When you talk to Dawg, his is one of the nicest persons you could possibly talk with. The thing not to do though, is get between him and his guitar. He blisters through each song while making it all look so easy. Don't let his nice guy charm deceive you because he is meaner than hell on the guitar.

Leona - She is the Bassest extraordinaire. Her red hair only fuels her passion as she makes the bass contort to her wishes. She has fingers of steel that whip over the strings and sometimes applies so much pressure that they snap every now and again.

Doug - Drummer and Lead Vocals. Doug's heart and soul downbleeds onto the stage with every song. His intensity on the drums are matched with his equally intense vocals. He is only upstaged on stage by his son...

...which happened Saturday night. During their 3rd song, "Bleed For Me," Gunter, Doug and Leona's 7 year old son, grabbed a microphone and accompanied his dad on vocals. He had complete stage control as he danced around (moshing for kids 101) and singing. Like father - Like son.


After a brief intermission, AntiTrust came on stage and matched Downbleed's intensity on stage, if not surpassing it a few times. But first I should back up a bit...

... when I arrived, I ate dinner then went into the concert area and sat far in the back. I was hidden in a deep booth. Being both worn out and sunburned, I wanted just to sit and gel a bit. AntiTrust was busy setting up their stuff and getting the sound tweaked right. They were worried that Downbleed was not going to show up (who had the Amp they share) and, to say the least, the tension was high. Between, as they put it - "PMSing" and thinking they would have to run their sound through the board (and not the amp) the tempers were running short. It was pretty amusing scene to see (sorry Chris, I had to put it in!). Also add the fact that they had to replace the drummer recently and he only had one real practice session with the band (Friday night). So they were a little on edge, but that is ok because it showed me how much they care about their music and doing things right. In the end it all would come together pretty nicely.

At times using the whole concert area as their stage, AntiTrust's set was composed of mostly original with a couple of covers. They played everything from their "slow down" song, which was a cool original that reminded me of a Type O Negative kinda of song, to their "Moshing" song with was pure, hard metal through and through. Chris' (lead singer) stage performance was top notch and I couldn't find the flaws with the drums (I am sure they could tell you though), in fact, he put on a brilliant drum solo. If this is what JB is like on his first show, with only 4 hours of real practice, he will be that much better when he is able to really learn the songs. Adam's (lead guitar) guitar playing ability was really amazing (the last song in particular). I had moved to the front of the stage (right side) and watched as his hands flew over the guitar at tremendous speeds. I almost felt sorry for the guitar! Ferg (bass) and Bob (guitar) did a great job as well. The were both running around on stage and off, keeping the audience trying figure out what would be next. Expect great things from AntTrust in the future.

The only flaw in the show, that I could really tell, was a little difficulty with the sound and the microphone. Keep in mind, they were doing it themselves - at times having to adjust the board while they were in the middle of a song. They seemed to work through it all pretty good considering.

In this day of bands being thrown into the spotlight before they are really ready and one or two people emerging as "leader(s)" of the band, it is really refreshing to see bands like AntiTrust and Downbleed that have equality amond the ranks (or lack of ranks). Both bands have an all or nothing attitude toward their respective bands with the whole band involved with the decision making process. In my opinion, for what it worth, this style will keep them together for a long time. Let's hope anyway. :)

Do yourself a favor and make one of these shows soon!

I need to thank Downbleed and AntiTrust (espically Chris - you freakin' rule!) for making me feel like the guest of honor. I truly am only a bloke who writes at length about shows I go and see and didn't deserve all the praise. Just keep your shows rocking and often. Thank you all for a tremendous evening and one I hope to repeat real soon!


Tuesday, September 16, 2003

8:43 AM

They could have at least warned me....

So I am reading this article on the Emmy Awards. I think, "Shit, I didn't know it aired - well, let's see who won." I read the entire article - seeing who won here...there...read the big suprise emmy...all of it and then came the last sentence.

"The Primetime Emmys will air on Sunday, Sept. 21 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX."

WTF! Pre-recorded! Those bastards, they could have mentioned that in the article....

