Thoughts fall out before the head explodes!
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
From my per-zine White Rabbit Fall! available exclusively in APA Centauri:
...In early August, my brother and I saw Disturbed at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls (the town I grew up in). My third cousin Wayne is obscenely rich from selling Blossom most of the land it now resides on and then worked there for twenty years. My mom gave me my middle name in honor of ol’ Wayne.
I had only recently become familiar with Strapping Young Lad and their latest release The New Black. (Praise God for that Internet radio thingy—the second greatest invention ever.) Screeching, pounding, and furious Strapping’s blitz took me to a head banging Nirvana that I did not expect. Like a fine whiskey or good drug. In typical Akron fashion, no one else seemed to know who these guys were. (It’s amazing any music has come out of this cesspool I call a hometown. Akron, OH is the most boring and culturally uninformed city on planet Earth.) The band clearly noticed. Moments before their closing number Devin Townsend (lead singer) pointed to me and shouted, “Ya that guy in the green shirt in back, he gets it! Screw the rest of you!” My sentiments exactly... those nutty Canadian metal bands.
With the wonderful schedules I work, I had never been lucky enough to catch Kent, OH natives Mushroomhead. Kings of alt-metal, they began wearing their masks and face paint so they wouldn’t be recognized. The members were in other bands and ‘shroom was a crazy side project. It’s practically urban myth, in these parts, of how good the costumed, theatrical septet is. But let me assure you, the legend is quite true. Ripping into songs from nearly all of their releases, it’s rare that you hear a rock act so polished that you can’t tell the difference between live and studio. These guys are the real deal and the performance of tracks off their new release, the melodically evil Savior Sorrow, were like the first lingering kiss with your true love. You never want it to end! Lights, smoke, Blue Man Groupish drum solos… I’ve never seen or heard anything like it and I’ve been to hundreds of metal shows over the years.
The second song I was exposed to from Chicago thrashers Disturbed was their 2000 cover of Tears for Fear’s Shout. Having a certain fondness for cover songs (especially by metal artists, blame Metallica!), I was immediately enamored and shorted the electric bill so I could run out to buy The Sickness album. Not the most responsible act on my part, but well worth the thirteen dollars. Six years later, it’s still a mainstay in my CD player. I had some trepidation over this year’s release of Ten Thousand Fists, the CD had been delayed nearly eighteen months so the band could "perfect" the tracks. What a mind blow, when my brother spun the album for me during martial arts practice--it’s a spiritual, political, anti-Iraq war, full-of-truth metal journey. David Drayman and the boys are all grown up making music in the metal genre that not only rocks but is important art. Nodding to old schoolers like Judas Priest (my favorite of that era) and Maiden but giving the music a much needed modern feeling. Who wants to hear the same style over and over?
Eschewing the pyro and effects of other rock acts, Disturbed plowed through their musical staples with efficient beauty. Even with a strained voice (this show was on an Ozzfest off day) Drayman’s powerful, inspiring style lit the night sky like fire. Between songs he’d speak his metal anthem while pounding on his heart with a fist, "…my brothers, my sisters, my blood!" and the crowd went nuts! A metal-head family reunion, even if we’d never met before—-a religious experience…a commune. The highlight of the evening was the anti-Bush growl Deify (a song that starts with real audio of a talking head spewing "Bush was reelected because the people know you can believe what he says..." which quickly moves into a tirade of why man should never turn their politicians into gods or for truth.) Followed by another Disturbed cover song in Land of Illusion that is faithful to the Genesis source but given new life as an anti-fascism, anti-big business, anti war pledge for today’s kids.
The whole night was a throw back to the eighties when metal shows were a huge deal in these parts complete with tailgate parties. Even ticket prices were much lower than what I’ve paid lately, at thirty eight dollars a pop for pavilion seats with service charge. My neck muscles are still sore. I think I threw my spine loose! ...Or at least until the next time one of these bands comes to town.
-posted by Nobius 8:33 PM #
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