The New Parish, Oakland, California
October 25, 2012
Earlier in the evening, Game 2 of the 108th World Series raged between my San Francisco Giants and the Detroit Tigers. It was a total pitchers duel between Fister of Detroit and Bumgarner of the Giants. Yes, Fister met Bum in San Francisco... Discuss amongst yourselves! As the game ground on into a 0-0 tie in the 7th Inning I turned the sound on the t.v. down because the Fox team of Buck & McCarver were beyond annoying (again) and I put Death Angel on shuffle on the stereo to see if anything would happen... and something did:
- While 'Thrashers' played Hunter Pence got a hit for the Giants and Detroit pulled Fister from the game.
- While 'Stagnant' played Gregor Blanco laid down a fantastic bunt that loaded the bases for the Giants.
- While 'Truce' played the Giants scored a run to take the lead!
I'd never been to The New Parish before but I must say it's a pretty cool, divey place with a big enclosed courtyard. The courtyard featured a window selling Caribbean style food from the restaurant that shares the courtyard with the venue. Very cool and very East Bay. The atmosphere of the courtyard was an awesome old school scene vibe and the number of people present who I've known for over 20 years was into the double digits. It was rather mind blowing and comforting to realize that I still know that many people and we're all still on the same wavelength; we can still get out on a Thursday night to go see a Metal band! Very cool.. cue 'Bonded By Blood'.
Anyway, it was also mind blowing that this year marks the 25th Anniversary of Death Angel's debut album The Ultra-Violence and on this leg of the U.S. Tour the band has been playing the album back-to-front as their main set. I remember when the Death Angel guys were those little kids who hung around Ruthie's Inn. We'd good naturedly make fun of them because they were just little kids and one of their moms would drop them off at shows. Of course, they grew up and got the last laugh and it's been really fun and inspiring to watch Death Angel come back from the dead and from the brink several times over the years. Yes, there are now 2 white guys in the band but the addition of Will (drums) and Damien (bass) has really solidified over the past 2 years. The band's constant touring has made them one of the tightest Metal bands going right now. Brutal.
Death Angel hopped onstage at around 10:45pm and punched and punched and punched Oakland in the face with 'Thrashers' into 'Evil Priest' into 'Voracious Souls' and the entire Ultra-Violence album was played front to back. The old school communal atmosphere of the courtyard combined with the brutalicious performance onstage gave me a warm 'n fuzzy feeling of Bay Area pride. Awww! Witnessing 'Kill As One' performed at a hometown Death Angel show is always special... but watching them perform the epic instrumental 'The Ultra-Violence' was a revelation. It was a mindfuck to remember that these songs were written when Death Angel were all still teenagers, but all 8 songs that make up the band's debut album still held up here in the 21st Century. Honesty is my only excuse, but sometimes when I see old Metal bands perform their old songs they look dated and somewhat silly playing songs they wrote when they were barely old enough to buy alcohol. That is not the case with the mighty Death Angel! They are still young at heart and that attitude and energy makes them just as great as they were back in The Day.
Speaking of old, as the final notes of 'I.P.F.S.' echoed, the clock struck midnight, and Mark said some words of thanks, I snuck back to the Prius to slink back to Casa de Umlaut. It was a school night and I'm old. I know I missed another hour of Death Angel encores but seeing them perform their seminal debut album not far away from where Ruthie's Inn once raged completed my night... as had the Giants taking Game 2 earlier. Bay Area über alles!
I didn't do a merch audit but (1) the newly remastered CD reissue of The Ultra-Violence cost me $15 and (2) Death Angel had no girl's tees for sale. Dudes.. There were a lot of females in the crowd tonight. Just saying... On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags. The bummer factor of missing the last half of Death Angel's set was tempered because I'm seeing them again at an event hosted by the guy who produced their first demo tape next week. Kill. As. One. Those little kids turned out alright:
Click HERE to see more of Photo Ray's shots from the night!