Slim's, San Francisco
May 5, 2010
I know... The title of this post is way too obvious but what else do you expect on THE Hispanic day of the year? Plus, there's something ironic about seeing a group of drunk white guys wearing sombreros and fake moustaches waiting to get into a Metal show. Anyway, this was a rock solid bill on paper and it would have been hard for it to fail in real life. As I arrived at Slim's there was a parking spot on the street, but I noticed some shattered car window glass in the gutter. A voice in the back of my head told me not to park there, so I opted for the pay lot instead... and the lesson here is to listen to those voices in your head... but more on this later.
Slim's was jam packed sold out and you knew it was going to be a "good" night in that room because the floor was wet from condensation and spilled drinks. However, a bullet belt made out of small caliber bullets isn't really a bullet belt even when it's worn by a skinny girl.. I'm just saying.
Skeletonwitch: Skeletonwitch and Umlaut haven't been in the same room since they played a "secret" show at The Knockout on Mission Street back in, like, November 2008... so it's been awhile. I have to say 'Beyond The Permafrost' was the song highlight of the night for me; the song's intro plays to a Metal hungry crowd perfectly... and the guys from Ohio are a good example of a band of Road Dogs who have sharpened their craft through months of touring and drinking beer on and offstage. Chance was equally impressive working the crowd as he was chugging Budweisers onstage. Although Skeletonwitch were my favorite band of the night, I hate to say it, but watching Chance chug Budweisers was like watching a dude chug bottled water... but that's because Umlaut is a Beer Snob. In between bands I discovered that Ted of Death Angel knows me by name... Kill as one!
1349: 1349 and Umlaut haven't been in the same room since they opened for the mighty Celtic Frost at The Fillmore back in, like, October 2006... so it's been awhile. 1349 exudes that real deal Norwegian vibe but, let's be honest, if they were from Sacramento and came onstage dressed like that they'd be hilarious. However, since everyone knows all men in Norway wear corpse paint (and every woman in Norway is tall and blond) their vibe is legit. It was funny watching Frost set up his drums wearing his corpse paint and then Seidemann arrived onstage wearing a robe with the hood pulled over his corpse painted face and Ravn came onstage wearing the same vintage Celtic Frost shirt that he wore onstage in 2006 at The Fillmore. Like I said, if 1349 were from Sacramento the costumes would not be as effective.
Unfortunately, as I've said in this space before, Slim's has probably the worst sound of any venue in town because of the restriction they have on their volume levels; it's ridiculous. A show like this should have a volume level that you can feel in your clothes, but generally it's so low you can literally have a normal conversation with someone, especially at the back of the room. Archaon's guitar tone was lost in the ether most of the time, but the band's Norwegian Star Power carried the set. Yes, I couldn't put a title to any 1349 song if I heard it (Sorry.. just being honest..) but it's not often you get to see real life Norwegians up close on this side of the planet. The only real bummer during the set was Robb Flynn of Machine Head invading my personal space... but it was all good. Have you ever had Norwegian black licorice?? It's NASTY. In between bands, Machine Head bought me a beer.
Cannibal Corpse: Cannibal Corpse and Umlaut haven't been in the same room since the 48 Hours Of Mayhem last Summer since I missed their set at Scion Fest in March... so it's been awhile. As Cannibal Corpse took the stage I pulled out my camera and I had 666 shots left on the memory card... METAL! The last time that happened was at Tidal Wave 11. CC always bring it live but Pat was especially on fire with his lead work... and as he lit up the hot and sweaty crowd with his fretboard brutality I couldn't help thinking back on how cool he'd been to Photo Ray and I at Scion Fest. Also, the audience participation at Cannibal Corpse shows are always heartwarming reminders of how Metal can bring sweaty people together.
(Yes, I know... Umlaut needs a new camera.. one that does low light situations better, etc. etc.)
FYI: Umlaut is NOT going to be like everyone else and make a comment on the size of Corpsegrinder's neck or how much he headbangs onstage. Old news, kidz. Every Metalhead knows that Cannibal Corpse loves and respects the ladies... and it was fucking romantic when Corpsegrinder did the unexpected and dedicated 'Priests Of Sodom' to all the ladies in the room instead of 'Fucked With A Knife'. Do you hear that? That's the sound of the 6 or 7 females in the room swooning...
There was a Jello sighting (the first in awhile) and I also witnessed an awkward Machine Head sandwich; I felt kind of sorry for "the meat" in that sandwich, but it was special I guess. As I was leaving I stopped to say "Hey / Hi" to my old Metal brutha Gary Holt... who happens to be on the cover of the current issue of Decibel. You gotta support the locals, man... Always.
If you bought one of every Cannibal Corpse merch item you would have paid around $400. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called me a fag. As I said at the start of this rant, when I arrived at Slim's there was a parking spot on the street, but I noticed some shattered car window glass in the gutter. A voice in the back of my head told me not to park there, so I opted for the pay lot. After the show I noticed that the car that had taken that parking spot had its passenger side window smashed. Thank you Inner Voice! Wait... what are you saying now? Kill!? Kill who?? Oh..... Okay!!