The Living Room is small, dark, dank, dirty, and falling apart. I don’t think it could’ve been a better atmosphere for the show.
Scarlet took the stage after a small handful of bands had played in the other room, all of whom I missed since none of them were listed on the bill. Although I’ve heard a direct comparison to Beloved, Scarlet came off live like something much closer to Norma Jean if anything; maybe even a harder, more straightforward Vaux. Of course, I might just be bringing up Vaux because Scarlet had a fog machine and light show (also similar to Dillinger Escape Plan), complete with a (hopefully) ironic background band name-logo-sign, with flashing, paparazzi-like bulbs. The vocalist practically used audience members as the characters of his songs. He was intensely interactive, often staring straight into a crowd member’s eyes for time spans longer than singers usually do, or holding his fingers in the form of a pistol and cocking them to people’s temples. It wasn’t something entirely new, but definitely interesting.
The Black Dahlia Murder can be described in three simple words: “metal as fuck.” Whether it was fitful, low-beat screams or death metal growling, rhythmic headbanging or the flat-out insane double bass theatrics the percussionist was pulling off, it was all there.
This deathfest continued when As I Lay Dying took the stage. Although I wasn’t familiar with most of the band’s melodic metalcore-styled material, many in the crowd seemed to thoroughly enjoy them. Thanks to a recent news posting, I was able to sing along to “Forever” (along with seemingly the rest of the room).
But none of this would come even close to the headliners.
To my mistress the bridge! As those words rang out, “Floater” began from Every Time I Die, and the room began to redefine “going apeshit.” The band really did seem a little apprehended by the chaos in front of their own chaos. There were, honestly, roughly a hundred total stage dives and half-assed headwalk attempts. Even though there wasn’t a whole lot played from Last Night in Town (lately it seems like they never play “The Logic of Crocodiles,” including that night), they did play all the best songs off Hot Damn!, like “Romeo A Go-Go,” “Off Broadway,” and “Ebolarama,” the last complete with its mini-clapping-bridge. When they asked us to “give it your all” during “Jimmy Tango’s Method,” the crowd took it as a court order, and by the song had ended, at least a dozen people or so had buried me, Keith, and probably another person or two right in front of the stage. That wasn’t even the last song, either. The band also played a new song, as yet untitled, that not only seems to be in the vein of their general sound, but just plain fucking rocking, with more stop-start parts than they usually incorporate. They had a sign-up sheet and told the audience they could submit suggestions, with prizes promised for the winner. When the breakdown of the last song, “I Been Gone A Long Time,” finally came around, Keith dragged the standup cowbell out from the right side of the stage, and slammed it in time to everyone clapping along. After only a few hits, it knocked over as a flood of people rushed to the stage and at least twenty of them screamed along “only the lonesome lovers, only the careless can handle us, only the lonesome lovers…”
Both pics from http://www.returntothepit.com