SUPPORT: Interseed, JBD
VENUE: The Pound -- San Francisco, CA
DATE: Saturday, August 5th, 2006
ATTENDED W/: Idolatress
GEAR WORN: Plain Black Hoodie, Plain Navy Blue Tee
MERCH PURCHASED: JBD, Interseed CDs (free)
MOSHING REPORT: NA
EDDIES AWARDED: Anthrax, 8; JBD, 8;
REVIEWED: August 8th, 2006
DISEASE! DISEASE! SPREADING THE DISEASE! There’s no better way to catch Anthrax than in a small shit hole on San Francisco’s waterfront industrial wasteland. Yes, the mighty Anthrax played inside the Pound in San Francisco last Saturday, the smallest venue they’ve played since Joey returned to up the balance in the band’s collective ATM account. I’ve seen Anthrax three times prior: one John Bush gig supporting Dio
in Anaheim in 2004 and two Joey shows, one opening for Judas Priest in Long Beach and the other in San Francisco headlining the Anthrax-Nile Tour Collision in the dead of winter in the Pound’s backyard earlier this year. [Note: The Joey shows remain a part of the unwritten archive. Yeah, fuck you. I’m slowly catching up.]
Anthrax in such a small venue -- the Pound indoors holds only about 500 -- is sort of a small metal dream come true. I wasn’t going to concerts on Anthrax’s ascent in the 1980s, as the Permanent Record can testify. My third metal band / album in college, State Of Euphoria is my primary reference point, not Among For The Living which Anthrax was scheduled to play in its entirety. I didn’t even own that album until a couple of years ago, so I just don’t have the same attachment for the material. Yes, a few songs off it have become modern personal favorites but it’s still not the same. My primary concern about this concert was the amount of people that I imagined would get squeezed inside. I expected it all to be a giant fire hazard.
I got to the Pound relatively on time around 7:15 for 8:00 doors which placed me only 1/3 down the block in the queue. The doorman did early ID checks and security pat-downs which would eventually provide for a fast entry but it also afforded some opportunity for chicanery. Once marked, anyone could have easily retrieved contraband from a trunk: knives, alcohol, pepper stray, or worst of all, cameras. Anthrax remains incredibly camera shy; that’s very metal.
While waiting in line, this mass of kids kept expanding in front of us, cutting in as parents dropped them off or whatever. Then we turned and noticed the kids behind us, and those behind them. This crowd was not only super young but sporting the wares of some band called JBD. Who? That’s exactly right. Opening bands usually don’t muster that much visible support; usually it’s a few friends but these kids were running around with JBD shirts and myspace stickers. WTF?
Doors were late at least 30 minutes. After grabbing a beer, I moved on to the patio to check out the merch tables. To my surprise, the Pound has installed some major upgrades. A new deck has been built over the remains of a loading dock, the same area where the sewer pipe backed up. That expansion allowed for the creation of another concessions area for the bands and a new permanent bar. Unfortunately, my table, a leftover pier stump, got removed in the process. The doorway was also greatly expanded beyond its doublewide width, eliminating one of the Pound’s bigger bottlenecks.
Anthrax’s shirts were pretty reasonable at $25. With only a couple of more shows left, the vendor was probably dumping stock. It looked like the same stuff I’ve seen at my other Joey Anthrax shows. Directly across from the doorway and much better situated, JBD had their own table and lots of traffic for the effort. As I was about to walk over it from the Anthrax booth, some guy dropped a bottle of tequila on the deck, stinking up the whole place; tequila generally makes me nauseous. I fled indoors.
Something very unexpected was happening inside. Not only was there a massive line for the Pound Kitchen (I was so hungry that I would have braved it if it weren’t so long), the front half of the house was full, mostly in support of JBD who hadn’t even hit the stage yet. I’ve seen smaller crowds and excitement for some headliners but I’m not going to name <cough>Otep, Goatwhore, Amorphis</cough> names or anything. Opening bands generally don’t have their shit together like this; more often, they’re begging for gas money. So I’m really began thinking to myself, who THE FUCK is JBD?
The owner of the Pound came on stage (loosely paraphrasing here): “I knocked off a couple of local bands off the bill because these guys are so good.” Nice blow job, I thought. JBD hit the stage and immediately caught my full attention. You know a band is good when you start moving your head, tapping your foot, whatever. It inspires movement, even in the sober and/or anal. The crowd went totally ape-shit; a pit formed without the band begging for it. These guys came on stage headlining, not opening. JBD easily owned half the Pound with the other half nursing a first beer or protecting their girlfriend -- not unlike headlining slots.
The band looked a little on the young side but what does that matter really? Bands like Trivium can’t legally buy their own beer yet. I preach and preach about just listening to the fucking music; that’s all you had to do with JBD. There are times you can just close your eyes a bit and just groove, not worrying about who is on stage or what their bullshit propaganda machine says about them. I did, and I REALLY liked what I heard.
JBD is a three piece with the guitarist pulling double duty on vocals. Their music is mostly stoner rock, although I wrote in my notebook “Alabama Thunderpussy Meets Black Label Society”. No one note nu-silliness or metalcore breakdowns. No dramatic clean vocal melody lines. JBD’s vocals are a little gruffy, not quite growling but not clean either. More importantly, the guy could actually sing. His guitarist solo’s (yes, actual solo’s!) were interesting. The bass player actually played and didn’t squat for his buddy. I often overlook drummers but when everything works so well, you know he’s doing his job right.
