Mpire of Evil -- Seattle, WA -- March 19th, 2012
A really poor turnout for the first date of the tour. Probably 20 or so people when I showed up just before Evildead and it maybe peaked at around 50 or so during Mpire of Evil. Maybe 25 hung around until the end of Onslaught. Not the first time Seattle has ignored a quality show and certainly won't be the last...
Evildead played for 30 minutes. This was the set posted on the stage, but I think they likely cut a song or two:
01. Run Again
03. Gone Shooting
04. Future Shock
06. End of Life
07. Sloe Death
09. Worm Babies
10. Annihilation of Civilization
Mpire of Evil was next. For those of you who bought the EP, its worth noting that Mantas is no longer sporting the shaved skull and is now wearing glasses. If it wasn't for the tattoos I wouldn't have been certain it was him playing guitar. They also have a new drummer (didn't catch the name).
Despite the poor turnout, Dolan was really energetic and interacted a lot with the crowd. He made a point of saying how much he loved Denny's and that their drummer had his first ever Denny's meal that morning. He said a few times that he was going to tattoo "Seattle" on his left arm to commemorate the first show of the tour (maybe first full band show ever?). We'll see about that...
I've been a Venom fan for almost 30 years. To me, Cronos IS Venom much like Lemmy is Motorhead just because their voices are so distinctive. That being said, it was nice to hear some Venom songs that I had never seen played live and it was cool to see Mantas on guitar. I'm glad that they played a fair amount of new material and stuck to Dolan era Venom for the most part. They have every right to play the Cronos era material, but I still feel like too much Cronos material would end up seeming like more of a Venom tribute band. But that's just me. I know a big part of the draw and a big part of the marketing for Mpire of Evil is the fact that they are made up of ex-Venom members. That's what the majority of the crowd wants to see. And since Venom never extensively tours America (and rarely tours America at all), Mpire of Evil is as close to Venom as most of us are ever going to see. I suppose its fair to say that Mpire of Evil (with Dolan and Mantas) is actually a truer version of Venom than the current Cronos version of Venom. An interesting argument...
This was the setlist posted on the stage, but I'm pretty sure Waking Up Dead wasn't played as they were low on time:
01. Countess Bathory
02. Hell to the Holy
03. Die Hard
04. Metal Messiah
05. Leave Me in Hell
06. Prime Evil
08. Blackened are the Priests
10. All Hail
12. Waking Up Dead
13. Witching Hour
As the band left the stage one of the fans hopped on stage, grabbed the mic, and asked the soundman if the band could play one more song. Specifically, he wanted to hear Rip Ride. At that point, everyone just kind of stopped and looked around at each other: the soundman, the crowd, the members of MPire of Evil, and the members of Onslaught who were waiting to come on stage and tune. The soundman eventually gave the thumbs up and they came back and played one more. We didn't get Rip Ride, but they played Black Metal which, suffice it to say, was just fine with the people in attendance. All in all a pretty cool set which clocked in at just under an hour.
I didn't get the Onslaught set as they kept it back by the drums and I was too lazy to take notes. But they played around 80 minutes and played songs off of all of their albums. They played Shellshock, Sound of Violence, Power from Hell, Thermonuclear Devastation, Metal Forces, Born for War, Killing Peace, etc. The singer mentioned several times that it was their first ever show in North America, and they seemed to be having a good time despite the small turnout. Probably 15 of the 25 or so who hung around until the end had a pit going so there was still decent crowd energy and interaction taking place.
For those interested in merch, Mpire of Evil had one (tour) shirt and Onslaught had three designs (no tour shirt). All shirts were $18. Evildead also had three shirts but I didn't catch a price on those.
This is a good tour for the old school thrash fans out there and hopefully will garner better attendance as it makes it way across the country.
12/31 - Hell's Belles