So I was pretty excited for this show. Vital Remains + Decrepit Birth + Decapitated? Major awesome points. I arrived at the House of Blues at about 4:30, which is when the doors were supposed to open. As usual, the doors opened late. Only by ten minutes, but this just fucked everything for me. To my surprise, practically everybody arrived before the doors opened. In my experiences with these larger tours, there haven't been that many people in line before the show. Anyway, at 5:00 I was getting somewhat close to the front. About a minute later I start hearing music. Is Vital Remains ALREADY playing? Yes... they were. Ten minutes later I got inside. I got to see the last two songs of their set. Sorry I am not familiar enough with their material to name them, but they sounded great.
Next was Animals as Leaders. Despite being the oddball on the tour, they got great reception from the crowd. Again, I am not very familiar with their material, so I can't name any songs... other than Tempting Time. It was really interesting to see how they played the songs live, versus on the CD. There were a couple moments where the double bass felt slightly out of place, but overall they do a great job live. After their set was over the crowd was chanting for one more song. It would have been great if they were able to. I really think this band is going to go places. Tosin is a great musician and I would not be surprised if he became a future star in progressive metal.
After an amazing performance from Animals as Leaders, Carnifex was up. Honestly, I've seen this band way too many times now. They don't particularly annoy me or anything, I'm just tired of them. I decided to go outside for a while during their set. I headed over to the merch tables and talked to Bill for a while. He's a really cool guy. I had him sign my ticket, then I bought Polarity
and two shirts (one has the tour dates). The Decrepit Birth shirts were $20 each and the CD was $10. If you buy Polarity and the album cover shirt you get the album for $5 less. Then Scott from Vital Remains complimented me on my Gorguts shirt. I talked to him for a little (also a really cool guy) and then I headed back inside. Oh, and I forgot how much Vital Remains shirts cost. They didn't have any CDs, but they had a DVD for $10. I almost bought it.
Anyway, by then Carnifex had gone through most of their set. I saw them play three songs: Sorrowspell, The Diseased and the Poisoned, and In Coalesce with Filth and Faith. I noticed that there was very little hardcore dancing going on in the pit. Anyone who started doing it was immediately pushed halfway across the floor by someone else, so I assume they got the message. And Carnifex actually does perform well live, but that doesn't make me like their music.
Now finally I would see Decrepit Birth again! Due to members KC (drums) and Dan (rhythm guitar) leaving a couple months ago, the band was forced to cancel on California Metalfest. That only made today more exciting though, since I hadn't seen them since last year's Summer Slaughter. From the moment they started playing I was put into a trance... which mostly consisted of headbanging. They always put on a spectacular show, and this was no exception. With Bill on stage doing his demented finger contortions and brutal vocals I was pretty much mesmerized. Maybe it seems like I'm exaggerating a lot, but Decrepit Birth is really a great band to see live. They definitely had the best pits of the night, too. Samus did a great job for filling in for KC. I really hope he becomes a permanent member of the band, because he is a great drummer. Anyway, here is the set!
- Of Genocide
- The Living Doorway
- The Resonance
- Prelude to the Apocalypse
- The Infestation
After Decrepit Birth I headed outside again. I decided I wanted to get a Decapitated shirt as well. It also has the tour dates on it and on the front it says "From Pain to Strength". The shirt was $25. Next was Cephalic Carnage. While they are a good band, I haven't really got into them. So, I don't know what they played. I know there was some new stuff, but that's about it. After Cephalic Carnage, Veil of Maya took the stage. I wasn't expecting much from them. I thought their new album was worse than their previous. I did not care much for any of the songs they played, which all seemed to contain the same mid-paced breakdown. Also, I found their stage antics to be annoying. The crowd was pretty into them, but I just stayed upstairs and watched. They played the same set as the previous night in San Diego. If you didn't read that topic, here it is.