These guys were so damn good that Anthrax should have stepped on stage and just continued their vibe. If just band can put out for me, the rest of the concert becomes gravy. I could have left after JBD’s set and declared victory for the entire night. JBD may just be the best opener I’ve seen at the Pound. Their set list:
Live It Up
Idolatress poked me in the side during JBD’s set, pointing out who she thought might be a band mom. The lady was rocking out, holding a JBD bag. I thought “yeah, maybe” and then looked again at the band on stage. JBD looked young but sometimes it’s just hard to tell. The crowd reaction certainly wasn’t one you’d expect from a young nobody band.
After JBD left the stage, Idolatress went outside to talk to the alleged band mom and get a set list from JBD’s table. She turned out to be the bass player’s mother. JBD stands for Jared (Guitarist/Vocalist), Berndt (Drummer), and Dan (Bass) They graduated from Concord High this year and played the national anthem at graduation. Only the bass player is licensed to drive a car. One of the band’s neighbors paints their merch/shirts, and they looked totally killer, much better than a lot of the cheap crap we see from so many other bands. A quick note on their set list: Burn apparently was only written the previous night. Someone in the JBD camp gave us their latest CD (a four song demo), which I listened to all the way home after the show. It’s going to get play opening up for some playlists in my iTunes.
Yeah, I think JBD is fucking amazing. They totally have their shit together and I wish them the best of luck. Their myspace page is http://www.myspace.com/jaredberntdan
Interseed directly supported Anthrax; these guys didn’t suck but largely killed the massive residual vibe from JBD. There was too much metalcore in their music for a post stoner rock set and in anticipation of Anthrax’s thrash. The pit largely died a quick death. I give a lot of credit to any band for acting of showing up and playing live on stage but ‘peebreak’ largely describes their set for me.
I have two candy-ass gripes about this band. One is the guitar player wearing (crooked and off to the side at 45d angle) a Yankees cap, which is not far away from Otep wearing a Nirvana shirt. Dude, you’re not a rapper, and nu-metal is dead. Get your shit square and fix your hat. Baseball hats generally aren’t metal but at least turn it forwards or backwards. Second, their so-serious, dramatic clean vocals...neither the growler or the bass player sang in key, and it made painful listening.
Some guy walked around giving away Interseed’s, A Portrait Of Misery album. I’ve been listening to it while writing and it’s not bad. Actually, it’s more than decent. I’m not a huge metalcore person but I enjoy it at times beyond my official Shitty bands, the ones I like but over which I receive a lot of grief. Their CD has at least earned them an open minded second shot, if I ever hear them again. I wish I would have written down their set list now. Next time.
Anthrax took more than an hour to follow Interseed. At least, we got some Ozzy Solo, Judas Priest, and Iron Maiden over the PA in that time. I know the band experienced power fluctuations during the soundcheck because the lights and PA randomly went out several times. You could see the roadies and engineers working the problem. The bar certainly benefited, which sold out most of its beer taps. It’s no suprise that Anthrax cut short their set list:
Among the Living
Caught In A Mosh
I Am The Law
A Skeleton In The Closet
A.D.I./Horror Of It All
Imitation Of Life
Got The Time
Be All, End All
Bring tha Noise
Medusa and Metal Thrashing Mad were AWOL. We have set lists in our archives from prior shows, both headlining off-dates and support slots on recents tours.
Writing about Anthrax is a bit difficult for me. Having seen them twice already so recently, there are experiences and feelings I want to spoil here. Joey / Long Beach was largely about basking in the voice of State Of Euphoria from my youth, hearing Anthrax the way my memory thought they should sound. Joey / Winter San Francisco was about the rail and witnessing the maniac that Scott Ian is on stage. This Anthrax show was largely about seeing a band like Anthrax in such a small venue. Hearing the lost songs of Among The Living didn’t impact me because I didn’t really know they were lost.
The show was nowhere as violent as I thought it would be. Crowd surfing was minimal; stage-diving, non-existent. One could even navigate through the crowd to the restroom for which I never a line beyond one person. Where the hell was everyone pissing? There must be a new secret Pound facility beyond the women’s. I expected a fairly out-of-control of pit and fights but neither proved very threatening. Dare I say, the sold-out crowd was almost sedate. There were a few stand-out moments when the concert began and ended. The crowd hopped to Bring Tha Noise; it reminded me of a Maiden crowd during Fear Of The Dark.
Anthrax has proved to be a post concert exception in that usually I enjoy a band’s music for a few days (a few months if your band is called Iron Maiden or Edguy) until the euphoria wears off. After four shows, I have yet to place Anthrax on iTunes Shuffle Autopilot. When I do listen to them, it’s usually a playlist of Among The Living followed by State Of Euphoria. Maybe some day, I’ll sprinkle some other tracks in there but for me that’s Anthrax. The reunion is over, so I hope they can move forward with some new material that I can add to that playlist.
Saturday night almost heralded the end of the Eddie. Iron Maiden is the standard I use to judge metal, 10 Eddies being ANY Iron Maiden concert. How do I really take into account that another band has just played their Powerslave album in order in its entirety? What about JBD? JBD proved to be a lot more memorable to me than Anthrax, given how many times I’ve seen them the last twelve months and the lack of disappointment in terms of expectations for the show. Yes, my ratings directly relate to my concert experience, sometimes more than a band’s music. In my overall scheme so far, Anthrax has proven to be an 8 Eddie band; you have to read my reviews for that number to have any meaning. JBD also gets 8 Eddies and a place in the title of the review, a first for an opening band. I won’t remember Saturday as my fourth Anthrax show as much as my first JBD.