The price of gas is completely ratfucking metal. Bands can't afford touring, and a lot of fans can't afford to see the ones that can. Personally, I now treat driving to San Francisco like I used to treat flying to Los Angeles. All has not been lost though! Lo and behold, the mighty Cattle Decapitation just played a gig a couple of minutes away from my house! My first local metal show!
Salinas isn't exactly a hot bed for California music. The jokes goes "What do people in Salinas do for fun at night? Go to Monterey or San Francisco." Tonight's venue was a place called Jump-N-Around
, an indoor playground with an arcade and inflatable crawl thingys. A pizza parlor would have been a total upgrade in hindsight. As far as I know, this place wasn't selling any concessions, so no bathroom report. The merch booth consisted of a picnic table in the back. There wasn't any stage lighting. Check that. There wasn't A STAGE; the bands just played on the floor. No security. Very portable PA. We could have very easily held the entire gig in my backyard.
I showed up a few minutes after scheduled doors (8PM) to find out the gig had started about an hour earlier. One of the bands that played that unadvertised slot wasn't happy about it because not many people were there for their set. I guesstimate the crowd at 150 at its peak midway through the night, declining to about 50 by night's end.
Let's talk about my first band of the night, The Warren Commission
. Let me give credit to any band that gets up and plays in front of people. Many musicians don't take that step, and it's a hard one. That said, this band felt like it was a bunch of dudes playing the music they like to play... and not much else. No super stage * cough* floor presence. Unfortunately, I've heard their riffs a thousand times over from opening bands everywhere. There was absolutely nothing special about them. I did like the opening to The Hatred but again, most of Pavo's Shitty Bands play something like it. Warren Commission, I don't hate you but you didn't do much to make me remember you. Good on you for playing though! Other people in the crowd really seemed like to like you.
Next up was Bakerfield's The Art Of Torture.
The growler for this outfit has his shit together in the extreme vocals department! Standout member of the band! Let me describe their very short set this way: I have this theory about Taco Bell. Everything at Taco Bell is made out from this monolithic consumable Taco-Bell play-doh like substance. Really, we should be ordering like "I'll have $5 of Taco Bell". Death Grind can be the same and just as satisfying. Tonight, I got less than 30 minutes of The Art Of Torture. Next time, play longer, damn it! You guys kicked ass! The Art Of Torture's bass player was kind enough to write down their set list:
The Tapping Song
Attack By The Masses
Future We Create
Sodom & Gommorah
In Total Deception
Grip At the Lions Balls
The Funeral Pyre didn't show up. Fuck you. Moving on....
Finally, Cattle Decapitation!
This isn't the first time I've seen them, more like the fourth or fifth. Bouville was baptized by a spitting Travis (Cattle's front man) during our first show back in 2005 when Cattle opened for Cryptopsy at the Pound. Bouville and I were on the rail together when Cattle opened for Brujeria for their next Pound show. That night Cattle's bass player gave me a nod of approval for my Edguy Hellfire Club shirt. I know I'm leaving a date or two out but Cattle Decapitation has history of leaving my neck sore the day.
Unfortunately, tonight's show was clearly a warmup or practice gig. The set list was mainly spilt between tracks from Karma Bloody Karma and new songs from their upcoming album -- I like what I heard -- to be released much later in the year. They dug deep only once for Long Pig Chief And The Hairless Goat off 2002's To Serve Man. No encore, mainly because their new drummer was still learning songs. People even offered him money just to try. Personally, I was hoping for a lot more Humanure but was left a little disappointed. There will be a next time for Cattle Decapitation. And a next time.. and a next time. Cattle Decapitation kicks ass.
No Eddies for anyone this time. This didn't feel like a real Hot Turkey Ed style metal gig to me. Instead, I left the house for a bit and paid $12 to hear some metal without the downside of a two hour drive home. My ears aren't ringing; I won't be sore in the morning. Since my Maiden concerts a couple of weeks ago, I've been listening to nothing but Maiden. I'm going back to that happy place now. Maiden euphoria is still running very strong....
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