- Crawl Back
- Dark Passenger
- We Bow in it's Aura
- It's Not Safe to Swim Today
The Red Chord took the stage next. I have only listened to their two most recent albums and I thought both of them were great. I haven't listened to them enough to recognize all the songs live though. The band didn't get the same response that Veil of Maya did, which I found to be disappointing. I know they played Hour of Rats and Floating Through the Vein, but I'm not sure of anything else. Oh, and they had a great sense of humor on stage. The drummer put on a girls top for the second half of their set because he "doesn't give a fuck." They put on a good show and seemed to be having fun on stage despite having two cups thrown at them - one of which hit the bassist. They ignored both of the cups and kept on playing without even taking notice of it. That gained them a lot of respect from me.
Up next was All Shall Perish. While I do like their newest album, I am not so fond of the two that preceded it. I will admit that their guitarist can write some good stuff, but he can also write some total shit. And they really need a new vocalist. Pig squeals? No, thank you. Every time he did one I cringed. And a lot of the time he would simply say the lyrics instead of screaming them. Why? No idea, but it was annoying me. I do like their drummer though. Their set was slightly different from last night's show. Their vocalist said it would probably be the only time they play Herding the Brainwashed on this tour.
- There is No Business to be Done on a Dead Planet
- When Life Meant More...
- Gagged, Bound, Shelved and Forgotten
- Herding the Brainwashed
- Wage Slaves
Now The Faceless was setting up. I noticed since the last time I saw them they got a new bassist and rhythm guitarist. I was hoping they would be playing a new song on this tour, but I guess they don't want to yet. They were pretty good live. Michael Keene nailed all of his extra-terrestrial sounding solos and Lyle was fun to watch on the drums. Here is the set.
- Shape Shifters
- Coldly Calculated Design
- Sons of Belial
- The Ancient Covenant
- Planetary Duality I: Hideous Revelation
- Planetary Duality II: A Prophecies Fruition
- An Autopsy
Now Decapitated was going to be playing! I was pretty excited now. It was taking them a while to do the sound check and Vogg looked pretty pissed off. He yelled at the sound guy because he was apparently being a retard. I don't know exactly what was going on since I wasn't on stage, but it looked like he was having trouble with his mic, and then trouble with his guitar. There was a chant for Vitek while they were still doing the sound check. At 11:30 the lights finally went out and their intro started playing. All of the band came on stage except for Vogg. The band looked off stage at him and started playing. He was STILL have problems with his guitar. He walked on stage and was playing, but there was no sound. Since Decapitated does not have a rhythm guitarist, it was just the bassist at this point. After a moment Vogg's guitar was heard and he started headbanging. I spent the first four songs upstairs watching, then I went down to the pit. I always like to watch the headlining band for part of the set, so I can take in some of the music and performance. Then it's time to go destroy. The pit was nowhere near as intense as it was for Decrepit Birth, but it was decent. Before I knew it they announced that they only had one song left. This wasn't because I was having a great time (even though I was), it was because they only played for 45 minutes! I assume the set was cut short due to the technical difficulties beforehand. That, and the House of Blues is notorious for cutting sets short anyway. At least that is how it has been at a lot of the shows I've attended there.
Anyway, the set contained mostly material from Organic Hallucinosis. While I do love the album, they really need to mix it up more. They played six of the seven songs from the album! Is that really necessary? I mean, they do have other albums. I would have loved to hear The Fury, The Negation, Symmetry of Zero, Way to Salvation, or The Eye of Horus. Oh well, I still had fun, and they did play my favorite song, Visual Delusion.
- A Poem About an Old Prison Man
- Day 69
- Post (?) Organic
- Visual Delusion
- Invisible Control
- Winds of Creation
- Mother War
- Spheres of Madness
Also, here is a photo of Decrepit Birth taken from my phone. I know it's horrible, but I thought I'd share anyway. If the House of Blues didn't require a photo pass to bring in a camera I would have definitely brought in my DSLR and taken some REAL photos. To anyone else going to the Summer Slaughter Tour, hope you have fun! And I also hope you get a longer Decapitated set than Hollywood did.