Chaos in Tejas -- Austin, TX -- June 2nd-5th, 2011
I finally got around to finishing this write up, so here is my review of Chaos in Tejas 2011.
THURSDAY JUNE 2
Every Walk a Quarantine
Trap Them kicked off the night at the Mohawk with a bang. Ryan McKenny is such a great frontman and vocalist to watch. He would give one of those crazy death stares and then dart across the stage and up to the top of one of the guitar cabs. His intensity makes Trap Themís amazing work on record a living breathing thing on stage. After Trap Them finished up I headed over to Red 7 to pick up my Metal Pass wristband and check out local death/sludgers Mammoth Grinder.
Mammoth Grinder (incomplete)
By the time I got through the line and into Red 7 Mammoth Grinder was already underway. Living in Austin has provided some great local bands like Mammoth Grinder. If you arenít familiar with them you should check out Extinction of Humanity. Unfortunately the acoustics of the indoor stage at Red 7 are horrible and it was really difficult to pick out specific songs with this style of metal, but I think they played those two and at least 6 songs total.
Thrashy/Grindy Death. They had a really old school death metal sound. I stuck around for a handful of songs before heading back to the Mohawk to see Converge.
Worms Will Feed
Reap What You Sow
The Broken Vow
- - - - - - - - - -
When I got back to the Mohawk Title Fight and Touche Amore had both finished and everyone was standing around waiting for Converge. I had read the announcement online that they were having a medical issue and that they would rush to get to the festival, so I wasnít that suprised when 10pm came and went with no gear loaded onto the stage. By about 10:20 someone came up to the mic and announced that Converge would be playing at 11:15 on the smaller inside stage. Now, this posed a problem because Hooded Menace was due to play at 11:45 at another venue. But a couple minutes later the band popped out on stage and loaded their gear up as fast as Iíve ever seen and ripped through a half hour of vicious standard-Converge insanity. One of Convergeís stage crew was doing about half of their ill bassists vocals for him. With only 30 minutes they kind of just mashed songs one into the other, so I am definitely missing a few.
So, once Converge was done I wandered back down to Red 7 to find Undergang on stage. There are a couple bands called Undergang, this is the Undergang of Denmark that released Indhentet af Doden in 2010. They are another band embracing the old-school death throwback sound. They were not bad but also not extremely memorable, but I am certain that the acoustics of the indoor stage at Red 7 did not help. Their guitar tone is extremely heavy, and for most bands this level of extremity might be difficult to top. However, Hooded Menace was up next.
Hooded Menace (incomplete)
Never Cross The Dead
Catacombs of the Graceless
Hooded Menace stayed true to their name and took the stage in black hoodies (except for the drummer). Again the acoustics of the interior of Red 7 were not ideal, especially for the crushing tones of Hooded Menace. Between the beer, weed and non-stop wall of sound; I couldnít really pick out individual songs. I couldnít even tell you how many they played, but I certainly spent the entire set headbanging to the awesome horror-filled death/doom power of Hooded Menace.
FRIDAY JUNE 3
The Ballad of Solomon Eagle
Cities of Frost
Round up the Horses
They Come Back (Harvest of Skulls)
Some You Win, Some You Lose
Time Traveling Blues
We arrived at the Scoot-Inn right before Gates of Slumber was set to play, however they were no where to be found. I donít know what ever happened there, but there were rumblings around the venue of them playing on the small indoor stage later in the night after Kylesa. So the first band of the night that we saw ended up being Orange Goblin. They venue just stuck to the festival schedule and left the stage empty while Gates of Slumber was supposed to be playing, so that was kind of lame. So after a bunch of standing around and drinking the crowd was ready for some music when Goblin hit the stage. Orange Goblin seemed to be wanting more crowd participation than they got throughout their set, but this bearded menagerie was saving their strength for the so-called hipster metal stylings of Kylesa.
Donít Look Back
Distance Closing In
Said and Done
After some technical difficulties setting up Kylesa got into their set about 15 minutes late, but they still played a full set that the crowd ate up. We were right on the rail in front of Laura and the floor actually burst into a little bit of a pit as soon as the vocal part of Donít Look Back kicked in, which was kind of surprising since I donít really think of that as one of their heavier songs. But the crowd stayed pretty active throughout the set so it was a lot of fun. They had two projectors going across the stage and much of the venue displaying the cover art from Spiral Shadow spinning, which added some cool visual texture, but we were so close that the effect was kind of lost. I guess they were having some sound issues, but we could basically hear everything through Lauraís monitor from where we were. Once Kylesa finished it was time to head back to Emoís to catch Autopsy.
