I usually don't do show reviews, but this show was pretty cool so I figured I might as well. The show was a Metal Blade 30th Anniversary show/CD release show for AILD at Santo's Party House in NYC. In order to get in, you had to pre-order the new AILD album at one of 3 NY/NJ stores (one of which is about 20 minutes from where I live) and receive a laminate. I've always been a casual fan of the band but I knew my friend was a big fan so I figured it would be fun to go to, knowing they're a killer live band. It also turned out that the band was doing a signing at the store by me the day before the show, so my buds and I hit that up. All the guys in the band were really friendly, though Tim was a little quiet.
The next day, I meet up with my same friends to catch a train into the city. We leave pretty early to make sure we would get into the show (the laminate reads "first come, first serve" and we had no idea how many people would actually show up). After getting some food, we get to the venue at around 2 PM (doors were supposed to be at 7), where there was a few people already waiting. The wait outside was pretty interesting, involving crazy and/or homeless people (including one that got in my face talking about God knows what), jamming to some old pop songs on my phone, and chatting briefly with AILD guitarist Nick Hipa about the Spice Girls and Toto.
Eventually, after a delayed opening, we all got into the venue. After stopping for a quick piss, I went to go the main floor where I was greeted by the sight of Brian Slagel, Don Jamieson, and Jose Mangin chatting it up by the entrance. I said hello and shook their hands really quickly and then proceeded onto the main floor. Now, this place is pretty damn intimate. It was my first time at Santo's and I knew it was small, but I didn't really realize it until I was inside. Thankfully, it didn't take long for the show to get started, and to a good fucking start, might I add. Battlecross was the support band for this show, and they brought it hard. I've been following the band for a little bit, and while I knew very little of their material (really only "Push Pull Destroy"), I had an interest is seeing them. Fortunately, they were an outstanding live act. Fast music, tons of headbanging, and chock full of energy. Kyle "Gumby" Gunther is a very energetic and entertaining frontman and definitely deserves some recognition. All in all, I was really impressed and entertained by the Detroit quintet, and hope the best for them in the future.
Pursuit of Honor (intro)
Push Pull Destroy
Man of Stone
Not too long after Battlecross finished, Don Jamieson and Jim Flourentine come out on stage to introduce the main act, As I Lay Dying. I've seen the guys before so I knew what to expect; high energy, sing-along choruses, and in-your-face instrumentations. The band unfortunately played a pretty short set which was almost identical to the sets they played on the Mayhem tour, but the fact that they were playing in an extremely intimate setting more than made up for it. The crowd also kicked it up a notch, even though there wasn't too much in terms of moshing (not to mention that it was completely nonexistent during Battlecross). The best part was the lack of a barricade, which meant stagediving galore! I wasn't planning on getting up there, but then my friend put his hands out and said "YOU'RE GOING UP THERE!" Now what kind of person would I be to turn that down? I suppose you could say I lost my stage-diving virginity that night. Like I mentioned before, the band's set was pretty short, and I was disappointed by the lack of "A Greater Foundation", which I was expecting considering it's the first music video for the album, but it was still a really great time and I'm definitely happy that I went.
As I Lay Dying
The Sound of Truth
Afterwards, we head downstairs to Battlecross's merch booth to say what's up. All the dudes in that band are super nice and super down to earth. My friend and I decided to support them a bit and buy a couple of CDs, which they all signed. Definitely check them out if you're a fan of thrashy modern metal/metalcore/whatever the fuck you want to call them.
So to sum it all up, I had an absolutely amazing time hanging with my buds and seeing/meeting two killer bands. I can only imagine what a hardcore AILD fan would've felt to experience all this.
Also, the show was streamed on Livestream, so if anyone wants to check it out here's the link: http://new.livestream.com/metalblade/asilaydying/
(Go to an hour and 35 minutes in if you want to see me stagedive :P)