My night started around 8:30 at the Red 7 downtown - my first visit to the club since the Acrassicauda show in May of last year. The venue had changed from a red and green atmosphere with pseudo-communist paintings on the wall to a neutral gray with a legitimate stage directly visible from the bar (previously, the inside stage was a hunk of plywood wedged between a Foosball table or something). The stage was about two feet high with no barricade, so you were in spitting distance of the bands at all times; that's always fun at a show.
According to the band, the tour was supposed to end at the end of the Napalm Death tour, and the drummer had stayed in Florida with a friend and planned on flying back to California as the band drove back, but the engine block cracked (I think) and the band was stranded in Mobile, Alabama for a couple of days to order an engine - and the brief tour was started as a way to raise money as well as playing cities they hadn't been to in a while. According to Matt, the band hadn't known that this date would exist until five days before the show happened, something that surprised me considering the turnout and marketing done for that night.
When the doors opened, I wound up meeting with smearCampaign and Jeff from Birth A.D. and talked to them for a bit before the opening bands went on.
Sex Chamber went on around 10:00 or so, and they started out the night on a pretty decent note. The best way I can describe them is "Celtic Frost meets the Melvins with a touch of Motorhead". Around this time, about 28 or so people were inside the venue, and they were either sipping their beers or nodding their heads to the beat. The band left the stage after a four song set (they had a half-hour to play) and mentioned that they were selling demo tapes for $5 at the merch booth. Not demo CD's, demo TAPES
. As in cassette tapes. I thought that was pretty cool.
Pushmen were on next and played to an audience of about 45 people. There was no real way to describe how they sounded. It was like hardcore punk meeting Anal Cunt's "Fuckin' A" album. There wasn't a whole lot to say about their set, aside from the vocalist texting between songs and two random guys grabbing the singer's dick and ass at times.
Flesh Hoarder went on after Pushmen left the stage. By this time, the crowd had maxed out to about 75 people - not bad for a Sunday night. According to smearCampaign, the guitarist was capable of some really technical stuff, but it didn't show. The set consisted of some pretty interesting death metal, not "ugh, locals" quality, but not exactly "holy fucking asscrackers" quality either...if that says much. Their vocals reminded me of Cattle Decapitation at times, but I could swear that the vocalist cupped the microphone a couple of times.
Exhumed went on next to a soundtrack of Motorhead over the PA system. The band took about fifteen minutes to soundcheck and chat with the fans. I told Matt about the site and how I was going to review the show, and he told me he'd give me the setlist if I needed it (and he did - along with a pick). That gesture made my fucking night.
Exhumed started around 12:17, opening with All Guts, No Glory and shooting right into As Hammer to Anvil. The audience headbanged in unison and the band fed off the energy, directly communicating with the audience at times - for example, Matt explained that Decrepit Crescendo was about how your body digests your insides after you're dead, so "even after you die, you're still farting". The band went on for a decent hour or so, in which older classics were performed, newer songs were enjoyed...and if I recall correctly, the pit didn't start until "In the Name of Gore". The maniac came out during "Limb From Limb" to rev up the chainsaw - which left me smelling like I'd screwed a truck for the rest of the night - and again during Vacant Grave or Open the Abcess to spill blood (actually red Kool-Aid).
Towards the end of the show around the time of the encore, Matt asked the audience what they'd like to hear. Immediately, I shouted out a request for Consuming Impulse. Without missing a beat, Matt said "Nah, that one's too difficult. We're too drunk to play that." After that, the show ended with a cover of "Seek and Destroy", leading to my shouting of "Matt Harvey is the table!" a couple of times because why the fuck not. Around 1:20, the band left the stage and said hello to all the fans around them. Around that time, I said goodbye to smearCampaign and headed off for the night.
All Guts, No Glory
As Hammer to Anvil
Limb From Limb / Waxwork
In the Name of Gore
Distorted and Twisted to Form
The Matter of Splatter / Drop Dead (Siege cover)
Open the Abscess / Seek and Destroy (Metallica cover, first verse + chorus)
EDIT: Some pictures I took from the night, if anyone's interested: