So Jessie texted me tonight to see if I wanted to get dinner. I told her I was going to see Throwdown at 6:00 and she could come if she wanted, but she just said to text her when I was done. So I went down to the Blender Theatre a little after 6:00, and it was a pretty cool place. Half was standing room, and then behind it was stadium seating, so I went up and sat down waiting for the bands to set up. I will admit it was kind of a weird bill (Throwdown, Soilwork and War of Ages), but it was a stranger mix of people. There was the good old straight-edge hardcore crew I expected to see, but a lot of gothic/metal-type people too. Lots of those ridiculous black Hot Topic bondage pants, and one of their wearers (who also had a dumb haircut and a shirt that said "heavy fucking metal") had a ridiculously hot girlfriend, which made me quite irate. Going to see Throwdown in New York, I kind of expected the house music to be some Madball or Youth of Today or maybe some Sick of It All. You know, straight-edge NYHC or something. But instead it was a bunch of super annoying metal. And it only got worse from there.
At about 7:00, War of Ages came on. What an assorted hodgepodge of misfits, and I mean that in the most loving way possible. Being a born-again punk since age 15, I know I'm not supposed to judge people how they look, but this band was pure look-by-numbers, trying to match their musical identity crisis with their appearance. Not knowing whether they're a metal or metalcore band, half the members had shaved domes, while the other half had Flying V guitars and long, thrash-revivalist hair down to their backs, which whipped about as they choreographically banged their heads during the "metal" parts of their songs. Some of their songs sounded alright, but there were too many cheesy finger-tapping guitar solos and metal posturing. And what the hell is a Christian band doing inviting their fans to raise their "devil horns" in the air? That ain't right. To top things off, they covered some shitty Pantera song, sending it out to Dimebag Darrell, who is suddenly a martyr to every metalhead and their mother even though he wasn't even in Pantera when he was shot. I pray for the day when people stop worshiping a band that was openly misogynist (anyone who saw the VH1 special on groupies in the late `90s can back me up) and relied on Confederate Flag imagery to draw in fans (check out this gem for the "best" of both worlds). The one good thing I can say about War of Ages is that their inter-song comments were very upbeat and positive, and thankful for the crowd's attention. Though the singer did dedicate one song to what sounded like "all the lawyers and Christians out there." Not sure what that means.
I was pretty tired when Soilwork came on, but I did notice a few things:
- There was a buttload of people there to see them (more than for Throwdown, which I would later find out)
- They are from Sweden.
- When they started playing, the smell of weed wafted through the venue, strange for a concert with a straight-edge headlining act.
- The lead singer said the words "New York" and "Are you ready?" at least 150 times each.
- They stayed almost entirely stationary the whole set. No stage presence, but it was easy to hear they were talented (if you're into that kind of stuff).
- Holy Roller
- Day of the Dog
- Never Back Down
- I, Suicide
- Walk Away
- Weight of the World