Buckminster Skeeter: Wanna buy a watch?

Friday, February 10, 2006

Review of Nile show

I've always had an immense respect for hard working musicians. Metal musicians especially. Metal has such a miniscule fan base - fiercely loyal - yet miniscule. I once saw Exhumed, who are among the top of their gore-metal genre, play to a crowd of no more than 20 people. And they played their hearts out. Last night was better but no sellout crowd. For some reason it makes me a little uncomfortable to see a low turnout at a show. I almost feel like we've disappointed the band. These guys do this for a living - maybe almost 0 money, tour their asses off, sell about 50,000 total copies of an album, and play to tiny crowds. Year after year. They got heart!

The bill read Nile, Hypocrisy, Decapitated, Soilent Green, and 3 other bands I can't recall. The venue, the Norva, is a converted old church of some sort with high ceilings. The sound has been excellent both times I've been there (Slayer was the other). There were perhaps 150 people there - tops.I showed up a little late and came in to find a semi-generic band on stage. I think they were called Catastrophe, maybe, I'm not sure. They were ok, nothing great. You can always tell which bands have the clout on the tour because they come equipped with roadies and lots of gear. This band I walked in on were carting their own shit off stage with the help of a few Norva tech people. Hypocrisy carried a crew of what seemed like 6 tech's to set their stage. The guy doing the mic check, instead of using the old faithfully "Check, 1,2, Check" used "Ham Smuggler, Ham Smuggler, Ham Smuggler" - I'm not quite sure what that means but I like it.
Hypocrisy is fantastic live. I'm not a huge fan of their recorded stuff - it seems like run-of-the-mill Gothenberg metal. But live they are tight, lively, and sound excellent. I don't know a single song or album by them but I enjoyed their set. Their drummer also had this elaborate Midi/Computer set up near his kit. He was responsible for all the ambient effects and sounds. Which there were a lot of.

Nile takes the stage. With the departure of the bassist last year, Dallas took center stage. He's one of my favorite metal character - tall and thin with a drastically receding hairline and long stringy back - I believe it's the 'skullet'. Nile is an amazingly technical band who play flawlessly live. I would put their talent and musicianship up against most performing artists of any kind. Their music is so freakin complex that I don't really enjoy it as background music. I have to be alone, with headphones, concentrating to fully appreciate their genius. AS stated - they pulled this off flawlessly live too. Which, for a death metal band, is a rarity. They began the show with The Blessed Dead - a blistering entrance. I took the opportunity to yell "Chapter of obeisance before breathing life into the inert one in the presence of the crescent shaped horns". It was classic - I got all kinds of looks from people - I couldn't tell if they didn't know there was a song titled that (not real fans) or if they just found it odd for someone to yell out the whole thing. So I did it again a little later. Lashed to the Slave Stick and sarcophagus were my two favorites of the evening. Here's a very odd thing. After playing sarcophagus - maybe their 8th song - Dallas put down his guitar, approached the mic and said "So you wanna spit at the band, huh? I guess the fuckin' show is over!". He walks off stage and the band follows. Everyone is stunned. What the fuck just happened? I didn't see any spit - apparently no one else did either. Everyone was silent for about 20 seconds until a chant of "Nile" started up. Eventually the band came back on stage. Then it got a little wierder. Some guy up front yells "Get back on stage and play some music" or something like that. Dallas and the other guitarist (who is the founder and brainchild behind the whole band) had words with him. I heard the other guy say "Why don't you come up here and play, Fuckwad!" They exchanged pleasantries for about 30 seconds, Dallas took his shirt off (which must have had spit on it), then they started up with Sacrifice unto Sebek. They played a few more then left the stage - still looking pissed. Odd.
Nile amazes me. I watched very closely - the way they played. I maybe have never seen anyone play a guitar quite like that. Blistering speed and precision. These guys hit more notes in one song than most bands do in a career - no shit.
Of note - the replacement bassist did a great job. Even took over the vocal parts of the previous guy.
The other guitar player is very short a fat as a cow. You'd never know it looking at the albums or mag pics but he's one fat fucker.

Random show notes:

* Someone yelled out "Freebird" - and it wasn't me. I was pleased.
* Best concert T-Shirt - Soilent Green - front read 'Soilent Green (logo) Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort'; back read 'YOU LOOT, WE SHOOT'
* I saw some good old metal shirts - some mercyful Fate, Testament (new Order), old Maiden.
* I witnessed 0 fights in the pit/crowd. Not bad. Last 'dance' bar I went to years back there was probably 10 in one night. Who's got the aggression issues?

next show is In Flames in 2 weeks. I may go. I've seen them many times. But they do put on a great show.


Blogger Buckminster Skeeter said...


After reviewing some online tour photos it appears as though Soilent Green was the band playing when I got there. I didn't know. They weren't as bad as I remembered them to be - not very good - but not bad.

9:58 AM  

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