Ridden with Disease
Gasping for Air
Always About to Die
Twisted Mass of Burnt Decay
I got back to Emoís and Citizens Arrest was finishing up and I ran into some people that I had met the night before and grabbed a beer while everyone awaited Autopsy. The new songs from Macabre Eternal and last yearís The Tomb Within EP sounded great live and fit right into their technically impressive and entertaining show. It was fun to see what an eclectic crowd Autopsy was able to draw, but at a fest like this it wasnít too surprising. They were an absolute blast live and they sounded really good.
SATURDAY JUNE 4
If you arenít familiar with Shitstorm, they are a grindcore band featuring two members of Torche. It was standard grindcore fare, 10-50 second songs and no bullshit. They had 30 minutes to play but went through at least 20 something songs in the 15 minutes that they were on stage. It was great. The vocalist didnít intro any songs and as soon as they finished the last song they just started unplugging gear and loading up.
This was apparently the last ever show for the Austin based psych-metal band. They certainly filled up the inside of Emoís pretty quickly and the crowd was really into them. I am not familiar enough with their material to pick out any songs.
Dillinger Escape Plan
The Mullet Burden
Room Full of Eyes
Fix Your Face
Sugar Coated Sour
Gold Teeth on a Bum
When Good Dogs Do Bad Things
Sunshine the Werewolf
Farewell Mona Lisa
So, at this point of the evening I was quite drunk. We made our way to the Beauty Bar and there was a line but the guy said he only had 4 wristbands left, however this was no problem since we had will call tickets. I sold my Deftones ticket from earlier in the evening when I found out about this Dillinger show. The cash from the Deftones ticket fueled my alcohol and merch budget for Chaos in Tejas, so it was a fair trade. This show was essentially in a tent in the back alley of the Beauty Bar. Itís the same place that Death From Above 1979 incited a minor riot scene during SXSW this year, if you read about that. If you are a Dillinger fan then you already know about their live show, so I can wrap it up pretty simply; highlights: Greg hanging from the ceiling tent poles, making everyone think the whole thing would collapse on us. A fire on stage at one point, to which Greg said ďdonít put it out, that defeats the purpose. people should be lighting more stuff on fireĒ. My glasses flying off of my drunken sweaty face and me recovering them with only a minor scratch.
SUNDAY JUNE 5
Error. Footage not found. I drank way too much on Saturday and woke up at 2pm on Sunday with a terrible hangover. So, more Chaos in Tejas was not the solution; but luckily I had not purchased tickets to any of the Sunday shows. Next year, I pledge to make it through all four days of chaos.
^ Indeed. I only wish my business trip to Austin a few weeks ago had been a week later (which reminds me, I never did put up a gig report to go with the PRIMUS set list...fuck me, I suck ).
I've been dying to see Trap Them for a while now, and I missed them at Scion a few years ago because of schedule conflicts. I've also been meaning to check out Mammoth Grinder more thoroughly, too. Converge is always a gas live.
Re: Kylesa and your comment about the small pit during "Don't Look Back" - I can see what you mean. That's probably the most melodic song in that set (it does have a kinda punky vibe to it, though - like Sum 41 on Prozac). My guess is the crowd was just excited to hear Kylesa, and whatever the first song was, it was going to result in a pit. If my theory is correct, then I love you Austin people even more, because Kylesa is fast becoming one of my favorite bands, period. They got a great reaction in Cleveland at the Metalliance Tour, and they weren't even one of the headliners. I was pleased about that. Oh, and I almost forgot...I'm super jazzed that they ended the set with my favorite song of theirs. That's cool as fuck, man.
Great reviews. Glad you had a blast. Maybe I'll catch you there next year.
Looks like Autopsy is pretty much keeping the set they did at MDF, with the addition of the three new songs. I got no complaints there, that would be badass to see. Actually, Autopsy is one of the few bands that could play their least good albums(Shitfun+Tomb Within) in their entirety and I would be completely satisfied.
Awesome review! I agree 100% about Trap Them; their vocalist has one of the most pure fucking evil stares ever. It's not like he's growling or contorting his face: it's very cold and dark, subtle, like he's thinking, "I am going to walk over there, and slowly tighten my hands around your neck until the life is drained from you. Then I will calmly walk away."
Converge, as always, fucking rules. Sucks about the 30 min set.
And Dillinger sounds like they haven't let up since I saw them in March. From what everybody has been saying about them, this "playing in small clubs after our show with Deftones every night" tour sounds like one of the crackers they've done.
|autopsy, converge, hooded menace, kylesa, mammoth grinder, orange goblin, the dillinger escape plan, trap them|