Monday, September 15, 2003

2:31 PM

So I went to see Type O Negative…

Son of a Bitch, where to begin? So much happened –

Ok, Rock and I head to Spartanburg, SC to a place called Ground Zero for the Type O Negative show with Lacuna Coil opening on Friday night. After an uneventful drive and a quick dinner we still arrived earlier than we thought we would. They have just finished the section of I-26 between the TN/NC border and Asheville. Hell of a difference than what it used to be…

We arrive 2 hours early of the club opening and get in line. As luck would have it, there were only about 30 people ahead of us. As soon as we get in line, the cars steadily start entering the parking lot and the line quickly grows behind us.

From way on the other side of the parking lot I start hearing some one yelling. It gradually started picking up volume and I turn to look and I see a guy running across the parking lot, screaming about how Type O Negative rules and waving his arms about. I immediately think, “What kind of drug this guy is on?” I may have even verbally said it out loud, not sure. Then I see the camera he is running toward. The crowd starts laughing at the poor individual whom is apparently a fan doing something to get something free. We hear the “director” tell him to go back and do it again. As soon as the parking lot dust clears (from the last car to drive in) – the guy goes again.


This time the crowd gives him a big cheer and applause. The “director” looks at the crowd while the poor guy is catching his breath and says: “Please – quiet on the set during the action. We are trying to film here.” He then turns to the guy and says – “One more time.” As the guy, who is not a small fellow, walks back across the long, gravel, parking lot, he turns to the line and says with a slight chuckle and grin, “Anymore noise and I will fucking kill you all!” So once more he runs across the parking lot screaming.

Then the director turns his attention to two chicks who were dressed somewhat Goth that had been leaning up against the Type O Negative bus watching the guy sprinting and yelling as he ran toward the camera. The camera gets shoved in their face and they have to scream for the camera. After it was over, the participants walk back over and get in line.

It turned out they were filming for the next Type O Negative DVD. They must do something similar at every show. Must have an idea that people will do most anything to have a “chance” to get on the DVD (and get a free copy if they do). But I digress…

Anyway, Rock and I don’t have tickets but were sure that because of our place in line, we would definitely get them. The sun had finally gone down over the horizon and it was starting to cool down. I was already ready for a beer and still had to wait on the people with tickets to go first before we could buy them. Then someone came up and said that they had an extra ticket and I could buy his extra. I cleared it with Rock, (he wasn’t going to be drinking and knew I was parched) bought his ticket, and went straight for the bar.

After Rock re-joined me up front (4th row back, left center stage) we patiently waited for the bands to start. I had 3 beers in me and was already talking to everybody around. We realized were standing next to Adam, who is the bassist from antiTrust (a local band from SW Virginia) and his girlfriend (sorry, I never did catch your name ;) ).

Lacuna Coil started and was real damn good. I had no idea what to expect. They had duel lead singers – one male and one female. Their music seemed to draw from both the Goth Metal Underground Scene and from Classic Rock. At one point they could have been a Heavy Metal version of Heart. Hailing out of Italy, Lacuna Coil signed with an International Label in 1998. They have toured with everybody from Anthrax to Type O Negative. A band that has recently made it big that they could be compared to is Evanescence, although Lacuna Coil has been together for a few years longer.

End promo.

Ok, so they kicked @ss. After Lacuna Coil, the crowd was pretty damn compacted into the stage and was able to relax a bit before the Type O started. A good 30 minutes before starting the main show, they started playing circus music - circa 1920’s Big Band Era. When it first started, everybody thought it was seemingly the start of the show, but after 30 minutes of this, the crowd was ready to fight. As the band started, the first fist was thrown.

So as soon as the band starts, a guy and girl start pushing and throwing fists. The big push of the crowd toward the front acted as a barrier between the two and, like an idiot, I step backwards and angle the girl in front of me to help prevent the two from getting back within fist range. Luckily everything worked out until another girl got within hair distance.

As Type O Negative started to really rock the place, I notice the girl I had got in front of me. She was bobbing her head to the music, really getting into the song when a hand reached in from behind and snatched her long, brown hair. Her head snapped backwards as she was drug back through the crowd to my right. I decided to just stay focused on the band this time. I am not sure what happened to her after that…

Near the end of the show, the lead singer stops and informs the crowd to give him a couple of minutes because he has to shit. He leaves the stage in a hurry and we all think he is trying to find a bathroom. After about a minute he comes back and says there is not one back that way he can use and continues for a couple of more songs. Nobody knew if he was serious or not.

