After seeing Obituary's remarkable performance at Scion Rock Fest last year my mouth was watering for another taste. But this wasn't just going to be any other Obituary show. They would be playing a setlist comprised of only old material, or more specifically, their first three albums. This is something that the fans have wanted for years and it was a welcomed change from the mostly static old material they've been playing tour after tour.
Going into this I felt a bit disappointed for a couple reasons though. The first being that Obituary did not have a lead guitarist for the tour. Since Ralph Santolla disappeared last year they've been using temporary replacements. Lee Harrison, the drummer of Monstrosity, had been filling in for them this year, but for some reason he was absent. So, with no lead guitarist, they decided instead of having Trevor play the solos they would just leave them out completely. I'm not sure of the reasoning behind this. Trevor has been in the band since its inception, so I would think he has some idea of how to play the solos. I have no idea what the circumstances were though, so for all I know this could have been a last minute incident they couldn't prepare for. The second reason for my disappointment was that Decrepit Birth dropped off the tour the day of the show. Unfortunately they had bad luck on this tour, first with their van catching fire, and then having all of their money and personal belongings stolen at the San Francisco show. I've seen Decrepit Birth multiple times and I'm sure I'll have the chance to see them again soon though, so it wasn't too big of a deal.
Upon finding out that the Key Club booked ten local bands for this show I decided it would be best to show up late. I arrived just after 9 pm and saw a line in front of the venue, so I went to the security to ask what it was for, because the doors opened four hours earlier. There was another guy talking to the security, so I waited behind him. It turned out to be Dave Lombardo! He seemed to be in a hurry so I didn't bother him, but I thought it was cool that he still goes out to see bands he likes. The line ended up being the line to get into the venue, and after nearly a half hour of waiting I was admitted.
Jungle Rot was on their last couple songs when I walked in, but I wasn't interested in watching them, so I went to scope out the merch. Obituary was out of shirts my size though, so I headed back to the main room to wait for Broken Hope. I wasn't really familiar with them, but I was looking forward to seeing them, since they are praised so much. Well, now I know why so many people were so excited that they were back together. They absolutely destroyed live. Seeing them completely made up for Decrepit Birth's absence. It was more or less complete brutality and it all came together as some of the best brutal death metal I've heard. They got a great response from the crowd, rightfully so. Everything about them impressed me and I regret not getting into them sooner.
- The Dead Half
- Dilation and Extraction
- Swamped in Gore
- Preacher of Sodomy
- Siamese Screams
- Remember My Members
- He Was Raped
- I Am God
- Into the Necrosphere
- Pitbull Grin
- Felching Vampires
Then it was time for the Florida death metal masters, Obituary. They came out to a roaring crowd and dove straight into Slowly We Rot
. They really dug deep for the song choices, making sure to pull out songs that most of the crowd had never heard before. They even opted to leave out "Internal Bleeding" and "'Til Death," which they had been playing recently, in order to make room for some other rarities. I lost it when they started playing "Immortal Visions," which they had never played live before this tour. Just as the last time I saw them, John's deathly screams sounded as insane as they do on the old albums. He seems to be one of those few that has defied age in that aspect.
After "Gates of Hell" they proceeded in chronological order, moving onto their second record, Cause of Death
. Although it was obvious there were solos missing it wasn't as awkward as I thought it would be. That's not to say I didn't long to hear the solo at the beginning of "Cause of Death" or the ones near the end of "Turned Inside Out," but the songs still sounded incredible. The lack of a lead guitarist sure didn't hinder the energy in the room at all. The pits were intense throughout the set, and things really turned chaotic when they went into "Body Bag." The floor was a directionless circle of pandemonium and anybody close enough was bound to be smashed into.
Next the band moved onto their most successful album, The End Complete
, for some more crushing material. The slow churning songs "Killing Time" and "Dead Silence" induced lots of headbanging. After finishing the main set Donald returned for a drum solo, and then the rest of the band reappeared for "I'm in Pain," which pulverized any remaining life in the pit. Afterward Trevor started to play the eerie intro to "Slowly We Rot," causing cheers among the exhausted, sweaty crowd. It ended an incredible set full of songs that I didn't think I'd ever have the chance to witness live.
- Immortal Visions
- Gates to Hell
- Cause of Death
- Chopped in Half / Turned Inside Out
- Body Bag
- Back to One
- Killing Time
- The End Complete
- Dead Silence
- I'm in Pain
- Slowly We Rot