Sunday, January 31, 2010

Laptop Etiquette

Nile / Immolation / Krisiun
Slim's, San Francisco
January 30, 2010

This show marked the conclusion of Umlaut's 3 Nights Of Metal, with White Wizzard and Saint Vitus having occupied my previous 2 nights before this finale. Prior to the show Photo Ray and I stopped for food at the new location of Rosamunde Sausage Grill in The Mission. While the food lived up to the original Lower Haight location, there were an unusual number of Oriental hipsters in the place on this Saturday night (Note to the Federation of Oriental People (FOP): I didn't get the memo..). As we were walking up to Slim's we passed a sa-weet Immortal Toyota pickup.

Hopefully its Black Metal customization has protected it from the recent Toyota recall... HAIL.

This was the 3rd time in less than a year that Krisiun has come through San Franfuckincisco. The band last visited town 4 months ago so I was curious to see how they were holding up, since they've seemingly been on the road forever on this album cycle. Unfortunately, I have to say that the volume restriction that Slim's operates under really fucked up Krisiun's set for me. C'mon! A band like Krisiun onstage should have volume that makes your clothes move... Instead the volume level was typical of Slim's in recent times: A normal conversation was entirely possible no matter how hard the Brazilians raged onstage. However, despite the volume issue, Krisiun was the band Umlaut was there to see and the brothers delivered another strong set despite being 3rd on the bill. During Krisiun's set, Nile's merch guy played Solitaire on his laptop.. WTF?!

As Immolation set up, we recognized the waitress from Rosamunde Sausage Grill in The Mission as she entered the room. She had obviously come straight from work.. Nicely done, young lady.

For those keeping score, Immolation were the 2nd band from New York to come through S.F. with a name ending in "-tion" this month. I have to admit I've never been an Immolation fan, but the thing that came to mind while the crowd went off during their set is that there is a point where a dude's hair is TOO long and it crosses the line from being METAL to being HIPPIE... and Ross Dolan you've crossed that line, dude. When you can tuck your hair into your pants it's time to break out the patchouli; take 6 inches off and it'll be METAL again... sorry.. just being honest. On the other hand, Dolan's Noo Yawk accent totally made me want something from Nathan's. During Immolation's set, Nile's merch guy played Bejeweled on his laptop.. WTF?!

Nile are the type of band whose CD comes with a 24-page booklet with a ton of text and lyrics that I want to read... but come on, dudes.. it's impossible to read text that fucking small! Nile brings the blast beats with the best of them, but is it possible to O.D. on blast beats? Yes... yes it is possible. I gotta say that, eventhough this will lose me cred with the kidz, I didn't see why it was necessary for Karl Sanders to play a double neck guitar since all of Nile's songs sound the same live. There... I said it.

In case you hadn't noticed already, I was pretty underwhelmed by this entire evening. Slim's is rapidly becoming my least favorite local venue due to their ridiculous volume restriction (especially when the DNA Lounge next door can operate without such neutering of sound) and it's really affecting how much I enjoy bands there. I'm starting to second guess about even bothering to go to shows at Slim's, which is a bummer since I've been seeing bands there since the venue opened in 1988 (According to the Umlaut Archives tonight was approximately my 66th visit to the space).

As for the bands: I'm a Krisiun fan, but given this was their 3rd time through town on this tour I could only think about how I wished Alex would break character in between songs and talk to the crowd in his "normal" voice instead of his Krisiun Cookie Monster Metal voice. Also, although I do like the latest Nile album, both Immolation and Nile date from that time in Metal (the early-90's) when I wasn't *into* Metal, at least by the definition of that time. A quick review of the Umlaut Archives shows that back then I was heavily into bands like Neurosis, Melvins, Sleep... who weren't labeled "Metal" then, but they are considered "Metal" now... so does that mean in retrospect I really was Metal back then in a revisionist sort of way?? Confusing... Ironic... Discuss amongst yourselves.

Beer count for the night = 4. I didn't really pay that much attention to the merch because I was more caught up in what game Nile's merch guy was playing on his laptop. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags... and so ended Umlaut's 3 Days Of Metal... but it's still Saint Vitus, man... Saint Fucking Vitus... Still the show of the year so far.