Friday, September 11, 2009

Routine Metal

Obituary / Goatwhore / Krisiun
Slim's, San Francisco
September 10, 2009

Prior to the show Timo and I made a pre-Metal Show stop at The Irish Bank, which was unusually crowded with suits and tourists for a weeknight due to the day's heatwave weather. It was a routine visit to Umlaut's favorite fish 'n chips establishment... so let's move on.

Krisiun obliterated Slim's back in March and it was cool to see more people waiting to see them this time around. Man, Krisiun are total Road Dogs and have been on tour around the world from Brazil to Russia practically non-stop since the release of their latest album Southern Storm last Summer... and it looks like they won't be stopping until Christmas Day when they play a show in their Brazilian homeland. The fact they've been on the road for over a year was evident in how tight the 3 brothers are onstage... but it was cool how humble they are when addressing the crowd before brutal versions of songs like 'Slaying Steel'. Everything I said about Krisiun in this space back in March still rang true... When you see these 3 brothers from Brazil onstage the sense that the band is their only option in life is palpable.. and that survival instinct translates into everything they do. Krisiun are the real fucking deal, man.

In between bands I tried to do an audit of the dude-to-chick ratio and I couldn't count more than 11 chicks before the houselights went down... which, if my math is correct, made the dude-to-chick ratio about 18-1. You gotta like them odds, right ladies?

Goatwhore hit the stage with 2 older songs and I had that feeling of deja vu when the band had underwhelmed me several times in the past. However, from the 3rd song on their set consisted of songs from their excellent latest album (Carving Out The Eyes Of God) and the difference between the old and new songs was obvious. When they launched into new songs such as 'Apocalyptic Havoc' it showed that the band's improved songwriting and execution as musicians (especially Sammy on guitar) has taken them to a whole other level over the past couple of years. At one point Ben told the crowd that it was O.K. to download their new album, but to at least buy some merch to help support the band. A sympathetic fan standing next to me responded with "I only download porn!" Metal.

Goatwhore had an impressive range of merch for sale... and my Inner Metalhead was very tempted to support the band... but I asked myself "Will I really wear a shirt that says "Goatwhore" that often?"... and unfortunately my Inner Old Fart said "Uhhh, no... no you won't.."... so no merch purchases for Umlaut.. although I probably could have worn the shirt that said "Stay Sick, Stay Fuck, Hail Satan" while doing yardwork. Regrets. Hope I die before I get old.

After Goatwhore's blistering set I could have bailed and returned to Casa de Umlaut, since I was only there to see the middle bands. Next up were Florida Death Metal legends Obituary, and I'm man enough to admit I've never been into them. However, I got caught up in the crowd's excitement over the headliner and liked their sludgy and humid guitar tone which came across as very Southern to my ears. Also, Obituary probably had the silliest (in a good way) Metal stage backdrop that I'll see this year. It featured the cover art from their latest album:

Dragon? Check. Dude in armor swinging a big ass sword? Check. Dragon blood splatters? Check. Bats? Check. I was into their set for the first 4 songs or so... and then it all started sounding the same... so Photo Ray, Timo, and I had one more beverage before calling it a night.

Kids who gave me props for my General Surgery shirt = 1. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags. This was a very routine night for Umlaut.. everything was surgically precise and I had the Prius docked back at Casa de Umlaut by around 11:30PM... but Metal's not just a job, it's an adventure.. even the routine nights.