For the most part, the rest of the concert was uneventful. The band had the crowd really pumped up. On a few songs, some of the crowd tried to mosh. This seemed to happen right behind me and I got shoved forward into other people. Determined to hold my ground, I steadied myself until the idiots were done. Luckily the majority of the crowd was not into flaying themselves around like idiots. The next thing these idiots started doing was trying to crowd surf. This didn’t work either. They would get up and instead of going over people they got stuck on top of one person and just pushed back and forth. As in, “Fuck no, don’t bring them my way…” I was able to avoid these imbeciles until the last one.

The whole set, I was looking forward to one song in particular. “Black No.1” Type O ended on this song and I was really into the song and didn’t notice this girl going up in the air right behind me. This bitch had been annoying me the whole concert anyway. She would push her way up in front of me, stand there for a few minutes and then push her way back again. So when I found her on top of my head, shoulders, and back, I was not pleased. I tried to move her over to somewhere else but nobody else wanted her either. If it hadn’t been Rock, who had her legs, she would have already fallen. What I should have done was just move out from under her and let her fall, but I suppose I am just too nice to do that. Keep in mind, this was not a small girl – not huge – but not small either. At one point I was I felt like being stuck under ice and not able to find the way back to the top. Finally I just started bringing her down as best I could. I didn’t really want her to split her head open on the concrete floor. Yes, there was some groping on the way down (I had to have some reprieve from her ruining the song I had been waiting to hear). After getting her back down, she looked over at her guy friend and said how she didn’t go anywhere. He just said, “Nobody wanted you.” The look on her face, at that moment, was priceless.

So now the song is halfway over and I am pissed off. I decide, “fuck it” I am getting a beer. I had gone without one since the first band. I go back to the bar. After getting my beer, I try and enjoy the rest of the song when I feel another pair of hands on my back, almost steadying me. I whip around to see what fool has grabbed me now, when I realize it was a Sheriff just letting me know he was passing behind me. Glad I didn’t swing before I looked…

After the show we hang out for autographs at the end. I heard Lacuna Coil was pissed off because they didn’t like the club. When they played, it took half of their set to get the sound to sound decent, so I could see how they would be upset. But most of them had locked themselves up in their tour bus.

Over at Type O Negative’s tour bus a huge crowd had gathered and some bitch (blonde and looking suspiciously like the one who landed on top of me) was banging her hand on the bus door. I have gone to some big shows before, but never have I seen fans banging on the tour bus door. It was amazing. We wandered back around to Lacuna Coil’s bus and quietly waited to see if they might come out and sign a few items. I wanted to buy a CD but never saw a stand set up anywhere. Finally they came out, and even though they were upset with the venue, managed to be real nice and sign for the small group that wanted to meet them.

Shortly thereafter, their tour bus leaves and we head back over to the Type O Negative bus where the crowd has thinned considerably. After another long wait, Peter – the lead singer – comes off the bus and signs a few items. I was able to get my “Bloody Kisses” CD signed and Rock was able to get all of his stuff signed as well. The highlight of meeting Peter was that he was hilarious. He would fuck with you before he signed. I was the first person he signed for and our conversation went something like this:

Peter: “Hello, how are you doing” – reaching to shake my hand
Me: “Doing pretty well and yourself?”
Peter: “Pretty Good, then I was born.”
Me: “Shit happens I suppose”
Takes my CD and signs it
Me: “Thank you, Great Show Tonight!”
Peter holds up his hand like Spock from Star Trek
Peter: “Live Long and Prosper”
I return the gesture
Me: “Peace, Long Life”
Peter: “Yeah, but can you do this??”
Peter now starts moving his fingers around in all sorts of funky ways
Peter: now looking at the rest of the people: “OK, who is next?”
The crowd gets silent as they are not sure they want to be next now

After Rock gets his stuff signed we head back to Johnson City and arrive roughly at 5am. I tried my best to stay awake for the trip back, but somewhere around Asheville I started nodding off. Great Trip!

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

2:51 PM

Reworking the Blog

Sorry for not posting much lately... I am working on revamping the blog. I am a little tired of the look of this one (although I am keeping all this code, because I really do like its look). Hopefully soon I will have it all done. I will post a few more picture here to continue some filler space...

A few Dragon Con Pictures -

These two were whipping people

The lovely violinist for the Goth group CruxShadows

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